Moon TWP, PA — Steel Valley defeated South Side 48-6 Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium at Robert Morris to win the WPIAL Class 2A Championship.
The win is the second in three years for the Ironmen (2016 and 2018) and their fifth WPIAL Championship. The Ironmen have played in three consecutive WPIAL Championships.
The Ironmen held this year’s WPIAL Cinderella team to just 201 yards, including 75 rushing yards.
South Side’s drive chart in the first half read punt, punt, turnover on downs, punt, turnover on downs, interception.
While the Steel Valley offense has received most of the credit this season, it’s the defense that got the job done in the championship game.
The Ironmen entered the game giving up just under 12 points per game and gave up seven points or less in seven games.
The numbers are skewed after giving up 56 points to Shady Side earlier this year, but make no mistake, the Ironmen defense is for real.
Steel Valley forced two turnovers – two interceptions by Ronnell Lawrence – to go along with five turnovers in last week’s win over Freedom.
The Ironmen opened the scoring on their first offensive drive when senior Kam Williams scored on a 65-yard run. The drive took just two plays and 43 seconds and Steel Valley did not look back.
Senior Todd Hill scored from one-yard out late in the first to up the lead to 14-0 and Williams scored late in the second quarter as deficit was 21-0 at the half.
On the prior drive, Steel Valley stopped South Side on a fourth-and-two close to the midfield line, six plays later, the Ironmen converted on their fourth-and-two attempt from the two-yard line.
After winning the WPIAL and PIAA Championships in 2016, the Ironmen were defeated by Washington at Robert Morris last season in the finals, and have been on somewhat of a redemption tour this season.
The Ironmen defeated Washington earlier in the playoffs 39-7.
Injuries took its toll on Steel Valley last season, and while that’s not an excuse, it’s worth noting Steel Valley dressed only 17 players for Saturday’s championship game.
Steel Valley took the second half kickoff 60 yards in eight plays, all on the ground, making the score 28-0 and the rest of the second half was merely arbitrary.
South Side found the end zone in the second half when Trenton Seik found Jake McDougal on a eight-yard fade pass on first-and-goal.
The Rams found more success through the air than on the ground, and Seik was able to find McDougal several times for big pass plays.
Kam Williams found the end zone for a third time early in the fourth quarter with a four-yard run. The Ironmen scored on drives of 60, 80, 70 and 38 yards in the second half.
Williams finished with 196 rushing and 104 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Hill rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns. The Howard commit also finished with 10 tackles.