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Clairton, Rochester seemed destined to meet again


Is there a team in Class A that can keep Clairton and Rochester from meeting again at Heinz Field? A year ago, Clairton won, 14-13, in the WPIAL championship game.

Through seven games this year, both are unbeaten.

Rochester (7-0) proved it’s still the ruler of the old Big Seven Conference by routing previously unbeaten Cornell, 41-0, Friday night. The Rams, in typical Rams fashion, had 333 yards of offense by running 48 times and passing three times. DeAndre Moon, a junior, had three touchdowns.

And then there’s Clairton (7-0), which won at Brentwood, 52-0, extending its scoreless streak to 19 quarters. Standout QB/DE Desimon Green, who injured his neck making a tackle, said Saturday that’s he’s doing well. Since allowing a first-quarter touchdown by Carlynton in Week 3, Clairton has scored 285 unanswered points.

Who could stop them? Maybe no one.

=Keystone Oaks misses Jordan Maddox. The senior RB/LB suffered a season-ending knee injury Oct. 8 against South Fayette, and the Golden Eagles lost to Steel Valley, 21-0, without him. KO coach Nick Kamberis had developed very effective offense using Maddox and Matt McCann, mixing the Wildcat formation with a typical spread offense. Without Maddox, though, there’s no option, and defenses can focus entirely on stopping Maddox, who had 30 yards on 18 carries. 

=Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams and North Allegheny’s Alex Papson has been trying to challenge Hopewell’s Rushel Shell for the WPIAL’s rushing title. Williams rushed for 215 yards Friday night, and Papson had 238. And, again, they both lost ground to Shell, who rushed for 302. Shell has 1,705 yards. Williams has 1,469. Papson has 1,372. Just three weeks ago, Papson led Shell by 11 yards and Williams trailed by only 16 yards.

= Shell moved into fourth place on the WPIAL’s all-time rushing list with 5,960 career yards, passing McGuffey’s Jason Barr. With two regular season games left, and the playoffs looking more likely by the week, there’s a good chance he’ll finish the season in third place. Shell, a junior, needs 344 yards to catch West Green’s Rodney Wilson (6,304) and 552 to catch Penn-Trafford’s Matt Gavrish (6,512). Shell stands 1,686 yards behind WPIAL record holder Mike Vernillo of Fort Cherry (7,646).

=On the Cornell’s first possession, punter Ronny Borne dropped to one knee to scoop up a bouncing snap. And, correctly, he was ruled down on the spot. But should there be an exception in the rules? There is for the holder on field goals and extra points.

=I was told North Allegheny and North Hills have never been unbeaten when they’ve met for the season finale. And it won’t happen this year, either. North Hills was upended by Erie McDowell, 19-14. That leaves only North Allegheny, Central Catholic and Mt. Lebanon as unbeaten in Class AAAA.

=Next Friday night: West Allegheny (6-1, 5-0) at Montour (7-0, 5-0) should decide the Class AAA Parkway Conference title.

– Chris Harlan (



  1. Tomorrow night’s Greensburg Central Catholic will be played at East Allegheny’s Churchman Stadium. Football is more than a game. It is a celebration of the community – OUR TOWN. The game is guided by coaches who breed many more great citizens, soldiers, preachers and dads than glorified NFL stars.

    The 1970 EA Wildcats were 9-1. We played without playoffs under the Garner Point System, but we finished the season strong beating Gateway 32-0 and North Hills 13-6. For twenty-seven old Wildcats tomorrow night is about more than a football game.

    One of your sports writers covered our team in 1970. In a fall 2009 article about WPIAL teams, he listed the 1970 Wildcats in his all-time top five rankings because in spite of one loss he thought we could beat any foe in 1970.

    Please find the writer who thought so much of us and ask him if he can come to tomorrow’s game so we can shake his hand. He can sit in the special seats reserved for us during the game and he is welcome to celebrate life with us at our reunion party from 9:30 PM to midnight at the Drew Menas Restaurant on Rt. 30 near EA. I lost the article or I would invite the Trib sports writer myself. He knows there is more to football than the SCORE!

    Tomorrow before the game sometime between 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM, I will give the speech below to Cats who remain my brothers (players) and fathers (coaches).
    We also will be recognized by EA at the end of the 1st quarter. He or anyone else from the Trib is welcome too.

    I lost the article or I would invite the Trib sports writer myself. He knows there is more to football than the SCORE!

    You Never Lose

    We end games on the high or low side of the score.
    There are a few who never lose.
    They simply play them again.

    The 1970 Wildcats did not fret about whether we should have passed, ran or punted.
    These cats were blind to color (race) and score. In spite of being perennial underdogs, we feared no foe.

    Each down, series and contest was for the most part finished with sharp execution, focus and determination. Our Titan hearts helped us bounce back from bad-plays and enabled each one of us to overcome our short-comings. We were a TEAM of 5’ 9” giants!

    Little things done well with style, fellowship and a never quit attitude brought us here today at EA.

    Great endings overcome poor beginnings. Good beginnings are for pretenders, the real losers.

    We closed the 1970 season by beating an undefeated foe. Every team has their chance. When opportunity knocked we kicked the door in!

    Tonight the EA Wildcats are in front of their door. Let’s revive in them our 1970 spirit! Let’s help them kick the door.

    One final thought….
    Hollis Caldwell and I met on the day we were told by our coaches that due to school budget cuts we would not have a 9th grade Junior High Varsity Season. No Games..No Glory …only practice with the 10th through 12th graders. On that very day I told Hollis and the few of us willing to remain on for 1967 season that when we were seniors we’d be Champions! That was in our 1st quarter. Hollis and I eventually were the proud captains of our 1970 team.

    Today we are near or in our fourth quarter.
    Let’s close our season (life) in a 1970 fashion.
    Let’s meet here every year and pray for overtime victories.
    We will play them again and again, again and again!

    Thanks for being you and for being here.
    Captain DeDe Serrapere

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