WPIAL “AA” Championship Preview
Written by: Josh Funk on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
The Game: Aliquippa (7 AA) @ Beaver Falls (7 AA)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 22nd, 2008, from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh
2008 Record: Aliquippa (10-2), Beaver Falls (12-0)
About the WPIAL “AA” championship: This match-up is not only a rematch of a Week 3 FSN-Pittsburgh Thursday night showcase game, but also an all-Beaver County match-up, which is the third such occurrence in the WPIAL “AA” title game since 1984.
In fact, this meeting between the Quips and Tigers is the ninth all-Beaver County WPIAL title game since 1984. The other match-ups occurred in Class “A” finals in 1991, 1998, 1999, and 2000, in the “AA” finals in 1984 and 1991, and in the “AAA” finals in 1985 and 1988.
This game is also a match of two teams with some incredible football traditions. Combined, Aliquippa and Beaver Falls have won 1,169 games, appeared in 26 WPIAL titles games, winning 15.
The two teams’ combined playoff records are an impressive 79-29 (.731).
Aliquippa has made the bulk of the WPIAL title game appearances. According to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this is Aliquippa’s 19th WPIAL finals appearance. The Quips have won 12 titles, which is tops in all of the WPIAL, and only one other WPIAL representative (New Castle) has reached double-digits in number of titles won.
On top of all the WPIAL titles, Aliquippa has played in four PIAA title games, winning state titles in 1991 and 2003, and has produced such players as Sean Gilbert, Ty Law, and Darrelle Revis.
Aliquippa is led by running backs Terry Patrick and Maurice Carter. Patrick has totaled over 800 yards rushing, and Carter is over 1,000 yards for the season. The running game has been effective this year because of an offensive line anchored by Juantez Hollins, a Pitt commit.
Junior quarterback Rasheem Jones leads the offense. He hasn’t thrown much this year, but did have a great semi-final game against Shady Side Academy, throwing for over 200 yards in the game.
The Quips’ offense has topped 30 points or more six times, and averages 31.3 points per game. But the Quip offense has had to score points this year – nine of Aliquippa’s 12 opponents to date have scored double-digits this year. Four have scored 20 points or more.
Aliquippa allows an average of 12.5 points per game.
Beaver Falls, which has won 575 games and three WPIAL titles, could be on the verge of making some history. The Tigers’ last title came in 1984, four years before the advent of the PIAA playoffs. Since 1988, Beaver Falls has twice reached the title game, only to fall to eventual PIAA champions Washington (2001) and Jeannette (2007). The Tigers, despite having the 570+ victories, have never played in a PIAA interdistrict playoff game.
Other Pennsylvania teams with that same distinction include Williamsport, Philadelphia Central, Penn Charter, Norristown, Monessen, Warren, and Beaver Area.
The Tigers are led by a three-headed rushing attack which includes Cody Cook, Todd Thomas, and Admire Carter. Cook has run for over 1,600 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, while Thomas has totaled over 800 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards, and has scored 22 touchdowns.
Beaver Falls’ quarterback, Tony Omogrosso, is a transfer from Blackhawk, and he’s stepped right in and led the offense. Omogrosso has thrown for nearly 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Tigers’ offense averages a hair under 41 points per game, and has scored 30 points or more in 10 of their 12 games this year.
Defensively, Beaver Falls allows an average of 12.5 points per game, has notched three shutouts, and has also allowed four opponents to score 20 or more points.
Aliquippa and Beaver Falls program statistics from the Pennsylvania Football News Resource Guide; individual stats for both teams from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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