HERSHEY — It took just a couple minutes for the Wyomissing Spartans to pull on their new championship T-shirts on Saturday afternoon.
No reason to wait after winning the school's first PIAA title.
Mason Smith ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns, Wyomissing's defense pitched a second-half shutout and Jonah Bowman hit a state playoff-record 52-yard field goal in a thrilling 17-14 win victory over Aliquippa to take the Class AA crown.
We were on our heels early, Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum said. We had the poise to come back and then regain the momentum and get back in the game.
The Spartans (16-0) came up with a bevy of big defensive plays, including linebacker Will Kroppe's interception with 44 seconds left and a goal-line stand in the first half that Wyomissing then converted into a 99-yard scoring drive.
Aliquippa (15-1) turned two turnovers in the first half into a pair of touchdown runs by Dravon Henry. His 10-yard score gave the Quips a 14-7 lead at the half.
Henry finished with 123 yards on 22 carries, while Terry Swanson had 126 yards on 14 carries to form a potent one-two backfield punch for the Quips.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone forced a fumble on Aliquippa's opening drive of the half and later made a key fourth-down stop, atoning for a first half in which he coughed up two turnovers.
Smith's 36-yard touchdown run down the right sideline with 11:18 left finally gave Wyomissing the 17-14 lead.
HERSHEY — North Allegheny turned the marquee game of PIAA championship weekend into a black-and-gold party.
The Tigers (16-0) had two long first-quarter fumble returns for touchdowns to help build a 21-point halftime cushion in a wild defeat of mistake-prone Coatesville to claim a second Class AAAA title in three years.
North Allegheny set a PIAA record for most points scored in any PIAA title game. Dunmore previously held the mark with 57 in 1989.
Alex DeCiantis ran for three touchdowns, but the Tigers defense set the tone early.