2022 PIAA State Championship Class 2A Preview
Written by: Joseph Santoliquito on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022. Follow Joseph Santoliquito on Twitter.
This year christens a new venue for the PIAA state football championships—Chapman Field at Cumberland Valley. This year’s state championships also welcome four teams that have never been to the state finals before, which is in the seventh year under the 6A system.
Only two defending state champions return this season, Southern Columbia going for its sixth-straight title (and all-time high 13th overall) at Class 2A, and undefeated Aliquippa (13-0) looking to become the first team in the storied history of the Quips to become repeat state champions, and in the process become the first undefeated Quips state champion.
There is only one rematch from last year’s state finals, which again will feature Aliquippa, in the Class 4A game against District 3 champion Bishop McDevitt.
Four teams are here for the first time: District 7 champion Union (Class 1A), District 8’s Westinghouse (2A), and the Class 3A state title will involve two new teams to the finals, District 7 champion Belle Vernon against District 12’s Neumann-Goretti.
In Class 6A, Philadelphia heavyweight St. Joseph’s Prep will be making its seventh-straight championship appearance, going for its fourth state title in five years, and its seventh state title in 10 years. The Hawks top the list of large school state championships (6—two at 4A and four as the 6A) since the PIAA instituted the state high school playoff system in 1988. Since the 6A system was incorporated in 2016, St. Joe’s Prep has been involved in every Class 6A state championship.
Last year, there were three undefeated teams in the state finals, this year, just two, Westinghouse (14-0) and Aliquippa (13-0). The Quips also carry the state’s longest winning streak at 24 games.
Of the 12 teams playing in the state championship this weekend, District 7 (Union, Aliquippa, Pine-Richland, and Belle Vernon) leads the state with four representatives, followed by District 12 (Imhotep Charter, Neumann-Goretti and St. Joe’s Prep) and District 3 (Steelton-Highspire, Bishop McDevitt and Harrisburg) with three each. At the same time, District 4 (Southern Columbia) and District 8 (Westinghouse) have one each.
Class 2A Friday 1 p.m.
(D-4) Southern Columbia (12-3) vs. (D-8) Westinghouse (14-0)
Mark Twain once famously quipped, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” but even that was not accurate. What Twain actually said was, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Much like the reports that traditional powerhouse Southern Columbia, the king of Pennsylvania high school football, was supposedly done. The Tigers lost a rare three games this season, losing to Loyalsock, Danville, and Mt. Carmel by double-digits. While those teams celebrated like they won the Super Bowl, they’re watching in December as legendary coach Jim Roth and his Tigers play for their 13th overall state title, sixth-straight Class 2A, and seventh 2A title in the last eight years. Southern Columbia does nothing mysteriously. The Tigers pound opponents with their Wing-T offense with detailed precision. Leading the attack will be Wes Barnes and Braeden Wisloski, who combined to run for over 380 yards in the Tigers’ 42-7 semifinal victory over Trinity. Wisloski has rushed this season for 1,804 yards and 24 TDs, while Barnes has pounded opponents for 1,304 yards and 16 TDs. They will be working against a Westinghouse team that is giving up 8.1 points a game.
Westinghouse is new to this stage. The Bulldogs are the first City League District 8 team to reach the finals in 25 years (since Perry Traditional Academy did it as a Class 3A in the 4A system in 1997). Westinghouse reached the finals by beating Steel Valley, 26-7, behind senior tailback Khalil Taylor’s 158 yards rushing and senior quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo’s two touchdowns. Can Westinghouse derail Southern Columbia, or were the reports of the Tigers’ demise an exaggeration?
|Teams (2022 Season)||Class||District||Wins||Losses||Ties||Average Points Scored||Average Points Allowed||Total Points Scored||Total Points Allowed|
|Southern Columbia Tigers||AA||D4||12||3||0||40||17.4||601||261|
|Teams (Playoffs)||Class||District||Games Played||Average Points Scored||Average Points Allowed||Total Points Scored||Total Points Allowed|
|Southern Columbia Tigers||AA||D4||5||49.8||11.4||249||57|
Southern Columbia (12-3)
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been covering high school football since 1992 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on Twitter @JSantoliquito [twitter.com]. Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball [twitter.com].
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
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