- High School
After watching rival Jeannette bask in the golden glory with back-to-back WPIAL football championships in 2007 and 2008, Greensburg Central Catholic survived a tough Interstate Conference to win a title as a double-digit seed in a deep Class AA tournament. The district championship, captured with a rout of Aliquippa at Heinz Field, was the first in school history for the Centurions.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM WPIAL CLASS AA FOOTBALL IN 2009:
* One of the most competitive conferences in any classification in 2009 turned out to be the Class AA Interstate Conference. Five teams were alive for the final three playoff spots behind section champ Mount Pleasant going into Week 9. While eventual champion Greensburg Central Catholic had to beat Jeannette in Week 9 just to clinch a playoff spot, both the Jayhawks and upstart Charleroi were strong teams that were left out of the playoff picture when the music stopped to end the regular season.
* Like Monaca in Class A, 2009 marked the end of the line for the Center Trojans before the two school merged to become Central Valley in 2010. While always a competitive program out of the Midwestern Conference, Center never won a WPIAL football championship. However, they did finish their final season as tri-champs in the MAC along with 2009 runner-up Aliquippa and 2008 champion Beaver Falls. The Trojans final game came after they drubbed Washington in Round One of the WPIAL playoffs 27-0. Center lost in the Quarterfinals to eventual champ Greensburg Central Catholic 30-3.
* Two teams entered the WPIAL Class AA playoffs with perfect 9-0 regular seasons...and it was two teams not used to that kind of gridiron success in recent years. Century Conference champion South Fayette and Interstate Conference title holder Mount Pleasant were both undefeated through the first nine weeks and the opening round on the Highway to Heinz. However both the Lions and the Vikings saw their dream seasons end in the Quarterfinals. Mount Pleasant was hammered by Keystone Oaks 24-19 while South Fayette lost in a wild shootout to Aliquippa 47-34.
* The WPIAL's longest active losing streak in 2009 finally came to an end as Ellwood City tasted victory after 31 consecutive losses. A 28-13 win over Quaker Valley on September 15th, 2006 was the last time Lincoln High won until the Wolverines beat New Brighton 33-21 in Week 8. Three teams now look to break double-digit losing streaks in 2010: West Shamokin has lost 24 straight (the Wolves were outscored last year 422-17) while both New Brighton and South Allegheny have lost 10 in a row.
2009 WPIAL CLASS AA FINAL STANDINGS:
#-South Fayette Lions : (9-0) - (10-1)
*-Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles : (8-1) - (10-2)
*-Sto-Rox Vikings : (7-2) - (8-3)
*-Steel Valley Ironmen : (6-3) - (6-4)
x-Bishop Canevin Crusaders : (4-5) - (4-5)
x-South Park Eagles : (4-5) - (4-5)
x-Seton-LaSalle Rebels : (4-5) - (4-5)
x-Cornell Raiders : (2-7) - (2-7)
x-Northgate Flames : (1-8) - (1-8)
x-Quaker Valley Quakers : (0-9) - (0-9)
#-Shady Side Academy Indians : (8-1) - (8-2)
#-Freeport Yellowjackets : (8-1) - (8-2)
*-Burrell Buccaneers : (7-2) - (7-3)
*-Kittanning Wildcats : (6-3) - (6-4)
x-Ford City Sabers : (6-3) - (6-3)
x-Apollo-Ridge Vikings : (3-6) - (3-6)
x-Valley Vikings : (3-6) - (3-7)
x-Deer Lakes Lancers : (2-7) - (2-7)
x-Summit Academy Knights : (2-7) - (2-7)
x-West Shamokin Wolves : (0-9) - (0-9)
#-Mount Pleasant Vikings : (9-0) - (10-1)
*-McGuffey Highlanders : (7-2) - (7-3)
*-Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions: (7-2) - (13-3)
*-Washington Little Prexies : (6-3) - (6-4)
x-Charleroi Cougars : (5-4) - (6-4)
x-Jeannette Jayhawks : (5-4) - (5-4)
x-Waynesburg Raiders : (3-6) - (3-7)
x-East Allegheny Wildcats : (2-7) - (2-7)
x-Brownsville Falcons : (1-8) - (1-8)
x-South Allegheny Gladiators : (0-9) - (0-10)
#-Center Trojans : (7-1) - (9-2)
#-Beaver Falls Tigers : (7-1) - (10-2)
#-Aliquippa Quips : (7-1) - (11-2)
*-Beaver Bobcats : (5-3) - (5-5)
x-Riverside Panthers : (4-4) - (4-5)
x-Mohawk Warriors : (3-5) - (3-6)
x-Freedom Bulldogs : (2-6) - (2-7)
x-Ellwood City Wolverines : (1-7) - (1-8)
x-New Brighton Lions : (0-8) - (0-9)
2009 WPIAL CLASS AA PLAYOFFS:
2009 WPIAL CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 33 - Aliquippa Quips 7 (MSA)
WPIAL CLASS AA Semifinals:
Aliquippa Quips 17 - Beaver Falls Tigers 10 (MSA)
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 24 - Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 19 (MSA)
WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:
Aliquippa Quips 47 - South Fayette Lions 34 (MSA)
Beaver Falls Tigers 35 - Sto-Rox Vikings 22 (MSA)
Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 36 - Mount Pleasant Vikings 7 (MSA)
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 30 - Center Trojans 3 (MSA)
WPIAL CLASS AA First Round:
South Fayette Lions 35 - Beaver Bobcats 15 (MSA)
Aliquippa Quips 27 - McGuffey Highlanders 7 (MSA)
Beaver Falls Tigers 42 - Steel Valley Ironmen 14 (MSA)
Sto-Rox Vikings 32 - Shady Side Academy Indians 20 (MSA)
Mount Pleasant Vikings 45 - Kittanning Wildcats 6 (MSA)
Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 27 - Burrell Buccaneers 0 (MSA)
Center Trojans 27 - Washington Little Prexies 0 (MSA)
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 35 - Freeport Yellowjackets 6 (MSA)
Greensburg Central Catholic Whacks Aliquippa for First Golden Football
By Don Rebel
Greensburg Central Catholic had never won a WPIAL football championship while their opponent in the Class AA title game, Aliquippa is the king of crowns in the district with 13, including their latest just last year. None of that meant squat though Saturday afternoon when the Centurions scored 33 unanswered points en route to a 33-7 victory over the Quips.
After a three and out, Aliquippa drove down and scored on Mikal Hall's 6-yard run to put the defending champs up 7-0. Then GCC took over. On the next series, David Miller ripped off a 79-yard scoring run. The Centurions all-time scoring leader known for his physical runs outraced the Aliquippa secondary to tie the game at 7-7.
Greensburg Central Catholic took control with 19 straight points in the second quarter thanks in part to Aliquippa turnovers and short fields. The Centurions scored on drives of 48, 57 and 50 yards.
Miller scored on a run of four yards. Quarterback Trent Hurley scored on a great play fake and ran untouched for one yard. Finally, Hurley hit Evan Marshall, who made a one-handed catch on a 15-yard scoring toss to give the Centurions a 26-7 lead by halftime.
Miller capped off the scoring with a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter for the games final score.
Miller rushed 34 times for 203 yards as GCC improves to 11-2. The Centurions will face the Bedford-Karns City winner next week in the schools first ever PIAA state football playoff game.
The young Quips, who were held to only 153 total yards, finish with a record of 11-2.
Greensburg Central : 7