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WPIAL

Aliquippa’s Strong First Half Overwhelms New Castle, 63-6

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ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — Enough rain was dumped across Western Pennsylvania on Friday to fill The Pit at Aliquippa, but New Castle’s Hurricane wasn’t enough to wash away Aliquippa Friday night.

In fact, it was almost as if Aliquippa didn’t feel a breeze at all.

With a first quarter explosion fueled by four touchdowns, Aliquippa rode to a 63-6 win over New Castle at Carl A. Aschman Stadium Friday night to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Class-4A Parkway Conference.

Two rushing touchdowns, a touchdown scamper off a screen pass and a punt return to punctuate a dominant display capped a lopsided 12 minutes of play. And the Quips were able to sail through the clear waters of the Hurricane.

Freshman Cameron Lindsey struck first — and second — for Aliquippa, on a 60-yard touchdown rumble on the Quips’ first offensive snap and a 19-yard score on cap the second drive. The two scores finished off two ultra efficient and ultra quick scoring drives started with the running game.

After two quick drives to begin the game for New Castle, senior quarterback Christopher Hood attempted to get play roll with a pass down the sideline, but junior Donovan Walker picked the pass off to set up the Quips’ offense again.

Aliquippa sophomore quarterback Quentin Goode just missed senior Tajier Thornton on a deep shot to begin the drive, but a couple of plays later, the duo connected on a deep shot to set up an eventual 47-yard catch and run touchdown from senior Cyair Clark. At 21-0, the Quips weren’t done.

Another quick New Castle drive ended in a punt from deep within the heart of their territory, and sophomore Brandon Banks fielded the punt on his own 45-yard line, darted upfield — losing his shoe in the process — and raced into the end zone a 55-yard punt return touchdown to end the first quarter.

Junior Nathan Lindsey grabbed the second interception for Aliquippa, setting up the Quips near midfield early in the second quarter. More tough running from the Quips resulted in a 19-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore John Tracy to make it 35-0.

New Castle couldn’t escape the downpour, fumbling the ensuing kickoff to, once again, set up the Quips in scoring territory. It didn’t take long, Goode throwing a nice ball across his body to a wide open Clark in the back of the end zone for a 27-yard scoring strike.

And on New Castle’s first extended drive of the half, set up on a 4th-and-3 from their own 40-yard line, Banks undercut Hood’s pass and raced 50 yards back to the end zone to widen Aliquippa’s lead to 49 points.

Through a quarter and a little less than a half, Aliquippa scored 49 points through offensive, defensive and special teams touchdowns.

New Castle did, however, get on the board late in the second quarter, set up a nice, hard run from Hood down to the Quips’ six-yard line. On a 3rd-and-goal play, Hood lofted a ball up for senior Mike Wells, who pulled it in for a score.

A missed extra point, which fit the theme of the night, made it a 49-6 halftime lead for the Quips.

The second half proved to be more of the same, senior Jamar Jeter taking a screen pass from near midfield down inside the red zone, and junior Quaylon Darby carrying a pile of defenders into the end zone from six yards out. At 56-6, New Castle’s defense was just being worn down.

Continued defensive dominance led to another Quips’ touchdown to end the third quarter. Tracy set up the Quips at the NC three-yard line with a 37-yard dash, and senior Floyd Sims capped the drive with a touchdown on the ground.

At 63-6, the Quips put together a thoroughly dominant effort across all three levels. A potent offense, stifling defense and opportunistic special teams unit led the way forward.

With the regular season-ending victory, Aliquippa improves to 8-1 (5-0 in the 4-A Parkway) while New Castle falls to a 6-5 (3-3 in the 4-A Parkway).

Aliquippa is the No. 1 seed in the division while New Castle is the No. 3 seed. Both have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs, with opponents, locations and times still be decided.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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