CTK ’17 – 2016 WPIAL Class 1-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. But no matter how you slice it or dice it, Class 1-A is owned by Clairton. The Bears stormed their way to yet another WPIAL championship and another trip to Hershey and the state title game.

2016 WPIAL 1-A HEADLINES:

*  Different look to the classification. different venue for the title game, but none of that mattered much in 2016 as in the end, the Clairton Bears did what they do and captured another WPIAL 1-A football championship. Only twice in the last eleven years have the orange and black attack not hoisted WPIAL gold on the gridiron. Serra Catholic won the WPIAL title in 2007 and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in 2013. For the second year in a row, it was the Jeannette Jayhawks who fell in the district finals. After routing the ‘Hawks in the 2015 title game 40-0, last falls championship contest held at Robert Morris University, was more competitive but with the same result: Bears 26 – Jayhawks 6.

*  The swagger and domination was there for Clairton through the state Semifinals with a record of 14-0 while outscoring opponents 656-98 in those wins to earn a 7th trip to Hershey and the PIAA championship game in the last nine years. But it did not lead to a fifth state crown since 2009 as for the second time in three years, the Bears fell to District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle, this time by a score of 17-0. The victory was the third PIAA title in a row for the Marauders and gives them a 47-game win streak heading into 2016, 19 shy of the 66-game state record win streak held by Clairton.

*   The new look classification after expansion made for a new look to the 1-A postseason as nine of the sixteen teams that qualified for the playoffs in 2016 were spectators for the 2015 Highway to Heinz. One of them, Imani Christian, wasn’t even a member of the WPIAL in football in 2015, yet the Saints full season debut was a smashing success as they picked up a playoff win before falling in the Quarterfinals to 2nd-seed Rochester.

*  Northgate, Sto-Rox and Riverview had memorable runs to the playoffs in 2016. The Flames just missed the postseason the year before, but enjoyed their best season in decades as they finished in second place with an 8-1 record and reached the district Semifinals. The Vikings finished 1-8 in 2015 before earning a playoff spot with a 6-5 mark last fall. The once powerhouse Raiders ended an eight year playoff by earning the Class 1-A wild card. but there was no better turnaround season in 2016 than that of the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers. OLSH had never earned a playoff berth in its young history and finished 0-9 in 2015. But after losing big to Northgate in their season opener, the Chargers won seven of their next eight to finish in third place in the Big 7 Conference. The playoff debut for OLSH though was short and not so sweet as they fell in Round One to Imani Christian 44-13.

*  Class 1-A proved to be more ‘old school’ with more of a ground and pound mentality, or three yards and a cloud of dust (or on modern turn fields, three yards and a spray of crushed rubber pellets). Only one quarterback in Class 1-A cracked the top ten in the district and that was Our Lady of the Sacred Heart gunslinger Tyler Bradley who hit on 119 of 202 passes for 2,040 yards and 20 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the classification had three running backs among the WPIAL top ten in rushing. Clairton super senior Lamont Wade finished second with 2,368 yards and had the highest average with 13.3 yards per carry. Wade finished his career as the third-leading rusher in WPIAL history with 7,079 yards and he also tied the WPIAL record for touchdowns scored with 117. Dylan Rush of Mapletown lived up to his name and finished fifth in the district with 1,852 yards for the Maples. Rounding out the WPIAL top ten on the ground was Maleik Hemingway of Bishop Canevin with 1,495 yards rushing.

——————————————————————————————————————–

2016 WPIAL Final Class 1-A Standings:

Before beating them in the WPIAL Finals, Clairton knocked off Jeannette in the final week of the regular season to claim the Eastern Conference crown, while Rochester was back on top in the Big 7 Conference and Carmichaels claimed the championship in the Tri-County South Conference. 

