PIAA Class 3A semifinals capsule: Aliquippa vs. Sharon
Aliquippa (12-1) vs. Sharon (10-3)
1 p.m. Saturday at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium, Slippery Rock University
Winner plays: Middletown (13-1) or Scranton Prep (14-1)
Coaches: Mike Warfield, Aliquippa; Jim Wildman, Sharon
Passing: A: Eli Kosanovich 137-217-2798 yards, 35 TDs, 3 INTs; S: Lane Voytik 211-334-2,624 yards, 27 TDs, 13 INTs
Rushing: A: Avante McKenzie 177-1444 yards, 31 TDs; S: Jordan Wilson 274-1893 yards, 26 TDs
Receiving: A: William Gipson 53-1494 yards, 18 TDs; S: CJ Parchman 69, 1,020 yards, 10 TDs
How they got here: Aliquippa defeated Derry, 42-19, in the WPIAL championship. Sharon earned a 28-7 win over Bald Eagle Area in the PIAA quarterfinals and defeated Grove City, 23-6, in the District 10 championship.
Extra points: Following a bye week after adding to its WPIAL record with a 17th championship, Aliquippa looks to reach the state championship for a seventh time. The Quips won state titles in 1991 and 2003 and last reached the state final in 2015. Gipson, who committed to Pitt on Thursday, leads the WPIAL in receiving yards. M.J Devonshire has 456 receiving yards and is a standout defensive back with scholarship offers from 10 schools, including Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan State and West Virginia. Predominantly a run-first team for many years, Aliquippa has used the passing game more this year with Kosanovich. McKenzie has an offer from Notre Dame (Ohio). Aliquippa had six shutouts in the regular season. Aside from a 14-8 loss to Central Valley, it has scored 39 or more points in every game and eclipsed 50 points six times. … Sharon is looking for its first trip to the state championship since it lost back-to- back years to Berwick in 1994-95. The Tigers lost 43-23 to Quaker Valley in the state semis last season. Voytik, a junior, leads District 10 in passing yards and touchdowns. He scored on a 12-yard run with less than eight minutes remaining to propel Sharon to a 29-28 win over Mercyhurst Prep in the District 10 semifinals. Wilson, a senior, ranks second in District 10 in rushing yards. Wildman eclipsed 250 wins for his career this season and is the winningest coach in Mercer County history. The Tigers lost to Grove City, 42-9, in the regular season, but beat the Eagles in the District 10 final. They also lost to Sharpsville and Class 2A state semifinalist Wilmington.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.