Westmoreland County High School Football Quarterfinal Preview

Latrobe travels to Aliquippa; Belle Vernon welcomes Deer Lakes; GCC meets South Side

Fri Nov 10, 2023 - 8:11AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
Quarterback John Wetzel leads Greater Latrobe into its 4A quarterfinal match up at Aliquippa. (Photo by www.westernpasports.com)Quarterback John Wetzel leads Greater Latrobe into its 4A quarterfinal match up at Aliquippa. (Photo by www.westernpasports.com)

Last Updated: Fri Nov 10, 2023 - 2:33AM

After the first week of the WPIAL playoffs, just three Westmorland County teams remain in the mix. While Belle Vernon Area opens its postseason journey as the top seed, Greater Latrobe and Greensburg Central Catholic are both tasked with trying to upset a No. 1 seed. Here’s a look at the trio of quarterfinals matchups for Westmoreland teams.

No. 8 Greensburg Central Catholic (8-3) vs No. 1 South Side (11-0) – 7 p.m. at Peters Township H.S. (1A Quarterfinals)

Pregame at 6:30 p.m. on WSN Video - WATCH LIVE

WSN Broadcasters: John Flickinger and Roger Downs

About the Centurions: Greensburg Central Catholic jumped out to a 27-0 advantage last week, and held off a late rally to defeat West Greene 41-22 in the WPIAL Class 1A first round at Plum High School. The eighth-seeded Centurions were led by Tyree Turner and Samir Crosby. Turner threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 85 yards and a score, while Crosby had four grabs for 131 yards and three TDs, and added 46 yards and a touchdown on the ground. On the year, Turner has completed 81-of-145 passes for 1,495 yards, with 17 TDs, and he’s rushed 102 times for 676 yards, compiling 13 total touchdowns. Additionally, Crosby has amassed 31 receptions for 623 yards, 59 carries for 583 yards, and scored 18 times. GCC has outscored its foes 363-238.

About the Rams: South Side Beaver blanked Monessen 39-0 last week in the Class 1A first round. Ryan Navarra paced the offense for South Side, rushing 11 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Parker Delourmel added 16 carries for 107 yards for the Rams, while QB Brody Almashy went 3-of-8 for 71 yards, with a pair of touchdowns. For the season, Navarra has compiled 113 carries for 1,186 yards and 23 touchdowns. A.C. Corfield is also nearing 1,000 yards on the ground, as he’s amassed 994 yards rushing, along with 11 catches for 341 yards and 13 total scores. Almashy, meanwhile, has thrown for 870 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he’s posted 59 carries for 568 yards, notching 15 total touchdowns. The Rams have scored 33 or more points in every contest this year, and have not allowed more than 15 points in a game. Luke Travelpiece is at the helm of South Side.

About the Matchup: The winner moves on to the Class 1A semifinals, and will play either fourth-seeded Clairton or No. 5 Union.

No. 9 Greater Latrobe (8-3, 4-2) at No. 1 Aliquippa (9-0, 7-0) – 7 p.m. (4A Quarterfinals)

About the Wildcats: John Wetzel produced a dominant rushing effort to propel No. 9 Greater Latrobe to a 39-7 road win at West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 4A first round last week. Wetzel rushed for 245 yards and four scores, while also hitting 4-of-8 passes for 61 yards. Brady Prohovic added a touchdown and 81 yards rushing, while Ben Bigi made a field goal for the Wildcats. With his effort last week, Wetzel has surpassed 1,000 yards both as a passer and a rusher on the year. He’s completed 76-of-117 passes for 1,235 yards, with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing 136 times for 1,040 yards, scoring a team-leading 17 scores. Ja’Tawn Williams has caught 33 passes for 756 yards, producing a total of 14 touchdowns. Prohovic and Alex Tatsch, meanwhile, have added 598 yards and 374 yards rushing, respectively. The Wildcats hold a scoring margin of 360-187.

About the Quips: Aliquippa did not play last week, as the Quips earned a first-round bye. The Quips wrapped up the regular season with a 27-17 win at Central Valley, claiming the Parkway Conference title. For the year, Penn State commit Tiqwai “Tikey” Hayes has rushed 150 times for 1,182 yards, scoring a team-best 14 touchdowns. Quips QB Quentin Goode has connected on 73-of-126 passes for 1,332 yards, with 17 touchdowns and four picks. His favorite target, Brandon Banks, has snagged 19 receptions for 441 yards. In addition to Hayes, Jon Tracey has rushed 44 times for 287 yards, scoring eight times, while Pitt commit Cam Lindsey has added 227 yards on the ground. The Quips have outscored their foes 370-112. Head coach Mike Warfield guides Aliquippa.

About the Matchup: The victorious team advances to the Class 4A semifinals, and will battle either No. 4 Mars Area or fifth-seeded Central Valley. Aliquippa has made 15 consecutive appearances in the WPIAL title game.

No. 8 Deer Lakes (8-3, 3-2) at No. 1 Belle Vernon Area (8-1, 5-0) – 7 p.m. (3A Quarterfinals)

About the Lancers: Deer Lakes instead won its first ever postseason contest last week, courtesy of a 48-18 victory against Southmoreland in the WPIAL Class 3A first round. The No. 8 Lancers scored three touchdowns in less than two minutes in the second quarter to create separation from the ninth-seeded Scotties. Zier Williams paced DL with 115 yards rushing, while Derek Burk passed for 146 yards and three scores. On the ledger, Burk has completed 124-of-201 throws for 1,939 yards, with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he’s added 469 yards as a rusher. Williams has anchored the rushing attack, registering 172 carries for 1,121 yards and a team-leading dozen TDs. Wayne Love has caught 33 passes for 649 yards, Zach Grant has posted 33 receptions for 522 yards, and Ryan Cochran has contributed 27 catches for 414 yards. The Lancers have outpaced their adversaries by a margin of 357-166, boosted by a pair of shutout wins. Coach Tim Burk patrols the sidelines for Deer Lakes.

About the Leopards: Belle Vernon Area was idle last week, as the Leopards garnered a first-round bye. Two weeks ago, BVA captured the Interstate Conference crown, courtesy of a 49-28 win at home against Elizabeth Forward. On the year, the Leps have been bolstered by Quinton Martin, the top senior prospect in Pennsylvania. Martin leads the squad with 67 carries for 657 yards, 28 receptions for 490 yards, and 20 total touchdowns. Kole Doppelheuer has added 505 yards on the ground and nine TDs, while Jake Gedekoh has compiled 300 yards rushing. QB Braden Laux has connected on 65-of-106 passes for 1,050 yards, with a dozen TDs and nine interceptions. The Leps have permitted seven or fewer points on six occasions this year.

About the Matchup: The winning team moves on to the 3A semifinals, and will square off against fourth-seeded East Allegheny or No. 12 South Park.