Williams, Hill lead Steel Valley past South Side in WPIAL Class 2A championship game
It’s been said those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That being the case, South Side Beaver was hoping its previous experience playing Steel Valley — a 47-point loss in the regular-season finale for both teams — would prepare it for the rematch with the Ironmen in the WPIAL Class 2A championship game.
A history with Steel Valley didn’t stop South Side from being doomed.
Steel Valley scored on its second play from scrimmage, a 65-yard run by Kameron Williams, and never looked back as it rolled to a 48-6 victory over South Side on Saturday at Robert Morris’ Joe Walton Stadium. The WPIAL title was the second in three seasons for Steel Valley, which won the championship in 2016 on its way to a PIAA title and finished as WPIAL runner-up last season.
Steel Valley improved to 12-1 and will meet Wilmington in the PIAA playoffs. South Side finished 10-4.
“We had to show everybody that it’s not hard to beat a team twice,” said Williams, who amassed 300 all-purpose yards. “We knew what this game would be like. They’re a power football team. We’re a power football team. We just had to come out and hit.”
Steel Valley was led by its rushing game as it had two backs surpass 100 rushing yards. Williams led all rushers with 196 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to his long-distance score, Williams added a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter and a 4-yard score in the second half. He also finished with 104 receiving yards.
“Cam is a work load,” Steel Valley coach Rodney Steele said. “Cam was riding it, and we were riding him. I saw it in his step in the pregame. But it doesn’t matter who gets the ball as long as we win.”
Not to be outdone, Williams’ backfield mate Todd Hill added 118 yards rushing and three TDs along with 62 receiving yards. His 42-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter set up Williams’ second TD.
“Todd is a four-year player,” Steele said. “He’s going to go down as one of the greatest of all time.”
“That’s my boy,” Williams said of Hill, who has committed to play at Howard. “We have each others’ backs on the field. We he has the ball, I’ve got his back. When I have the ball, he’s got mine.”
Steel Valley’s defense also stood tall, limiting South Side to 208 total yards, and 78 on the ground. Steel Valley stopped the Rams on fourth down twice in the first half and recorded an interception by Ronnell Lawrence just before halftime after South Side had driven to to the Ironmen 21.
Lawrence added a second interception in the fourth quarter. He then concluded Steel Valley’s scoring when he connected with Shaun Meadows on a 19-yard TD pass to induce the mercy rule. Lawrence finished with 200 yards passing.
“Our defense held it down for us,” Steele said.
“We came out on defense and showed who was dominant,” Williams said. “We controlled the game.”
South Side was led by receiver Jake McDougal with seven receptions for 93 yards, including a spectacular catch for the Rams’ only TD of the game. It was the conclusion to a remarkable season for South Side, which knocked off powerhouses Shady Side Academy and Charleroi on its way to the title game. South Side entered the playoffs as the eighth seed.
But it couldn’t overcome a Steel Valley team that has been dominant in the playoffs.
“I’m so excited for this football team,” Steele said. “To be able to come here and get (the championship) back and conquer this. That was the goal since the last time they were on thins field: to be able to come here and redeem themselves.”
Jim Equels Jr. is a freelance writer.