WPIAL 1A EASTERN CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Clairton

7-0

9-0

476-54

+70

*-Jeannette

6-1

9-1

448-56

+50

*-Bishop Canevin

5-2

7-2

274-198

+23

*-Imani Christian

3-4

4-5

178-189

+3

*-Springdale

3-4

5-5

233-232

-10

Riverview

2-5

3-6

128-257

-33

x-Greensburg Central Catholic

2-5

2-8

145-405

-36

x-Leechburg

0-7

1-9

131-376

-67

 

WPIAL 1A TRI-COUNTY SOUTH CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Carmichaels

7-0

7-2

259-145

+67

*-Fort Cherry

6-1

8-1

329-118

+47

*-California

5-2

6-4

287-198

+26

*-Mapletown

4-3

5-5

168-288

+1

*-Avella

2-5

2-7

167-310

-26

x-West Greene

2-5

3-7

160-269

-30

x-Jefferson-Morgan

1-6

1-9

123-392

-46

x-Monessen

1-6

1-9

163-292

-29

 

WPIAL 1A BIG SEVEN CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Rochester

7-0

8-0

320-96

+64

*-Northgate

7-1

8-1

395-81

+66

*-Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

6-2

7-2

349-165

+39

*-Sto-Rox

5-3

6-4

238-249

+19

*-Shenango

4-4

4-5

185-267

-11

Western Beaver

2-5

4-5

150-248

-32

x-Union

2-6

3-7

209-263

-27

x-Summit Academy

2-6

2-6

166-225

-40

x-Cornell

0-8

0-9

26-369

-78

————————————————————————————————————————–

2016 WPIAL Class 1-A Football Playoff Results:

The Fort Cherry Rangers First Round win over the Sto-Rox Vikings marked the second straight year a Tri-County South Conference team won a playoff game after four winless years from ’11 to ’14. Frazier broke the conference winless postseason streak at 0-16 with an overtime win over South Side Beaver in 2015.

2016 WPIAL CLASS 1-A FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Clairton Bears  26  –  Jeannette Jayhawks  6  

WPIAL CLASS 1-A Semifinals:

Clairton Bears  34  –  Northgate Flames  18 

Jeannette Jayhawks  30  –  Rochester Rams  20  

WPIAL CLASS 1-A Quarterfinals:

Clairton Bears  46  –  Fort Cherry Rangers  8 

Northgate Flames  41  –  Bishop Canevin Crusaders  0 

Rochester Rams  32  –  Imani Christian Saints  6  

Jeannette Jayhawks  69  –  Springdale Dynamos  21 

WPIAL CLASS 1-A First Round:

Clairton Bears  50  –  Avella Eagles  6  

Fort Cherry Rangers  28  –  Sto-Rox Vikings  14  

Northgate Flames  37  –  Mapletown Maples  0  

Bishop Canevin Crusaders  56  –  California Trojans  21  

Rochester Rams  39  –  Riverview Raiders  6  

Imani Christian Saints  44  –  Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers  13  

Jeannette Jayhawks  39  –  Shenango Wildcats  0  

Springdale Dynamos  50  –  Carmichaels Mighty Mikes  44 

——————————————————————————————————————-

 2016 PIAA Class 1-A Football Playoff Results:

From 2002 through 2008, east teams won seven straight Class A state titles as Southern Columbia won five in a row and Steelton-Highspire claimed back-to-back gold titles. But since then, it is eight in a row and counting for west based teams. Clairton won four in a row from ’09 to ’12, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic won it all in 2013 and the last three Class 1-A state crowns have gone to District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle.

2016 PIAA CLASS 1-A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders 17 – CLAIRTON BEARS 0 

PIAA CLASS 1-A Semifinals:

CLAIRTON BEARS 24 – Farrell Steelers 6  

Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders 48 – Steelton-Highspire Steamrollers 6

PIAA CLASS 1-A Quarterfinals:

CLAIRTON BEARS 26 – JEANNETTE JAYHAWKS 6  

Farrell Steelers 20 – Ridgway-Johnsonburg Elkers 7

Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders 52 – Homer-Center Wildcats 6  

Steelton-Highspire Steamrollers 24 – Williams Valley Vikings 20

PIAA CLASS 1-A First Round:

CLAIRTON BEARS 34 – NORTHGATE FLAMES 18  

JEANNETTE JAYHAWKS 30 – ROCHESTER RAMS 20  

Farrell Steelers 30 – Conemaugh Township Indians 0

Ridgway-Johnsonburg Elkers 42 – Elk County Catholic Crusaders 13

Homer-Center Wildcats 41 – Portage Mustangs 22  

Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders 55 – Northern Cambria Colts 6  

Williams Valley Vikings 22 – Lackawanna Trial Lions 12

Steelton-Highspire Steamrollers 38 – Muncy Indians 3

Attachment