Steel Valley’s Kam Williams named Trib HSSN Football Player of the Week
Two years ago, Steel Valley dominated and showed no mercy on its way to a 15-0 record and a WPIAL and PIAA championship.
While this season has not been perfect for the Ironmen, it turned out to be a dominant golden run through the district postseason.
Steel Valley capped off a four-game district postseason run in which they outscored opponents 176-13 with a 48-6 victory over South Side Beaver.
Kam Williams led the way on the ground for the Ironmen with 196 yards on 23 carries.
Williams ran for three touchdowns including a first quarter 65-yard scoring run.
“It’s all teamwork,” Williams said after the game when asked what was working for him. “We all work together to make everything happen. I mean, I had a pretty good game but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be able to do anything without those guys.”
The Ironmen have been playing with only 17 healthy players in recent weeks, a number that would leave Class A teams concerned, yet alone a 2A team playing for a WPIAL title.
But when Williams and Todd Hill are two of those 17, you have a pretty good chance. Hill rushed for 118 yards and three scores.
“So unselfish, so unselfish,” Steel Valley coach Rod Steele said after the championship victory. “It’s not about who’s getting the ball or who’s getting the catches or anything like that. It’s about guys playing multiple positions in case something does happen.”
Speaking of catches, Williams had four receptions for 104 yards to lead in that category as well.
“After last year, a lot of people put the doubt on us and said we wouldn’t be able to do it,” a proud Williams said. “We knew if we stuck together no matter how many people we had on our team, if we worked hard, it would be easy because we know there aren’t a lot of teams that have athletes like we do.”
Steel Valley begins its search for a second state crown in three years with a semifinals game against District 10 champion Wilmington on Friday at Ambridge.
WPIAL Week Thirteen Honorable Mentions:
Luke Meckler — Pine-Richland
Pine-Richland ran away with a victory in the first step toward defending its Class 6A state championship. The Rams had three players break the century mark on the ground as they rushed for a total of 462 yards on 37 carries. Leading the way was Luke Meckler, who gouged State College for 207 yards rushing and touchdown runs of 1 and 55 yards along with a 27-yard scoring pass from Cole Spencer as Pine-Richland cruised to a 56-33 triumph over the Little Lions. The Rams face District 12 champion St. Joe’s Prep on Saturday in Altoona in a rematch of the 2017 PIAA Class 6A title game.
Dante Cephas — Penn Hills
He didn’t rush or throw for a single yard and had only three catches. But Dante Cephas’ contributions to Penn Hills’ first WPIAL football championship in 23 yards were huge. Two of his catches went for touchdowns (56 yards right before halftime and 65 yards in the fourth quarter) in a 28-18 win over West Allegheny in the Class 5A title game. Cephas finished with 144 receiving yards and also blocked a field goal as the Indians moved on to play PIAA Class 5A defending champion Archbishop Wood on Friday.
RayQuin Glover — South Fayette
It was a long night for WPIAL Class 4A champion South Fayette on Friday in Erie, but one shining star was RayQuin Glover. The Lions receiver had 11 receptions for 122 yards and scored the only touchdown for South Fayette on a 50-yard pass from Jamie Diven that cut the Cathedral Prep lead to 14-7. Cathedral prep won 42-10, giving the Ramblers their seventh straight win over a WPIAL team in the state playoffs.
Bonus Mention — Salute to WPIAL champs
Now that the district playoffs are in the books, we tip our helmet to the six champions:
Pine-Richland, Class 6A
Penn Hills, Class 5A
South Fayette, Class 4A
Aliquippa, Class 3A
Steel Valley, Class 2A
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Class A
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at [email protected] or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.