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PITTSBURGH — Aliquippa quarterback Vaughn Morris played a significant role in Aliquippa making it to Heinz Field for the Quips 12th consecutive WPIAL championship game this season.
On Friday night, with less than 24 hours until the Quips title game, a tragedy occurred in their football family and the Morris family. Morris’ mother passed away after a battle that she had been dealing with all year long.
“Last night, I was home and got a text from Vaughn that said, ‘Coach Mike, please call, it’s an emergency,’” Aliquippa head coach Mike Warfield said as he choked up when talking about his quarterback following Aliquippa’s 13-12 championship game loss Central Valley on Saturday. “So I called him, and he said he thinks his mom had passed, and he was on his way to the hospital.”
Morris has had ups and downs this season, numbers-wise, but Warfield made it clear that Morris was pushing through a lot of adversity since the beginning of the season.
“A lot of people talked about our quarterback situation this season, but no one knew that (Morris) was struggling all year (with his mother’s health condition). This is a 17-year-old kid, and his mother is all he’s got.”
Vaughn didn’t want to let his team or his mother down and fought through his emotions and played the game on Saturday against the Warriors. His teammates and coaches had some of the same emotions flowing through their bodies throughout the game.
“I take my hat off to these kids for what they have gone through in the last 24 hours,” Warfield said.
The Quips came up short on the final play in overtime, but they were even more heavy-hearted about dealing with Morris and his family in a remarkably challenging time.