Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Champs! Clairton Senior Citizens Stand Out

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Champs! Clairton Senior Citizens Stand Out

Article excerpt

Clairton coach Tom Nola had a simple, yet meaningful message for his senior players moments before they took the field for the final time last Friday.

"I told them before the game this is the last time these seniors will play for Clairton," Nola said. "You might be tired, hurt or whatever. But you have to give everything."

Not only did the Bears give everything, they also won everything.

The Clairton dynasty as well as its legend continued to grow with a 20-0 shutout win against Dunmore in the PIAA Class A championship at Hersheypark Stadium.

The list of honors the Bears' seniors accumulated extended to these almost unfathomable numbers: 63 wins in a row (the most in state history); four consecutive PIAA titles (the first team from Western Pennsylvania ever to do that); four WPIAL titles (the Bears have actually won five in a row, the first when these seniors were just in eighth grade); three consecutive 16-0 seasons.

The senior class finished 63-1 in their varsity careers.

"This group of seniors, you have to take your hat off to them," defensive coordinator Wayne Wade said. "They were in the championship game four years in a row and won every time."

As far as PIAA championship wins go, this Clairton win was most similar to their 15-3 triumph against Bishop McCort in 2009.

That game, however, wasn't decided until the fourth quarter. This season's win against Dunmore, while not a blowout, was decided much earlier. Clairton scored less than four minutes into the game when Tyler Boyd ran for a 5-yard touchdown.

When Armani Ford hooked up with Terrish Webb for a 21-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half (the ensuing two- point pass from Ford to Webb made it 14-0), it was almost as if Clairton had the game in the bag.

The optimism derived from Clairton's dominance. You could see it on the field and you could see it statistically. The Bears were considerably faster and more physical than Dunmore, and outgained the Bucks, 432-115. The Bears held a 23-6 edge in first downs and possessed the ball nearly twice as much as Dunmore (30:23 to 17:37). …

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