ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — Aliquippa faced an upstart Montour team Friday night at Heinz Field and despite some interesting moments, they easily came away with their first conference win, 42-18, in the WPIAL AAAA Parkway Conference.
The Quips (3-0) win is the seventh straight over the Spartans (3-0) the past six seasons, in which the Quips have outscored the Spartans 292-53. It is also the third win at home this season at “The Pit,” which is newly renovated after the Quips had to play at Freedom Area High School last season. It is the 11th straight win at home for the Quips since the 2021 season.
Aliquippa scored on their first drive, thanks to senior quarterback Quentin Goode connecting with senior wide receiver Demarkus Walker for a big gain on fourth down. Junior running back Tiqwai Hayes would rush 13-yards and then one-yard for the opening touchdown. Junior Arison Walker mishandled the snap on the extra point and Aliquippa took a 6-0 lead.
Montour got two pass interference calls on Aliquippa on the next drive to move them down the field. Senior quarterback Jake Wolfe got hit on one of his throws, which senior cornerback/wide receiver Brandon Banks caught and returned all the way to the Montour 33-yard line. Hayes would get in shortly after for his second touchdown and Goode connected with Demarkus Walker for the two-point conversion to put Aliquippa up 14-0.
The Spartans would see a great throw from Wolfe to senior wide receiver Keino Fitzpatrick II for a 33-yard reception to put them in the red zone. Sophomore running back Caden Halajco bounced to the outside and managed to get in the end zone from eight yards out to get the Spartans on the board, but Quips senior linebacker Cameron Lindsey blocked the extra point, keeping it 14-6.
Hayes continued to perform for the Quips and he would score his third touchdown of the first half with a three-yard rush, increasing the lead to 21-6.
Aliquippa held Montour on the next drive and would get back to excelling on offense. After a good pass to Banks, Goode found a wide open junior tight end Mike Gaskins for an easy 45-yard touchdown.
THE QUIPS STRIKE AGAIN, THIS TIME IT’S MIKE GASKINS!
— Brett Gombita 🏴☠️ (@brett_gombita) September 15, 2023
Wolfe completed a pass to Fitzpatrick for 37-yards to the 30-yard line for the Spartans. He looked like he completed a touchdown to Fitzpatrick, but Wolfe’s pass ended up in the hands of Arison Walker.
The Quips did not have much success at all on their next drive and had a fourth and 25 on the goal line, forcing them to punt.
The punt from junior Michael Shegog did not go far and the return went to the 20-yard line, but a personal foul for a late hit put the ball at the Aliquippa nine-yard line. Wolfe would complete a nine yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Kaleb Platz for Montour, but the two-point conversion was no good, cutting the Aliquippa lead to 16 right before halftime.
The Spartans did well to start the third quarter, stopping the Quips as Goode threw a pass deemed intentional grounding by the officials, forcing a fourth down. Halajcio had two nice rushes to get the Spartans into the red zone and then Wolfe connected again with Platz in the end zone for 11-yards. Hayes intercepted the two-point conversion, so the Quips still led 28-18.
Hayes found success on the next drive on the ground, with two 14-yard rushes to get into Montour territory and then into the red zone. Goode completed a great pass to Banks for a first down on third down and 13 and then running back John Tracy would score soon after, with a great turn around for a five-yard score, putting Aliquippa up 34-18 after the missed extra point.
Montour looked like they would score another touchdown on the next drive, as Wolfe found junior wide receiver Andrew Alston for a long pass at the four-yard line. Aliquippa would stand strong on defense, making back-to-back sacks to force a fourth down. Senior Matt Marcinko missed the long field goal and Aliquippa kept their 16-point lead.
The Quips would score on their next drive as Goode threw a pass on fourth down and 20 to the sideline for Demarkus Walker, who caught it and got into the end zone for the 25-yard score, effectively putting the game away.
Aliquippa goes on the road for the first time this season, taking on West Allegheny in a big matchup next Friday, Sept. 22. Montour faces off against conference foe Ambridge at home, looking to get back to winning ways.