PIAA semifinals notebookWritten by: Josh Funk on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
The numbers look like a video game. Only it’s not.
WPIAL AA champion Aliquippa (14-0) has been piling up points all season long, and they’re doing so at a pace that might put them on a very, very, very short list. Actually, Aliquippa is already on a very short list.
The Quips have scored 709 points – an average of 50.6 points per game – and the fifth-highest single season team point total in state history. Aliquippa enters its Week 15 meeting with fellow unbeaten Richland just 66 points shy of tying the No. 2 single season scoring output of 775 points, set in 2008 by West Catholic.
Consider that Aliquippa’s previous single season record for points scored came last season (536 points in a 14-1 season). Aliquippa’s only other 500-point scoring team came in 2003 (509 in 15 games).
Aliquippa’s 2012 squad is just the seventh team in the state – all within the last six years – to score 700 points or more in a season. The Quips are the sixth total program (Clairton has two 700-point seasons and more than likely will make it a third Friday night – the Bears are just 24 points shy of 700) and fourth from the WPIAL to score 700+, joining Jeannette, Clairton and Serra Catholic.
It seems like years and years and years in the past, but Serra had a dominant team in 2007 which scored 702 points. Jeannette’s 2007 edition, led by Jordan Hall and Terrelle Pryor, scored 860.
Speaking of Clairton, the Bears would become the first ever PIAA affiliated team with three straight seasons of 700 points scored or more. Entering Friday’s game with Port Allegany, Clairton has rolled up an impressive 676 points. Its school record is 746, set in 2010.
Senior star Tyler Boyd is on the verge of rewriting a pair of his own school single season records, too. Boyd enters the Port Allegany game with 47 total touchdowns scored and 298 total points scored. Boyd established the pair of individual scoring records in 2011 with 48 total touchdowns and 324 total points scored, including conversions.
Port Allegany is making its first PIAA semifinals appearance in program history, and its 28-21 victory over Sharpsville was the school’s first ever playoff victory against a non-D9 opponent. But teams from McKean County, where the Gators hail from, haven’t fared well in PIAA semifinal games.
Since 1990, McKean County teams are just 1-7 overall in PIAA semifinal games, with the lone victory coming in 1992 (a 6-0 Smethport victory over Rochester). In the seven losses, McKean Co. programs Smethport, Kane and Bradford have been outscored a combined 288-84.
Richland is making its first PIAA semifinals appearance in program history, and the Rams did so with a dominating 38-12 victory over District 10 champion Hickory. Richland has won its last two games – against Forest Hills and Hickory, by a combined margin of 65-12.
Cathedral Prep and Bishop McDevitt are meeting in the PIAA semifinals for the second time in three years. McDevitt won the initial meeting between the two teams, 24-21, in 2010 at DuBois High School. The Ramblers haven’t won a PIAA semifinal since 2000, when the team claimed its only PIAA title.
North Allegheny’s Mack Leftwich has thrown 60 touchdown passes in two varsity seasons as the Tigers’ starting quarterback. The WPIAL record for most touchdown passes thrown in two full varsity seasons or fewer is 62, set by Bill Stull from 2003-’04. Leftwich has also thrown for more than 5,000 yards, and could become North Allegheny’s first-ever 3,000-yard passing quarterback in one season.
NA already has one first this season. Senior Gregg Garrity went over the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards, becoming the first 1,000-yard receiver in a season in program history.
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