WPIAL Class 6A final notebook: Central Catholic adds to decorated history

Sunday, November 17, 2019 | 12:55 AM

Saturday’s down-to-the wire WPIAL Class 6A championship victory was the seventh for Central Catholic since joining the WPIAL in 1974.

The school won five titles in the old Pittsburgh Catholic League before the WPIAL move. The Vikings have a 47-19 WPIAL playoff record following Saturday night’s 10-7 win over Pine-Richland.

Central Catholic and Pine-Richland each have two championships in the 6A classification.

The Vikings are 7-4 in WPIAL finals.

Falling short

Pine-Richland came up short in its quest for a seventh WPIAL title. The Rams are now 6-2 in WPIAL title games. Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the school’s first title when it was known as simply Richland High School in a 30-0 victory over New Brighton.

The Rams are 28-14 all-time in WPIAL playoff games.

Five for Totten

The game marked the fifth title for Vikings coach Terry Totten, who has a 165-29 record with the school. Eric Kasperowicz is 74-19 during his time at Pine-Richland.

Turning it over

Part of the story of Saturday’s game was turnovers. The Vikings recovered four Rams fumbles — one each by A.J. Beatty, Ameer Allen, Elliot Donald and Gus Sunseri. The biggest turnover, however, was Chase Horne’s 55-yard return in the fourth quarter that led to the winning field goal.

Central lost the ball just once on a fumble recovered by Nevan Novitski

Crossing the 1,000 mark

Central Catholic quarterback Dom Pieto went over 1,000 passing yards for the season — barely. Pieto’s 55 yards gave the junior 1,010 yards on the season and 10 touchdowns.

For Pine-Richland, Eli Jochem caught 12 passes for 78 yards, giving him 71 receptions on the season with 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Long day

Saturday’s festivities ended at 11:53 p.m., giving those with junior driver’s licenses seven minutes to get home. After things got backed up for an hour after the length of the Class A game between Clairton and Sto-Rox, the last three games started three hours apart.

Up next

Central Catholic will make a familiar road trip to open the PIAA playoffs. The Vikings will head to North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium to battle State College at 7 p.m. Friday.


Central Catholic 10, Pine-Richland 7

Pine-Richland 0-0-7-0 — 7

Central Catholic 0-0-7-3 — 10

How they scored:

PR: Eli Jochem 12 pass from Cole Spencer (Aiden Dremich kick)

CC: Anderson Cynkar 29 pass from Dom Pieto (Jon Opalko kick)

CC: Opalko 40 field goal

Team statistics

Pine-Richland Central Catholic

First downs 16 8

Rushes-Yards 35-126 45-83

Passing yards 155 55

Passing Att-Comp-Int 38-23-1 14-4-0

Total offense Plays-yards 73-281 59-138

Punts (number-avg.) 6-31.8 8-35

Fumbles-lost 5-4 2-1

Penalties-yards 6-60 9-72

Possession time 21:04 26:56

Individual statistics:

Rushing: PR: Luke Meckler 20-90, Cole Spencer 15-36; CC: Eddy Tillman 37-89, Dom Pieto 5-5, Anderson Cynkar 1-17, J.D. Younger 1-7, Brandon Jackson 1-2.

Passing: PR: Spencer 23-38-155-1INT-1TD; CC: Pieto 4-14-55-0-1TD

Receiving: PR: Eli Jochem 12-78-1, D’Avay Johnson 4-21, Seth Bolin 3-20, Meckler 2-23, Luke Miller 2-13; CC: Cynkar 1-29-1, Sharod Lindsey 1-11, Dontre Jones 1-8, Tillman 1-7.

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