WPIAL playoff breakdown: Class 3A
Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 4:45 PM
Class 3A Semifinals
No. 6 South Park (5-5) vs. No. 2 Aliquippa (10-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Martorelli Stadium in West View
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Winner gets: Derry vs. Central Valley winner in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game at 2 p.m. Nov. 16
Last week: South Park 32, North Catholic 27; Aliquippa 27, Elizabeth Forward 7
Coaches: Marty Rieck, South Park; Mike Warfield, Aliquippa
Players to watch: Rudy Mihoces, South Park (Sr., 5-11, 190, RB); Antonio Quinn, Aliquippa (Sr., 5-9, 190, RB)
1. South Park pulled off one of the “eyebrow raisers” of opening night of the WPIAL football playoffs with a victory over Class 3A Big East Conference champion North Catholic. The Trojans led by six points at halftime and seven points after three quarters. South Park came back to take the lead in the fourth quarter only to have North Catholic reclaim the lead on a Zach Rocco 89-yard touchdown pass to Nick Maher. But Rudy Mihoces recovered a fumble and then scored the game-winning touchdown on a 59-yard jaunt with two minutes left to help the Eagles pull off the upset.
2. The senior Mihoces was the hero at the end, but was solid throughout the Class 3A quarterfinals game. He rushed for 198 yards and scored four touchdowns for South Park. He has 1,114 yards rushing this season with 12 touchdowns.
3. It took a while to get going on Friday, but Aliquippa bounced back from the Week 9 rout at the hands of Central valley in the pseudo Tri-County West Conference championship game. The Quips trailed Elizabeth Forward 7-6 after one quarter and only led 13-7 at halftime before a pair of third-quarter touchdowns helped seal the deal for the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions.
4. Even though he didn’t score a touchdown, senior running back Antonio Quinn led the Quips rushing attack with 102 yards in the 20-point win over EF. Junior quarterback Vaughn Morris had a touchdown run and a big 63-yard scoring pass to Zuriah Fisher in the third quarter that helped seal the deal on the win for Aliquippa.
Extra point: At stake for Aliquippa is a record-extending 12th straight trip to the WPIAL championship game. Even though they have only been conference foes for the last two years, this will be the seventh meeting in the last four years between the Eagles and the Quips. Aliquippa is a perfect 6-0 in the other meetings, winning four regular season games by scores of 52-14, 52-0, 55-7 and 29-0 this season in Week 7. The Quips beat the Eagles 42-7 in a Class 3A quarterfinal in 2016 and 48-12 in the 2017 quarterfinals. Since South Park won their second and most recent WPIAL football championship in 2005, Aliquippa has won five district crowns.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.