Three WPIAL teams moved on to the finals and three suffered heartbreaking losses as the PIAA semifinals wrapped up last night across the state.
In Class 1A, Clairton lost a close game with defending PIAA champion Farrell, 13-10 at North Allegheny High School. The Bears largely dominated the game but Farrell forced five turnovers and did just enough on offense to punch their ticket to Hershey.
Avonworth will be going to the 2A PIAA final for the first time in school history after beating Wilmington 33-21. The Antelopes will play District 4 champion Southern Columbia on Friday for the championship.
Central Valley, the top ranked team in 3A shut out Bald Eagle Area 45-0 to advance to the PIAA finals where they’ll take on District 2’s Wyoming Area.
After slaying their dragon in the previous round, Thomas Jefferson looked like the unstoppable juggernaut they’ve been all season with a 44-2 domination of Lampeter-Strausburg. TJ will look for its first state title since 2004 when they face-off with undefeated Dallas.
Gateway lost a close match with Archbishop Wood, 24-21. The Vikings kicked a field goal with less than 10 seconds to go in the game to seal the victory for the high school power from Philadelphia.
Central Catholic took St. Joseph’s Prep, the top ranked team in the state, down to the wire before succumbing in overtime, 31-24. The nationally ranked Hawks rallied with seconds left in the fourth quarter when Marvin Harrison, Jr. made a leaping touchdown grab on 4th down to send the game to overtime. After St. Joseph’s prep scored to start the OT period, Central Catholic quarterback Dom Pieto was intercepted at the goal line to give the Hawks the victory.
The championship games for Classes 1A and 4A will be Dec. 5th, 2A and 5A will take place on Dec. 6th and 3A and 6A will be on Dec. 7th.
Farrell, Southern Columbia and St. Joseph’s will be looking to repeat as PIAA champions.