Immortality awaits the two remaining WPIAL teams in the 2015 PIAA State Playoffs for football. Aliquippa and Central Catholic look to bring back PIAA gold in their respective classes to go along with the WPIAL gold they won last month.
Aliquippa returns to the PIAA Class AA Final for the first time since losing in 2012. Many of the seniors on the 2015 edition were on that runner-up Quips team and are looking to capture perfection with a victory on the highest stage for Pennsylvania football.
Central Catholic will be looking for their fourth Class AAAA Championship in their sixth appearance. The Vikings previously beat Parkland in 2007 to win the PIAA State Championship.
Aliquippa Quips (15-0) vs. Southern Columbia Tigers (15-0) at Hersheypark Stadium 12pm.
The Match-Up: Perfection is on the line in the PIAA Class AA State Championship game as Aliquippa and Southern Columbia put matching 15-0 records on the line in hopes of achieving a state championship.
How they got here: Southern Columbia began its playoff run with a 42-22 victory over Troy and followed it up with a 49-20 defeat of Hughesville to advance to the PIAA Class AA State Playoffs. A 56-50 victory over Montoursville got the Tigers started on their state playoff journey. The Tigers defeated Berks Catholic 34-21 in the quarterfinals before defeating West Catholic 34-19 in the semifinals to advance to the Class AA Championship Game.
Aliquippa defeated Keystone Oaks 42-26 to begin the Quips run to a WPIAL Championship. Seton-LaSalle and Freeport both fell victim to Aliquippa 46-6 and 36-14 respectively as the Quips moved on to the WPIAL Class AA Championship Game. The Quips ruined South Fayette’s hopes of repeating as WPIAL and PIAA Class AA Champions with a 44-38 victory. In the quarterfinals of the PIAA State Playoffs, Aliquippa handled Karns City 27-17 to advance to face Central in the semifinals. A 30-21 victory over Central earned the Quips a date in the state championship with Southern Columbia.
Who to Watch: The three-headed monster on offense of wideout Jassir Jordan, running back Kaezon Pugh, and quarterback Sheldon Jeter have helped catapult the Quips offense on their playoff run. Pugh led Aliquippa with a pair of touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball to go with his defensive touchdown. The Aliquippa defense will have their hands full with a Southern Columbia offense that is averaging 43 points per game in the state playoffs.
Prugar’s Prediction: Aliquippa
Central Catholic Vikings (14-1) vs. Parkland Trojans (14-1) at Hersheypark Stadium 6pm.
The Match-Up: Central Catholic dismantled Cumberland Valley en route to their sixth appearance in the state championship game. Parkland, out of district 11, looks to avenge their 2007 loss in the Class AAAA title game to the Vikings after defeating Upper Dublin East in the semifinals.
How they got here: After cruising to the WPIAL Class AAAA Final with victories over Upper St. Clair, North Allegheny, and Woodland Hills, the Vikings defeated Penn-Trafford 24-17 to capture the Class AAAA title By way of their victory over Penn-Trafford, Central Catholic moved on to face State College. A 19-3 defeat of the Little Lions earned the Vikings a match-up in the semi-finals against Cumberland Valley. The 24-7 Vikings victory earned them a spot in the 2015 PIAA Class AAAA Championship.
Parkland has rolled to the Class AAAA Championship game in impressive fashion. The Trojans defeated Delaware Valley 28-10 to begin their playoff run. Parkland followed that victory up with a 37-0 drubbing of Easton in the District 11 Championship game. Wyoming Valley West fell victim to the Trojans in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA Playoffs falling 63-21. The Trojans snuck away with a 16-13 victory in overtime against LaSalle College in the quarterfinals to advance to face Upper Dublin in the semifinals. Parkland dismantled Upper Dublin 30-14 to advance to the state championship game.
Who to Watch: The Central Catholic defense is a force to be reckoned with in the state playoffs as they have allowed only one touchdown in their two state playoff games. Parkland’s offense boasts a trio of receivers in their four receiver set that are six foot or taller and have gone over 200 yards combined receiving six times on the season. While the Vikings defense faces a tall task in the secondary the offense will look to follow the lead of stand-out running back Ronnie Jones who rushed for 134 yards last week in their victory over Cumberland Valley.
Prugar’s Prediction: Central Catholic
Special congratulations to the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders out of Altoona, PA for capturing back to back state championships in Class A. The Marauders defeated Old Forge to earn the PIAA Class A Championship.
Imhotep Charter defeated Cathedral Prep to Capture the PIAA Class AAA Championship.