WPIAL football player of the week — Week 15

Monday, December 9, 2019 | 5:17 PM

Trying to stop or even slow down Thomas Jefferson in the 2019 football season turned out to be a losing proposition for 16 opponents.

In fact, trying to find any sort of success against the Jaguars this year left most teams stumped.

The exclamation point on a golden season for TJ came in the PIAA Class 4A championship game on Thursday as the Jaguars cruised past Dallas, 46-7, thanks in part of the play of senior quarterback Shane Stump.

“Shane was awesome,” Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak said. “He’s just an incredible leader and competitor. He is just so unselfish. He can run, throw and has been incredible on defense.”

On a blustery Hershey evening, Stump was nearly perfect throwing the ball, hitting on 7 of 8 passes for 104 yards and a 28-yard scoring strike to Dan Deabner early in the second quarter that started a run of 46 unanswered points for the Jaguars.

With the wind to their backs, Thomas Jefferson scored 20 points in the second quarter and 19 more in the third quarter.

“The wind was very strong and definitely a factor,” Cherpak said. “That is the main reason that we really didn’t throw much. The biggest decision of the game was when we decided to take the wind in the third quarter and try to build up our lead. The game was over by the fourth quarter.”

While the elements may have limited the Jaguars aerial attack, it did not keep Stump out of the end zone.

He rushed for 51 yards and scored four touchdowns on runs of 14, 6, and a pair of 1-yard scores.

“Shane is the ultimate competitor,” Cherpak said. “He will do whatever he needed to do to get the job done. He makes everyone around him better.”

Stump threw for nearly 1,800 yards on a team that is known for its power offense and a strong running attack led by senior Dylan Mallozzi. Cherpak believes his season and career passing number could be through the roof if the team philosophy was different.

“Shane could have had incredible numbers throwing the ball if he played in the second half of most games,” Cherpak said. “Between this year and last year, I would say he only played in the second half and was throwing the ball probably five games. I would never have our quarterback throwing the ball when we are in a mercy rule situation, even in the second quarter.”

An incredible stat from Stump’s outstanding season was that he connected on 37 touchdowns, but only threw one interception.

“Most people don’t realize that Shane called many of our plays at the line of scrimmage,” Cherpak said. “He called what he saw and was right most of the time. He could have forced passes if he wanted, but he called runs that were there. He is very unselfish.”

Another part of his game that went unnoticed was when opposing teams had the ball.

“His biggest improvement (this year) has been on defense,” Cherpak said. “He was a force on defense for us. Very physical, but could cover the entire field in coverage.”

Along with the other talented Jaguars seniors, Stump will graduate with three WPIAL championships and now a PIAA crown.

“He’s a total stud,” Cherpak said. “He does whatever we needed him to do to win. He is a once-in-a-career type of kid.”

WPIAL Week Fifteen Honorable Mentions:

Dylan Mallozzi – Thomas Jefferson

Our Trib HSSN Player of the Week from a couple of weeks ago made life easy for our POW in the final week of the regular season.

Senior running back Dylan Mallozzi carried the ball 24 times for 215 yards and one touchdown in helping Thomas Jefferson win the school’s fourth PIAA football championship and the first state title in 11 years.

Mallozzi came up just short of 2,000 yard rushing this season, but winning WPIAL and PIAA championships trumps all near misses.

Jaylen Guy – Central Valley

The outcome was not what the WPIAL Class 3A champions had hoped, but for three quarters of the PIAA 3A title game, there was little doubt who the top ‘guy’ was.

Central Valley senior running back Jalen Guy rushed for 166 yards on 30 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Wyoming Area scored 21 fourth-quarter points to win its first PIAA championship, 21-14 over Central Valley.

Park Penrod – Avonworth

A glimmer of hope for a stunning outcome didn’t last long after Avonworth took an early lead in the PIAA Class 2A finals against defending champion Southern Columbia.

Senior quarterback Park Penrod connected with Trevor Faulkner on a 43-yard touchdown pass to give the Antelopes a 7-0 lead.

Penrod threw for 143 yards and led the ‘Lopes in rushing with 27 yards as a dream season for Avonworth ended with a 74-7 loss.

2019 Trib HSSN football players of the week:

Week Fourteen – Ameer Dudley, Central Valley

Week Thirteen – Jax Miller, Avonworth

Week Twelve – Dylan Mallozzi, Thomas Jefferson

Week Eleven – Cole Spencer, Pine-Richland

Week Ten – Devari Robinson, McKeesport

Week Nine – Justin Huss, Derry

Week Eight – Alex Arledge, Burrell

Week Seven – Logan Shrubb, Keystone Oaks

Week Six – Naman Alemada, South Fayette

Week Five – Teddy Ruffner, Mars

Week Four – Ben Jackson, West Greene

Week Three – Ethan Dahlem, Upper St. Clair

Week Two – Matt Goodlin, Knoch

Week One – Eric Wilson, Sto-Rox

Week Zero – Ky’Ron Craggette, Connellsville

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