Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quips' 17th Title Pads Records Trojans Struggle to Slow Veteran Aliquippa Offense

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quips' 17th Title Pads Records Trojans Struggle to Slow Veteran Aliquippa Offense

Article excerpt

It wouldn't be right to call it a record-breaking championship for Aliquippa.

The Quips already own the record for most consecutive trips to the WPIAL championship and most titles. But their 42-19 victory against Derry Saturday at Heinz Field padded the stats a bit.

In its 11th title run in a row, Aliquippa used a strong start to win the Class 3A crown, its 17th WPIAL championship. Derry was making its first title appearance.

Aliquippa lost the WPIAL championship the past two years, which made Saturday a little sweeter.

"It means a lot, because those were teams we had beaten in the regular season, but we couldn't get it done a second time. So winning this year, it's like relief," said senior quarterback Eli Kosanovich, who completed 18 of 33 passes for 327 yards.

It's Mike Warfield's first title. After Aliquippa's school board voted to remove Mike Zmijanac in February, Warfield was hired.

Derry had three turnovers in the first quarter and six in the game.

The Trojans fumbled on their second play from scrimmage. Aliquippa recovered and scored three plays later on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kosanovich to senior receiver William Gipson, who registered 165 receiving yards on seven catches.

"If we start like that against any team, we're going to dig ourselves a hole, and it's tough," Derry coach Tim Sweeney said.

Quips defensive back M.J. Devonshire had a pick on Derry's next possession. Another Devonshire interception, with 3:37 left in the first quarter, gave Aliquippa the ball on the 1. Senior back Xavier Harvey ran in the short touchdown.

Aliquippa used its first 11 plays to score 22 points. A long, 42-yard touchdown pass from Kosanovich to Gipson made it 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.

"Any time you can pull ahead early, it's always important, especially in the championship game, especially versus a team that hasn't been here before," Warfield said. …

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