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Football: Central Valley edges West Allegheny for WPIAL Class AAA title

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Craig Meyer covered Friday's WPIAL Class AAA championship game between Central Valley and West Allegheny.

2014 1122 CentralValley Football(Photo: Central Valley teammates celebrate their win over West Allegheny in the WPIAL class AAA championship Friday at Heinz Field. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"It was a screen that looked innocent enough to an opposing defense, a quick out pass that went maybe 2 yards past the line of scrimmage. But when the player that catches the ball in that situation is running back Jordan Whitehead, everything changes.

The Central Valley senior sprinted by two West Allegheny defenders on the outside and went 20 yards before being greeted by three tacklers, all of whom were within 5 yards of him. Whitehead managed to avoid all three and spun toward the sideline to create a clear path to the end zone. It was the kind of play that defied convention, a fluid sequence of extraordinary events that looked remarkably natural.

For all those words couldn't do justice what took place on that play Friday night at Heinz Field, they could certainly describe the end result it led to — a championship.

A 55-yard touchdown catch from Whitehead late in the third quarter reignited a Central Valley team that had been derailed and set the stage for a 23-yard, winning touchdown catch from B.J. Powell with 19 seconds remaining in a 35-28 victory against West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA championship."

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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.

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Hockey: Indians looking to get to .500

Written by Keith Barnes on .

West Allegheny has rebounded from a bit of a tough start and has an opportunity, with a win Friday at 8:15 p.m. at Center Ice Arena in Delmont against Norwin to reach the .500 mark for the first time since Oct. 22.

So far, the Indians (3-4-0) have stayed in the middle of the pack in the Class AA Western Conference thanks in large part to a solid defense that has held opponents to just 29 goals against in seven games, a solid 4.14 goals-against average seventh-fewest in the classification.

Offensively, however, the Indians are still struggling, having netted just 18 goals (2.6 per game), led by Ryan Rohal with four. Ryan Rohm is the team’s leading scorer with eight assists and 10 points.

Only one other player, defenseman Bailey Foy, has scored at least three goals.

Goaltender Anthony Dominick has been fair in the net with a 3-3-0 record in six starts.

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Hockey: Spartans hanging tough with perennial powers

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Montour may be playing in one of the toughest divisions in the PIHL, but that doesn’t mean the Spartans have been an easy win for any team out there.

So far, Montour is 4-3-0 despite playing in the Tier 1 Western Conference with defending champion Quaker Valley, perennial contender Mars and 20014 Penguins Cup finalist Thomas Jefferson. Despite the competition, the Spartans are only two points behind the Jaguars for third place in the conference.

Despite that, Montour will get a severe test tonight at 6:40 p.m. at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon when it takes on South Park (5-2-0), the first place team in the Tier 2 Western Conference. The Spartans are coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 7-3 victory over South Fayette 10 days ago in which Michael Skoff had a hat trick and Brandon Eisel scored two goals and finished with three points.

Skoff leads the team with six goals, while Matthew Tracy has eight assists and 10 points to lead the Spartans in scoring.

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Craig Meyer's West High School Football Notebook (Nov. 20, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's this week's edition of Craig Meyer's West High School Football Notebook.

"The ultimate and oftentimes elusive dream of any high school football team – a state championship – remains within reach for eight squads that will all make the trek to Heinz Field Friday for the WPIAL championships.

For a vast majority of the WPIAL's 124 teams, though, the season and the charged Friday night environments that come with it are over for this season.

The end of any season brings about a time to reflect on what transpired over a frenetic three months packed with hundreds and hundreds of games."

 

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Football: Aliquippa runs its way to Heinz

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Aliquippa football team.

"Aliquippa football practices feature a lot of running for conditioning; its game features a lot of running.

Last Friday night in a WPIAL Class AA semifinal against Washington, the Quips leaned on their conditioning and their running game in the fourth quarter.

They also leaned heavily on 6-foot, 205-pound junior running back Kaezon Pugh.

Pugh ran hard all night in frigid conditions at West Allegheny's Joe P. DeMichela Stadium. He rushed for 1,217 yards prior to Friday night's game, that was second on the team behind fellow junior running back DiMantae Bronaugh (1,223 yards). But Bronaugh lost two fumbles in the first quarter, the second of which at the 4-yard line led to a Washington touchdown drive."

 

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Football: West Allegheny ready for title-game rematch

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the West Allegheny football team.

2014 1120 WestAllegheny Football(Photo: West Allegheny's Armand Dellovade brings down Thomas Jefferson's Austin Kemp for a loss of yardage in the first quarter of last Friday's WPIAL Class AAA semifinal at Bethel Park. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"It wouldn't seem right to picture the WPIAL Class AAA title game without West Allegheny.

Luckily, no one has to do that.

The Indians will be making their third consecutive trip to Heinz Field after their 41-7 beat-down of Thomas Jefferson in the semifinals last Friday.

"We shocked ourselves," WA coach Bob Palko said. "We have nothing but respect for those guys and what they do. I don't have an answer for it to be honest. I am just glad we get to move on."

