Heinz Field will be showcasing some of the top players in Western Pennsylvania as the WPIAL Championship games will begin at 11:00 a.m., Root Sports Pittsburgh will be televising all of the action.
Clairton's Tyler Boyd
11:00 a.m. Class A Championship
Clairton – (12-0) Black Hills Conference
#23 Tyler Boyd (6-2/175) Senior Running Back/Safety
#6 Titus Howard (6-3/170) Senior Cornerback/Wide Receiver (Pittsburgh)
#5 Terrish Webb (6-1/175) Senior Wide Receiver (Kent State)
#10 Armani Ford (5-10/165) Senior Quarterback
Boyd is one of the best players in the state and the country. He makes things happen in all phases of the game. He is three touchdowns short of Rushel Shell’s career record of (110) touchdowns. Knowing Boyd, he may pass that in the first half. Howard excels on both sides of the ball for the Bears.
Webb is one of the most dangerous receivers in the WPIAL. Ford is the man who makes it all happen. It seems like no matter who is under center on this team they still win. Clairton needs one win to pass the state record for consecutive wins that they currently share with Central Bucks West.
Sto-Rox – (11-1) Big Seven Conference
#7 Brendan Blair (6-0/185) Junior Running Back/Linebacker
#3 Lenny Williams (6-0/185) Junior Quarterback
**Blair had his coming out party in this game last year. He won’t sneak up on anyone this time. Blair will get the lion’s share of the carries and he will be a big key to slowing Clairton down offensively. Williams is one of the most underrated players in the WPIAL. He ran and passed for more than 3,000 yards this season.**
PREDICTION: Clairton 35-6
2:00 p.m. Class AAAA Championship
North Allegheny - (12-0) Northern Eight Conference
#57 OT/DT Patrick Kugler (6-4/280) Senior (Michigan)
#1 WR/CB Brendan Coniker (6-0/180) Senior (Richmond)
#6 WR/CB Elijah Zeise (6-3/196) Junior
#11 QB Mack Leftwich (5-11/190) Senior (Stephen F. Austin)
#25 RB Alex DeCiantis (5-11/200) Senior
#82 WR Gregg Garrity (5-10/145) Senior
Some folks argue that Kugler may be the best lineman in the state. He is a force and he can take over a game. Coniker when healthy is as good as anyone. He has BCS talent and is very good on both sides of the ball. Zeise already holds an offer from Pitt. He started last year as a sophomore and is one of the top juniors in the state.
Yes, Leftwich lacks the ideal size that everyone wants in a quarterback, but he has intangibles that you can’t coach. If I had to pick a quarterback to lead my team he’d be the first pick. He can hurt with his arm or his legs. DeCiantis is a bull who just grinds on opposing defenses. Garritty although undersized is one of the top receivers in the WPIAL.
Woodland Hills – (10-2) Southeastern Conference
#8 WR/DB Tom Green (6-4/190) Senior
#33 RB Miles Sanders (5-11/163) Freshman
#3 DB Trevon Mathis (6-0/165) Junior
#6 S/WR Harry Randall (6-0/185) Junior
#39 FB/MLB Alex Beasley (6-0/230) Senior
#40 RB Niejel Henderson (5-10/175) Sophomore
#53 DT Jawan Turner (6-0/250) Senior
Green may be the best player in the WPIAL with no offers. He looks like he gets better every week. Sanders missed last week’s game, so we’ll see if he is back and healthy this week. He has a chance to be a very special player. Mathis makes a lot of plays in the Wolverines secondary. Randall hasn’t been playing due to injury, but we have to mention him. Beasley is the heart of this team. He opens up the holes on offense and he controls the defense. How he has no offers is beyond me.
Henderson has performed well in spot duty. Turner is a force on the defensive front. He can get after the quarterback.
PREDICTION: NORTH ALLEGHENY 28-12
5:00 p.m. Class AAA Championship
West Allegheny – (11-1) Parkway Conference
#18 QB Andrew Koester (6-4/180) Sophomore
#23 RB Chayse Dillon 5-11/180) Junior
#22 K Evan Pelcher (6-0/200) Senior
#3 RB/WR Tory Delmonico (6-2/195) Junior
Koester is young, but Bob Palko is one of the best quarterback coaches in the country and his young pupil is playing with confidence. Dillon has been one of the best backs in the WPIAL. Delmonico hurts you running the ball or catching the ball. Pelcher gives Palko an extra option that a lot of teams don’t have and that is a kicker.
West Mifflin – (11-1) Big Nine Conference
#26 RB Jimmy Wheeler (5-9/165) Junior
#9 QB Derrick Fulmore (6-0/190) Senior
#75 OL Shawn Devey (6-4/260) Junior
#44 TE Marcus Martin (6-1/175) Junior
Wheeler has established himself as one of the best backs in the WPIAL and maybe the most electric. Fulmore is also dangerous and his athleticism is off the charts. Fulmore usually looks to Martin when he wants to throw the ball.
PREDICTION: WEST MIFFLIN 14-10
8:00 p.m. Class AA Championship
Washington – (12-0) Midwestern Conference
#28 RB Shai McKenzie (5-10/210) Junior
#40 FB/LB Jaylin Kelly (6-2/235) Senior
#77 OT Brenton Jones (6-6/286) Senior
#11 QB Josh Wise (6-3/190) Senior
#73 OL Rikwon Moore (6-2/280) Senior
McKenzie has developed into one of the top junior running backs in the nation and everyone is curious to see if he can put up his normal numbers against the Quips. Kelly leads the way for McKenzie. He is also the defensive leader. Jones is a big man that is an intimidating looking lineman for Class A football. Moore, along with Jones are a big reason for McKenzie’s success. Wise has stepped up when teams are keying on McKenzie.
Aliquippa – (12-0) Interstate Conference
Henry is one of the top juniors in the state and he has been very productive for the Quips. Henry already has several offers from the likes of Ohio State and Pitt. Fields is a force on both sides of the ball. Cobb is a solid blocker and a hardnosed defensive player. Pugh is the future after Henry and Swanson. Pugh and Swanson are good enough to start for about 80-percent of the teams in the WPIAL, but Henry is the go to guy.
PREDICTION: ALIQUIPPA 35-13
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