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2nd Half Explosion Sends Aliquippa over Central Valley, 35-24



FREEDOM Pa. — A 21-point surge in the third quarter led Aliquippa to a 35-24 victory over Central Valley on Friday Night at Freedom Bulldog Stadium. The Battle of Beaver didn’t disappoint, as it was a back-and-forth contest in the first half, but the Quips just took over in the second and imposed their will on the Warriors.

Central Valley suffered its first loss of the season (9-1), while Aliquippa remains unbeaten (9-0). Aliquippa also put an end to Central Valley’s 36-game winning streak that dates back to the 2020 season. Aliquippa has won 21 consecutive games, which includes the WPIAL and PIAAA Championships last season. The Quips clinched the WPIAL AAAA Parkway Conference Title with the win and will be a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Aliquippa answered first with a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Tiqwai Hayes. The Quips converted twice on fourth down on the possession, a 6-yard run by Hayes on fourth-and-3 from Central Valley’s 46-yard line, and the other was an Isaiah Martinez 1-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the 4-yard line. Hayes plunged into the end zone on the next play to give Aliquippa a 6-0 lead. Hayes got stuffed on the two-point conversion. Central Valley was called for a penalty when the Quips tried to kick the extra point, so they went for two.

Central Valley got down to the Quips’ 31-yard line on the ensuing possession, but Antwon Johnson’s pass was off- target on fourth-and-14 and the drive came to a halt.

After a quick three-and-out, Johnson completed to tight end Matt Gerovac in the flat for a 34-yard catch-and-run to set the Warriors up at Aliquippa’s 30-yard line. On third-and-14 from the 36-yard line, the Warriors got an automatic first down after an incompletion due to a late hit penalty called on Aliquippa. A few plays later, Johnson rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give Central Valley a 7-6 advantage.

Quips quarterback Quentin Goode responded with a 92-yard touchdown pass to Division 1 recruit Donovan Walker to put Aliquippa up 14-7 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Goode connected to Walker on a screen for the two-point conversion. On the touchdown pass, Walker caught a quick slant and put on the burners for the score.

Bret FitzSimmons ripped off a 46-yard run down the right sideline to set Central Valley up at the 1-yard line. FitzSimmons capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14.

After trading possessions, Johnson completed a back-shoulder throw to Jayvin Thompson to set Central Valley at Aliquippa’s 10-yard line. A few plays later, Johnson found FitzSimmons in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Warriors a 21-14 lead with 1:49 remaining in the second half.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Quips made their first big mistake of the game, as Brandon Banks fumbled and Central Valley came up with the loose ball at Aliquippa’s 7-yard line. The Quips made a defensive stand on the goal-line and nearly forced a turnover on downs, but Central Valley was called for an illegal procedure and settled for a field goal. Serafino DeSantis nailed a 23-yard field goal to improve Central Valley’s lead to 24-14 at halftime.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Hayes exploded for a 71-yard run, which set up a 3-yard touchdown run by John Tracy. Martinez took it into the end zone on the two-point conversion to make it a 24-22 game.

Central Valley managed to get down to the Quips’ 10-yard line, but the drive stalled and the Warriors decided to go for it on fourth-and-1. Aliquippa created penetration and Gerovac got stuffed, forcing a turnover on downs. On fourth-and-3 from the 25-yard line, Goode found Walker wide-open in the end zone for a touchdown to give Aliquippa a 28-24 lead with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter. The Quips failed on the two-point attempt.

Walker then made a huge play on the defensive side of the ball, as he picked off Johnson’s ill-advised pass and returned it to Central Valley’s 20-yard line. On the next play, Hayes rushed for a 20-yard touchdown to enhance Aliquippa’s lead to 35-24.

On third-and-9 from Central Valley’s own 48-yard line, James Morgan dropped a pass that surely would have went for a first down. Johnson got sacked on the following play and Aliquippa took over from the 44-yard line.

With time winding down and trailing by 11 points, Central Valley needed a big play, but Aliquippa defensive tackle Naquan Crowder had other ideas. Crowder picked off Johnson’s pass and returned it to inside Central Valley’s 20-yard line. After giving up 24 points in the first half, the Quips pitched a shutout in the second.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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