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PIAA “AAA” Western Final – West York Area Preview

Written by: on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

The Game: PIAA “AAA” Western Final

Date: Friday, Dec. 5th, 2008, from Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona

At stake: Winner will play either Archbishop Wood or Selinsgrove for the “AAA” state championship, Friday, Dec. 12th, at Hersheypark Stadium.

Call them over-achievers.  Call them giant slayers.  There’s one other thing you can call the West York Area Bulldogs – one of the state’s final four “AAA” teams.

Of course, the opponents don’t get any easier, and the Bulldogs’ (13-1) order certainly got taller in drawing Thomas Jefferson (13-1) in the PIAA semifinals, but West York has certainly proven it packs a punch.

The blue and white are making some history – becoming one of just a handful of PIAA affiliates to play in both Eastern and Western championship games.  Bishop McDevitt, Wilson-West Lawn, and Bellwood-Antis have accomplished the feat as well.

West York is also making some history in the fact that it is just the second York County big school (first YAIAA big school) to play in a PIAA semifinal.  Mid Penn rep Red Land played Pottsville in 2006, falling 17-7.

The Bulldogs have also scored a school and county record 610 points, an average of 43.6 points per game.  But from there, the history does not bode in West York’s favor.

District 3’s all-time record in PIAA semifinal games is 11-31 (.261).  No York-Adams league school has ever won a PIAA semifinal. 

In fact, YAIAA reps are 0-6 at this juncture of the season.  The last York-Adams league team to play in a semifinal game was Littlestown in 2004.  The Thunderbolts fell to eventual PIAA champion Lansdale Catholic at Coatesville High School, 25-7.

York-Adams reps have been outscored 138-31 in those six games, and York County schools, 0-3 all-time in state semifinal games, have been outscored 52-10.

West York can change all that Friday night, but they’ll have to do it against a Thomas Jefferson team that is 91-8 since 2002 and last lost to a PA opponent in 2006.

The Bulldogs do have some momentum, though.  They ended the YAIAA winless streak in the District 3 “AAA” title game by defeating 15-time D3 champion Manheim Central last weekend in Hershey.  Despite not having the services of Brandon Real, West York proved it wasn’t one-dimensional.

Corey Harris has run for close to 500 yards this season, including a game-high 91 yards against MC.  He didn’t score a touchdown, but he did make life miserable for Manheim’s defense.

Quarterback Alex George has thrown for over 1,500 yards and run for another 200.  Don’t let the disparity between rushing and passing yards fool you – George can run if he has to.  He had a 40-yard run last weekend, and ran for close to 60 yards in the game.

The biggest West York weapon might be receiver/running back Blaine Fissel.  Fissel hadn’t played running back since 9th grade, yet he ran for 63 yards and caught a back-breaking 64-yard touchdown pass last weekend.  Fissel has run for 60 yards and adds close to 270 receiving yards.

West York also has an 800-yard receiver in Nate Jacobs.  He’s totaled 33 catches for 820 yards and 11 scores this year.

Will West York slay another giant?  Will the curse of Mansion Park wield its ugly head to another District 3 opponent – a stadium that has yielded only three victories for the mid-state?

Find out Friday.

West York Area stats from Maxpreps.com; PIAA semifinal stats from the 2007 PIAA finals media guide.

 

 

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