Aliquippa dumps Quaker Valley in rematch of 2017 title game
Aliquippa’s football team addressed what happened last season in the locker room — the 2-0 loss to Quaker Valley in the 2017 WPIAL Class 3A championship game — and flipped the script on the field in a 59-6 bludgeoning over the Quakers.
The title game was nine months ago, Quips quarterback Eli Kosanovich said, and the rivals have changed with roster turnover and new head coaches. Aliquippa, he said, has moved on after Quips first-year coach Mike Warfield’s message was received in the days before the rematch.
“More so, (we talked about) handling our business,” Warfield said. “Because of the situation there’s been a lot of attention given to us. That’s OK, but one thing I always preach is we have to go handle our business in the weight room, in film and everyday put the work in, and it’ll show.”
No. 1-ranked Aliquippa (3-0, 2-0) put together a game that Quaker Valley (1-1, 1-1) will replay in their nightmares, outscoring the Quakers 47-0 in the first half.
Aliquippa’s William Gipson, who can play multiple positions, and Kosanovich engineered a lethal first half show for fans at “The Pit,” connecting for two touchdowns and 142 yards.
Kosanovich added touchdown passes to Deoveon Crute and Chinua Soloman and finished with 16 of 21 passing for 206 yards.
“The defense defense helped a whole lot again tonight,” Kosanovich said. “They get three-and-outs, I stay in my rhythm. The longer (an opponent’s) drive, the more I have to throw on the sideline. But our kept getting right back in there to score points.”
Sloppy offensive play by the Quakers led to a 33-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Quips linebacker Izayah King. Karl McBride, another Aliquippa linebacker, recovered a fumble in the endzone for a second Quips defensive touchdown in the first half.
Quaker Valley’s offense showed initial promise by converting two third-down attempts and driving the ball into Aliquippa territory on the first drive of the game. Aliquippa’s defense allowed one more first down for the rest of the first half.
“My mom told me ‘You are going to have days like this,” Quaker Valley’s first-year head coach Ron Balog said. “Turnovers are never fun, and they have a snowball effect. And, look, that’s a great (Aliquippa) team over there. If you don’t execute, you can’t expect to beat somebody like that.”
Aliquippa defense allowed its first points of the season late in the third quarter when Quakers quarterback Ethan Moore scored on a 8-yard touchdown run, ending a nearly 11-quarter run of shutout football by the Quips.
“Our kids weren’t going to quit,” Balog said. “They’ll never quit. We have seven regular season games left. We’re going to take this, put it behind us and get better.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer.