It might go down in Aliquippa’s decorated history as “The Drive.”
Coach Mike Zmijanac said he has seen drives that long before, just not in a situation of this magnitude.
The Quips went 96 yards in 11 plays on the final drive of the game to defeat Jeannette, 14-7, in the WPIAL Class AA championship game Saturday at Heinz Field.
It was Aliquippa’s 14th WPIAL championship and second in the past four seasons.
Mikal Hall completed a 42-yard pass and subsequent 11-yard toss to Kaylan Kenney, as well as passes of 12 and 13 yards to Davion Hall to get into scoring position inside the Jeannette 15. Then, with 29 seconds remaining, Hall found Devon Walker from 11 yards out to put the Quips ahead, 12-7. After the 2-point coversion, the final score was set.
Aliquippa’s Dravon Henry picked off a Demetrious Cox pass with 20 seconds remaining to seal the Quips victory.
Jeannette nearly put the game away late in the fourth quarter but was stopped on fourth and goal inside the 5-yard line.
Aliquippa (13-0) then used its final march to earn a spot in the PIAA quarterfinals, where it will meet Moniteau next weekend.
Dravon Henry: 22 carries for 92 yards.
Mikal Hall: 12 of 19 for 152 yards, 2 TDs
Devon Wilson: 3 catches for 49 yards, 2 TDs
Kaylan Kenney: 3 catches for 51 yards
Davion Hall: 4 catches for 48 yards
Demetrious Cox: 5 of 13 for 105 yards, 19 rushes for 83 yards, 1 TD
Jeannette’s Roy Hall
“You can’t take anything away from Aliquippa. They have a great team, just like we do. We just couldn’t get the pressure (on the final drive).”
“We had to make plays. We weren’t too worried about who came before us or anything like that. We were here to make our own legacy. We just couldn’t finish it off.”
Aliquippa’s Mike Zmijanac
Final drive “There was still time on the clock. These guys have played for me for four years. They understand it’s not supposed to be easy. I truly think at the end, their not having any timeouts and us having two really played into our favor.”
On Jeannette “You don’t get to 12-0 by accident. Jeannette has a wonderful program. The kids played their hearts out.”
On his defense “I think our defense did an outstanding job to stop them at our 4-yard line. They could have given up.”
On the game not being televised live “Live TV missed a heck of a game. I hope you’re happy with Penguins.”
Aliquippa’s Mikal Hall
Final drive “Get into the end zone. That’s all that was going through my mind.”