Football: Central Valley wins WPIAL Class AAA title (Nov. 21)

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

John George threw four touchdown passes and Jordan Whitehead scored three touchdowns to lead Central Valley to a 35-28 win against two-time defending champion West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA final, Friday at Heinz Field.

It was the third title appearance and second title in five years for Central Valley (13-0). West Allegheny (11-2) was making its eighth title appearance and lost for the first time.

Central Valley jumped out to a 21-0 lead with three touchdowns in the first quarter. The first score came on a 15-yard run by Whitehead, which capped a nine-play, 83-yard drive. The other two Warriors scores came on passes by George, a 73-yard bomb to Whitehead and a 52-yard scoring strike to B.J. Powell.


Football: Central Valley was special in semifinal

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Central Valley football team.

"It would be difficult to dispute just how good the Central Valley offense has been this season.

With weapons including 1,300-yard rusher and Pitt recruit Jordan Whitehead, a quarterback in John George who has thrown for nearly 900 yards despite an injury-plagued campaign, and his backup, Chris Callaghan, who came off the bench to throw for nearly 1,250, it's easy to see why the Warriors lead Class AAA with 560 points, a 46.7 points-per-game average.

Even with such a dominant attack, though, Central Valley (12-0) wouldn't be making a trip to Heinz Field Friday at 8 p.m. to take on Parkway Conference rival and two-time defending champion West Allegheny (11-1) in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game if it weren't for outstanding efforts on the team's defense and special teams.

"This time of year, you're going to have to play good defense, but the bottom line is that it does get overlooked because we score a lot of points at times," Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. "But you need defense because, when you play this late in the season, you're playing against some special athletes and pretty good teams and you've got to have defensive stops.""



Hockey: Palumbo, Drake, DHondt leading Warriors

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Considering the success Central Valley has had in other sports, it might only be a short time before the Warriors make the jump from the developmental leagues into the PIHL main segment.

Until that time, however, Central Valley will continue to work at making itself a contender against some of the other up-and-coming programs.

So far this season, the Warriors are 2-1-2 and tied with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart for second place in the lowest developmental division, Class C, four points behind undefeated Carrick in the Northern Conference.


Football: Central Valley's Whitehead picking up a bigger load

Written by staff reports on .

Central Valley senior Jordan Whitehead wasn't called upon to carry the Warriors' offense during the regular season. Central Valley spread the ball around and it worked well as the Warriors scored 35 points or more in every game except the showdown with West Allegheny and averaged almost 48 points per game. In the regular season, Whitehead carried the ball just 66 times in nine games, gaining 850 yards.

In the postseason, though, the Pitt recruit has carried the ball 21 times and gained 411 yards as Central Valley has scored 13 touchdowns in two games – winning 48-26 and 41-14. In addition to averaging almost 20 yards per carry (19.6), Whitehead has caught two passes for 60 yards and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. He has scored seven postseason touchdowns.

It's not the first time that Central Valley has had a big-time player make big-time plays in the postseason in its short history. Robert Foster, now at Alabama, did so just a couple years ago.


Football: Central Valley goes deep at quarterback to go 9-0

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles Central Valley quarterbacks John George and Chris Callaghan.

2014 1030 CentralValley Football(Photo: Central Valley quarterback John George was a "relief pitcher" during the previous two seasons, but he's been a starter this year. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Most high school football coaches might panic after hearing their starting quarterback wouldn't be able to return to the field following an injury.

Mark Lyons has been lucky enough to shrug off such news.

For the third consecutive season, the Central Valley coach had to replace his starting quarterback and turn to the team's backup because of an injury.

"I don't know if it's become a tradition here or something that was started and no one informed me about," Lyons joked. "It's always nice to have two quarterbacks in the mix. We've been fortunate to have guys come through our system who recognize that the backup [role] is just as important as a starter.""