Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's a Huge Challenge a Formidable Opponent Stands in Bears' Path to Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's a Huge Challenge a Formidable Opponent Stands in Bears' Path to Title

Article excerpt

The Clairton Bears hope a certain idiom comes to fruition today when they face Dunmore in the PIAA Class A championship game.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Clairton (15-0) comes into the game at Hersheypark Stadium with the gigantic winning streak, but it's District 2 champion Dunmore (14-1) which enters the contest with a giant-sized group of linemen.

Dunmore, located just east of Scranton, presents a unique challenge for Clairton, which has won a state record 62 consecutive games and is trying to win its fourth PIAA championship in a row. The Bucks feature an offensive line that makes them look more like a Class AAAA team.

"It's definitely the biggest team we've faced," Clairton coach Tom Nola said. "They've got a lot of size. They've got a lot of big offensive linemen and some of those guys play defense, too."

Dunmore's offensive line consists of James McHale (6-7, 285), Mike Boland (6-5, 265), Dan Drewes (6-2, 250), Cory Jones (6-2, 195) and Jake Korgeski (5-11, 230).

That unit has paved the way for an explosive run game led by a pair of 1,000-yard rushers -- Daiqwon Buckley (1,755 yards and 23 touchdowns) and Austin Seamon (1,295 yards and 17 touchdowns).

Clairton has done a terrific job stopping the run this season, but the size of its line doesn't compare to Dunmore's. The Bears counter with Damond Flowers (5-10, 190), Brandon Murphy (6-0, 200), Jordan Gressem (5-10, 215), Robert Boatright (5-10, 170) and Jujuan Bray (6-2, 175).

"Once we get into states, the lines keep on getting bigger and bigger," Clairton quarterback Armani Ford said.

As Ford sees it, bigger is not always better. He said his team's physical play will give the Bears the advantage.

"A lot of teams are big, but no one gets as physical as our guys get," Ford said. "[Dunmore is] big, but they're not real physical players."

The Bears are hoping to get back perhaps their top lineman, two- way tackle Devontae Harvey (6-0, 240), who has not played since injuring his right knee in the WPIAL championship. …

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