CTK ’17 – 2016 WPIAL Class 6-A Football Flashback

Expansion was a huge part of the 2016-2017 school year as the PIAA and thus the WPIAL got its first taste of six classifications starting with the 2016 football season. There were and still are a pair of seven team conferences in the highest class. But when all was said and done, a familiar name was on top as Pittsburgh Central Catholic captured a second straight district crown. Here is a look back at the WPIAL 6-A in 2016.

2016 WPIAL 6-A HEADLINES:

*  It was book end losses for the Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings as they started the season in Week Zero with a 35-14 loss at North Allegheny High School to national power St. John’s College out of Washington DC. They then concluded the season in Hershey falling to St. Joseph’s Prep 42-7, which denied them a second straight state title. However there were a lot of wins in between, 14 to be exact. That total included Central Catholics 42-7 triumph over Seneca Valley at Heinz Field that gave the Vikings their second straight district crown and their sixth WPIAL championship in the last 14 years.

*  One could say that Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s path to another WPIAL football championship came in part thanks to a 48-35 shootout victory over Pine-Richland in a Week 5 game at Highmark Stadium on the last day of September. The win gave the Vikings the inside track toward the Northern Seven Conference title and a top-seed in the 6-A postseason, but it also ended the season of Rams junior star quarterback Phil Jurkovec. The Notre Dame recruit injured his thumb in the first half of the game and was somehow able to finish the contest, but would later have surgery that ended his season and hurt Pine-Richland’s title hopes. 

*  A few years ago, Seneca Valley made it all the way to the WPIAL baseball championship game and won the title as a #16-seed. It wasn’t as dramatic as a run this past fall, but the football team made a surprising run to Heinz Field from the #6 spot in an 8-team playoff field. The Raiders became part of the ‘new blood’ at the WPIAL football championships with upset thrillers over Mount Lebanon in the Quarterfinals 49-43 and conference rival North Allegheny in the Semifinals 28-27. The magical run for Seneca Valley ended though on the North Shore as they fell to Pittsburgh Central Catholic 42-7. Jack Cook threw for nearly 2000 yards and his top weapon of choice, Payton Skalos, was one of the top receivers in the WPIAL with 61 catches for 681 yards.

*  In a program always know for three yards and a cloud of dust, Cam Tarrant guided Penn Hills into the ‘air age’ of the WPIAL, as he led all 6-A quarterbacks and was 6th overall in the WPIAL with 2,304 yards passing and 29 touchdowns. James Stocker of Mount Lebanon also eclipsed 2K yards passing with 2,065 yards and 19 touchdowns tosses. Despite missing half the season, Pine-Richland signal caller Phil Jurkovec was 6th among 6-A quarterbacks with 1,673 yards. J.J. Younger led all Class 6-A rushers with 1,694 yards on the ground and was on top of scoring as well with 34 touchdowns. David Harvey of Mount Lebanon, Jordan Kempka of Hempfield and Hank Royal of Seneca Valley also eclipsed the 1,200 yards mark on the ground.

*  This has been a tough decade for the Shaler Titans. The program finally ended a four plus year losing streak in 2015 when a victory over Butler snapped a 34-game skid. But the Titans could not build on a two win season and ended up 0-10 in 2016, the team fourth winless season in the last five campaigns.

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2016 WPIAL Final Class 6-A Standings:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings won the Northern Seven Conference while Mount Lebanon and Bethel Park were co-champs in the Southeastern Conference, with the Blue Devils gaining the top-seed having defeated the Black Hawks in the regular season in the first ever WPIAL Class 6-A conferences.

WPIAL 6-A NORTHERN SEVEN CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Pittsburgh Central Catholic

6-0

9-1

456-131

+60

*-North Allegheny

5-1

8-2

340-173

+37

*-Pine-Richland

4-2

6-4

345-264

+20

*-Seneca Valley

3-3

6-3

306-226

0

x-Penn Hills

2-4

4-6

332-324

-17

x-Butler

1-5

2-7

139-299

-40

x-Shaler

0-6

0-10

70-431

-60

 

WPIAL 6-A SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Mount Lebanon

5-1

7-3

376-221

+47

#-Bethel Park

5-1

5-4

251-165

+40

*-Hempfield

4-2

5-5

259-331

+17

*-Norwin

3-3

5-5

255-211

+3

x-Canon-McMillan

2-4

5-5

216-273

-30

x-Peters Township

1-5

4-6

245-311

-33

x-Altoona

1-5

2-8

165-351

-44

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2016 WPIAL Football Playoff Results:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic successfully defended their 2015 district title with a win over Seneca Valley. The Vikings had been the top-seed in the 8-team postseason while the Raiders made it tot he finals from the #6-seed. 

2016 WPIAL CLASS 6-A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings  42  –  Seneca Valley Raiders  7  

WPIAL CLASS 6-A Semifinals:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings  63  –  Pine-Richland Rams  34 

Seneca Valley Raiders  28  –  North Allegheny Tigers  27 

WPIAL CLASS 6-A Quarterfinals:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings  48  –  Norwin Knights  0  

Pine-Richland Rams  35  –  Bethel Park Black Hawks  32  

North Allegheny Tigers  42  –  Hempfield Spartans  7  

Seneca Valley Raiders  49  –  Mount Lebanon Blue Devils  43 

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2016 PIAA Football Playoff Results:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic qualified for the state title game for a second straight year in search of matching 2015 gold. But the Vikings ran into a juggernaut as they lost 42-7 to St. Joe’s Prep.

2016 PIAA CLASS 6-A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks 42 – PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC VIKINGS 7 

PIAA CLASS 6-A Semifinals:

PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC VIKINGS 63 – West Lawn Wilson Bulldogs 21  

St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks 35 – North Penn Knights 25

PIAA CLASS 6-A Quarterfinals:

PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC VIKINGS 62 – Williamsport Millionaires 21  

West Lawn Wilson Bulldogs 28 – Cumberland Valley Eagles 14

St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks 38 – Parkland Trojans 17

North Penn Knights 48 – Garnet Valley Jaguars 38

PIAA CLASS 6-A First Round:

PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC VIKINGS 42 – SENECA VALLEY RAIDERS 7  

Williamsport Millionaires 35 – State College Little Lions 28

Cumberland Valley Eagles 21 – Central Dauphin Rams 7

West Lawn Wilson Bulldogs 38 – Central Dauphin East Panthers 21

St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks 44 – Northeast Vikings 6

Parkland Trojans 24 – Bethlehem Freedom Patriots 14

North Penn Knights 42 – Coatesville Red Raiders 25

Garnet Valley Jaguars 44 – Perkiomen Valley Vikings 27

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