Unbeaten Aliquippa cruise into final with 56-0 win against Jeannette
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There wasn't a drop of rain in the forecast in Western Pennsylvania for Friday night.
But Jeannette (11-1) put the ball on the ground. A lot.
"We played a heck of a game, defensively," Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said. "We obviously didn't expect Jeannette, as good as they've been, to turn the ball over and not produce like that. But our guys played a great game."
Capitalizing on several turnovers by Jeannette throughout the game, Aliquippa (12-0) clinched a spot in the WPIAL Class AA championship game with a 56-0 rout of the Jayhawks at Peters Township.
In the wake of a scoreless first quarter, Aliquippa got on the board after Jeannette lost fumbles on two consecutive possessions.
By halftime, it was 36-0.
On offense, Jeannette was only able to muster one first down, and that didn't come until the third quarter.
"As a team, each and every one of us was extremely focused before this game," Aliquippa's junior quarterback Malik Shegog said. "We stuck to our guns and now we're going to have a shot at another title."
Jeannette's turnover woes continued in the second half when the Jayhawks lost three more lost fumbles to the Quips.
The Jayhawks were outgained, 454-15, and 435 of those Aliquippa yards came on the ground.
Jeannette senior quarterback Seth Miller could never get the offense going, finishing with two completions in five passing attempts for 10 yards and an interception.
Though effective running the ball, Shegog didn't do much better than his counterpart in the passing game, finishing with 19 yards and completing 2 of 6 attempts.
"We knew it all along. We were going to play power football," Shegog said.
"Our defense came out and played the game we needed it to and we came out and capitalized with the running game. It's that simple."
Shegog scored on runs of 14 and 30 yards.
Running back Dravon Henry also played a big role with 117 yards on 17 carries. He scored on a 35-yard run in the second quarter. Fullback Davon Walker added touchdowns on runs of 10 and 5 yards.
Aliquippa will face Washington in the championship game at 5 p.m. Friday at Heinz Field. Both teams will come into the game with 12-0 records.
First Published November 17, 2012 12:00 am