PITTSBURGH — Aliquippa has a team that is known for sucking the life out of their opponent. Behind a dominant offensive line, and diverse run game, the Quips slowly wear teams down with long drives that grind games away. The Quips stuck to their game plan as they dominated Central Valley 34-7 to win back-to-back WPIAL 4A Championships.
The Quips kicked off to start the game and got a three-and-out. Then, they did what Aliquippa does. A 16-play, 86-yard drive took more than eight minutes off of the clock. Tikey Hayes had seven rushes on the opening drive, including two conversions on third down and fourth down as well as a one-yard TD score.
Central Valley tried to respond, but a fourth down rush was blown up by defensive back Brandon Banks before Jason McBride cleaned things up for a loss.
The Quips third drive of the game was the final drive of the half. They took 14 plays this time, but the result was the same. As the clock struck zero in the first half, Tikey Hayes dove into the end zone for another one-yard score that put Aliquippa up 14-0 at halftime.
What stung the most about the buzzer beater was that Aliquippa got the football to start the half. Do you have to guess what Aliquippa did with the football? They drove. The Quips hit a breaking point when a holding call and block in the back penalty were rules on back-to-back snaps. However, on third and long Quintin Goode threw a bomb that hit off of the defender’s hands, and bounce to Dorius Moreland, who made an acrobatic catch. That was one of three third-down conversions on that drive.
After that conversion, scoring was inevitable as Tikey Hayes ran three times and found the end zone for the third time. They extended the lead to 21-0 with three scoring drives of at least 14 plays. Meanwhile, Central Valley did not run their 14th play until five minutes to go in the third quarter.
By that point, Central Valley was in an uncomfortable spot down three scores, and hardly getting into any rhythm on offense. On the very next drive, CV went four-and-out. Then, a fourth-down turnover came deep in Quips territory when Nate Lindsay-Gill broke up a pass.
Lastly, a Central Valley drive resulted in three straight Aliquippa sacks and another fourth-down turnover. That fourth-down stop came in Quips territory, and they rode Jon Tracy to take a 27-0 lead late in the fourth quarter. Aliquippa recovered an onside game and really put the game away with a 34-yard touchdown to a wide-open Jayace Williams. Central Valley scored with just over a minute left to break the shut out.
Aliquippa will go on to play Allentown Central Catholic next week in the PIAA semifinals with the date and time to be determined.