Zuriah Fisher returns 2 fumbles for touchdowns as Aliquippa tops Clairton

Sunday, August 25, 2019 | 12:22 AM

The first game in defense of their WPIAL and PIAA football championships was far from a masterpiece, but when big plays were needed, Aliquippa answered the bell like a true champion.

Zuriah Fisher returned two fumbles for touchdowns, and fellow senior Chinua Soloman caught a pair of long touchdown passes from different quarterbacks as Class 3A No. 1 Aliquippa rolled to a 35-14 victory over Class A No. 1 Clairton on Saturday night.

The contest featured two of the most successful programs in district history with a combined 30 WPIAL football championships.

“It was a very tough opponent,” said Aliquippa’s second-year coach, Michael Warfield. “Coach Wade always has his teams ready to play.”

After an early kickoff return set Clairton up in Aliquippa territory, the first drive of the game ended when a Brendan Parsons pass was caught by Wayne Wade III a half yard short of the goal line.

Most of the first quarter was played in Aliquippa territory with the Bears starting their first three possessions in Quips territory. Not only did Clairton not score, but when Parsons was hit under pressure and fumbled, Fisher scooped it up and ran 48 yards for the game’s first score.

“It felt good,” Fisher said of his two scores. “I have to say thank you to Michael Dawkins since he’s the one that got the sack for me.”

The star linebacker’s second touchdown came in the third quarter when Parsons fumbled again and Fisher put on a show. He picked the ball up with one hand, stiff armed a would-be tackler with his other arm, weaved to the outside, waited for blockers and strolled down the sideline 45 yards.

“Zuriah’s a player,” Warfield said. “He’s our leader. I challenged Zuriah before the game. It’s fine that he is getting all these offers and he deserves that, but that’s not good enough yet. So he understands that.”

Fisher wasn’t the only Quips player putting on a show. Soloman caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Vaughn Morris in the second quarter and a 45-yard scoring pass from junior QB Brendin Brickner in the fourth quarter.

“That was another player I challenged before the game,” Warfield said. “I told him I’ve been telling everybody how dynamic you are, and it’s time that people saw it. He’s dynamic, he can catch and he’s athletic.”

Soloman ended up with seven catches for 150 yards and the two long scores. He also changed the momentum of the game in the third quarter on special teams.

After an early third-quarter interception and touchdown by Clairton’s Kenlein Ogletree, Soloman returned the Bears kickoff to the Clairton 30. A few plays later, senior running back Antonio Quinn scored on a 10-yard run, and the Quips were in control the rest of the way.

Quinn led all rushers with 136 yards on 16 carries.

Parsons led Clairton with 213 passing yards, he also threw for a touchdown and ran for another.

“I thought we played well. I thought we played hard,” Warfield said. “There were a lot of mistakes, but we can learn from that.”

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