WPIAL Class AA semifinal capsule: Washington vs. Aliquippa
class AA Semifinals
No. 2 Aliquippa (11-0) vs. No. 3 Washington (11-0) 7:30 p.m. Friday at West Allegheny
After a regular season in which Washington unequivocally answered what coach Mike Bosnic described as preseason question marks, the Prexies find themselves facing new uncertainties one game short of the WPIAL finals.
Injuries to key ball carriers a week ago caused the Prexies to search for new starters as they prepare for Friday’s WPIAL Class AA semifinal against Aliquippa, which has reached the semis eight consecutive years and advanced to the finals each of the past six.
“Once again, (the Quips) come out with not only one great running back but another one-two punch,” Bosnic said. “We have some weapons, too, but we’re really banged up right now.”
Aliquippa enters the semifinals with Class AA’s highest scoring offense at 51.0 points per game. Juniors Kaezon Pugh and DiMantae Bronaugh have combined for almost 2,500 yards rushing and 44 touchdowns, and senior Darrien Fields is a 1,200-yard passer.
Meanwhile, Prexies junior fullback/strong safety Jordan West is out with a broken bone in his foot, Bosnic said, and senior tailback Malik Wells is questionable with a bad ankle.
Without West and possibly Wells — they’ve combined for almost 1,900 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing — Washington will ask considerably more of junior RB Kurt Adkins, who has gained 488 yards and scored eight touchdowns on 55 carries.
“He’s a shifty, really fast running back, with really a different style than Wells,” Bosnic said. “He brings a different look for us. But we’re expecting him to step up and have a big game.”
Quips coach Mike Zmijanac considers the Prexies’ size up front his team’s top challenge.
“They’re absolutely huge,” Zmijanac said, “I don’t think we’ve seen anybody this big.”
Aliquippa defeated Washington, 34-7, in the 2012 WPIAL finals.