 

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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.""

 

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Hockey: Moon enjoys turnaround ice

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Moon hockey team.

2014 1120 Moon Hockey(Photo: Moon Area's Luke James, left, tries to beat West Allegheny's Hunter Ross to the puck. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"To say the Moon hockey team has undergone an epic renaissance would be an understatement.

Six games into the campaign, the Tigers had already tied their five-win total from the 2013-14 regular season, one in which they ended the year on a 0-6-1 skid and missed the PIHL Class AA playoffs.

"I think the biggest difference is, last year, we didn't want it as bad," sophomore forward Brayden Lange said. "We definitely have a lot more heart in the room this year."

One of the major reasons for Moon's resurgence is the commitment the team put on playing tightly in the defensive end. Heading into Tuesday's game at Fox Chapel, the Tigers had surrendered only 12 goals; a team goals-against average of 2.00."

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Girls Soccer: Montour savors great season

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Montour girls soccer team.

"While they were busy putting together a historic run this season, the Montour High School girls soccer team never had a chance to sit back and realize what they were actually accomplishing.

They were too busy capturing the program's first ever section title, winning 19 consecutive games, including the program's inaugural WPIAL and PIAA playoff victories. Highlighting it all the Spartans brought home the program's first WPIAL girls soccer championship.

Now a few days removed from the season that ended in the PIAA Class AA semifinals last week after a 2-0 loss to District 10 champion Villa Maria, the team can look back and bask in their 22-win campaign that was as much of a breakthrough for the program, as a surprise to other programs."

 

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Alumni Update - Jared Buck (Slippery Rock)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Jared Buck compiled 315 yards of total offense against the PSAC's top rated defense, leading Slippery Rock to a 28-26 winBuck SRU over Bloomsburg in the PSAC Championship Game.  


Named MVP of the contest, Buck completed 17 of 26 passes for 256 yards and two scores, and added 59 yards and another touchdown on the ground before a third-quarter injury forced him to leave the game.  


The win marked Slippery Rock's first PSAC title since 2000 and its first Championship Game victory since the 1974 season.


The West Allegheny graduate earned PSAC West Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Slippery Rock University)

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Alumni Update - Greg Kumer (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. –After going 3-1 over four matches this past week, Waynesburg University junior wrestler Greg Kumer was honored by the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) as its Wrestler of the Week. Kumer not only bumped his season record up to 7-2 overall, but he directly determined the outcome of three of this past week's contests.

 

With Waynesburg leading 18-13 over West Liberty on Wednesday, Kumer wrestled a smart bout and gave up just a three-point decision to preserve his team's 18-16 victory.


The defending PAC champion not only went 3-0 during Sunday's quad-match at York, but he clinched victories against The College of New Jersey and York. With the Jackets trailing 16-15 going into the heavyweight bout against TCNJ, Kumer scored an 8-0 major decision to pull out the 19-16 triumph.


The Jacket heavyweight from Fort Cherry High School added a 4-3 decision against York that concluded a 19-13 Waynesburg win. He finished his week with an 11-2 major decision victory against Shippensburg.

 

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Alumni Update - Scott Lewis (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Scott Lewis made perhaps the biggest kick of his collegiate career to seal Waynesburg's 31-28 overtime win over W&JLewis Waynesburg Saturday. He knocked down a 34-yard field goal during the Yellow Jackets' first possession in extra time to end the Jackets' 10-game losing streak to the Presidents.


The junior also connected on four crucial extra points to rack up seven points in the win.


The Ellwood City graduate earned PAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Erin Smith (Geneva)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Beaver Falls, PA– Geneva volleyball heads to the ECAC South Region Finals today at 4 p.m. after defeating McDaniel atSmith Geneva Carnegie Mellon University this morning with a final score of 3-1 (19-25, 28-26, 25-10, 25-22)


Erin Smith, an Ambridge graduate,  tallied 11 kills and protected Geneva’s net with four blocks.

 

(photo courtesy of Geneva College)

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Alumni Update – Rachel Netherland (Geneva)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

 

Beaver Falls, PA– Geneva volleyball heads to the ECAC South Region Finals today at 4 p.m. after defeating McDaniel atNetherland Geneva Carnegie Mellon University this morning with a final score of 3-1 (19-25, 28-26, 25-10, 25-22).


Rachel Netherland, a Central Valley graduate, set for 33 assists in the four set match win.

 

(photo courtesy of Geneva College)

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Alumni Update - Jaclyn Watkins (Thiel)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Thiel College women's basketball was defeated Sunday 62-49 by the HamiltonWatkins Thiel College Continentals in the consolation game of the Betty Abgott Invitational, which was held at Buffalo State University.

 

Jaclyn Watkins paced the Tomcats Sunday with 14 points while also securing six rebounds.


Watkins, an Aliquippa graduate, was named to the Betty Abgott All-Tournament Team after she scored 33 points and recorded 14 rebounds during the 2-day event.

 

(photo courtesy of Thiel College)