Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tale of the tape, South Fayette vs. Aliquippa

South Fayette

Nickname: Lions
Colors: Green and white
Record: 12-0
Rankings: No. 2 WPIAL Class A by Observer-Reporter, No. 3 Class AA by Rod Frisco, No. 4 Class AA by The Patriot-News, No. 6 by Pennsylvania Football News
Conference: Century
How they got here: Century Conference champs, No. 3 seed WPIAL playoffs
1st round – W, Ellwood City 35-0
Quarters – W, Freeport 47-13
Semis – W, Beaver Falls 55-28
Mercy, mercy: South Fayette, which had never won more than one playoff game since joining Class AA, has mercy-ruled all three postseason opponents.
"I would have never thought that," South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. "The breaks have gone our way and the ball has bounced our way."
The 137 postseason points scored are the most in the WPIAL this year. Clairton ranks second with 113 points scored.
Key players: QB Christian Brumbaugh (2,728 yds, 37 TD, 6 INT); RB/DB Jeff Davis (1,238 rush yards, 564 receiving yards, 23 TD); WR/DB Tyler Challingsworth (749 rec. yards, 6 TD); TE/LB Eric Myers; FB/LB Trevor Fiorentini; OL/DL Nick Faraci
Quotable: "We're not used to winning more than one game in the playoffs. We called it the South Fayette Curse," Challingsworth said. "Once we got past the first round, that was over."
Bits and pieces: South Fayette has not appeared in a WPIAL championship game since 1967. That year the Lions lost to Crafton, 7-6. … South Fayette's last WPIAL title came in 1964, when the team did not have to play a game to be declared champion by Gardner Points. … The Lions only other title came in 1936. … South Fayette has posted two consecutive undefeated regular seasons. The Lions are 22-1 the past two seasons with the lone loss against Aliquippa. … South Fayette is plus-18 in turnover margin and has scored five defensive touchdowns.


Nickname: Quips
Colors: Red and black
Record: 12-0
Rankings: No. 1 WPIAL Class AA by Observer-Reporter, No. 1 Class AA by Pennsylvania Football News, No. 2 Class AA by Rod Frisco, No. 2 Class AA by The Patriot-News
Conference: Midwestern
How they got here: Midwestern Conference champs, No. 1 seed WPIAL playoffs
1st round – W, Shady Side Academy 41-0
Quarters – W, Beaver 34-0
Semis – W, Ford City 26-7
Almost zero tolerance: The Quips defense has allowed just seven postseason points and that performance is indicative of how dominant that side of the football has been throughout the season. Aliquippa has allowed just 93 points and an average of 7.8 points per game.
Only four teams have scored 10-plus points on the Quips and no team has topped 14. Aliquippa's secondary, which faces a South Fayette offense with five capable receivers, has allowed less than 900 yards passing on the season.
"They're tremendous skill-wise and, up front, they are good," Rossi said.
Last year: Aliquippa beat South Fayette in last year's quarterfinals. The Lions led by 14 points in the fourth quarter before the Quips scored 32 points inside the final nine minutes.
"That was our first time in that situation," Brumbaugh said. "We had been in the playoffs but we hadn't done anything special. We weren't used to being there and it showed in the fourth quarter."
Key players: QB Mikal Hall (1,404 yards, 19 TD); WR/DB Haetaun Mathis (591 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT); RB Dravon Henry (789 yards, 12 TD); OL/DL Zach Hooks
About the Quips: "They're a group that's never going to quit," Rossi said. "We were up on them by two TDs last year with chances to expand that lead to 21 and we had two drives fizzle out. We made mistakes and created opportunities for them. They took advantage."
Bits and pieces: Aliquippa lost to Greensburg Central Catholic in last year's WPIAL championship game. … The Quips have won a record 13 WPIAL titles, six in Class AA. … Both teams played Ellwood City and Beaver Falls. Aliquippa plays each during the regular season as part of the Midwestern Conference schedule. The Quips beat Beaver Falls, 27-14, in Week 2 and the Wolverines, 29-7 in Week 6. … Hooks, who has drawn Division I interest including an offer from Pitt, transferred from Charleroi to Aliquippa last year.

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