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The 2023 Aliquippa Quips are the first undefeated state champion in school history, beating Dallas, 60-14, in the 4A final

Written by: on Thursday, December 7th, 2023. Follow Joseph Santoliquito on Twitter.


MECHANICSBURG, PA — There is a long, storied history with the Aliquippa football program. Hall of Famers Mike Ditka and Darrelle Revis went there. Three-time Super Bowl champion Ty Law is a graduate of the school. The Quips have been to 10 PIAA state championships. They have won four state crowns (1991-2A, 2003-2A, 2018-3A, 2021-4A).

But none of those previous four state champions went undefeated.

These 2023 Quips were.

The Quips made history Thursday night by becoming the first undefeated Aliquippa state champion, easily handling stubborn District 2 champ Dallas, 60-14, in the Class 4A state championship at Chapman Field at Cumberland Valley High School.

The previous four Quips state champs each had a flaw. In 1991, the Quips went 13-2, in 2003 they finished 13-1, in 2018 they were 14-1 and in 2021 they finished 13-1.

These Quips were a clean 15-0.

Aliquippa’s Penn State-bound junior tailback Tiqwai Hayes rushed for a game-high 222 yards and three touchdowns, senior tailback John Tracy picked up 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and sophomore defensive back QaLil Goode had three interceptions—one for a touchdown.

Aliquippa were on the brink of being the school’s first undefeated state champion last year, but lost to Bishop McDevitt, 41-18, ruining that chance. This time, Quips’ coach Mike Warfield sensed a far different focus about this team.

“Sometimes you have to walk with your chest pulled out and not be scared of that,” he said. “You can tell all week they were locked in. No talking in film study. We came up Wednesday night. We had a practice Wednesday night. We came back and watched film late last night. We got up in the morning, had breakfast, and I just wanted to flood them with football for two days.

“It showed. They were prepared. They knew their assignments. I’m proud of them. Like I say, sometimes when you win, you actually lose, and sometimes when you lose, you actually win. Like I said last year, there is no growth without pain. It was painful last year and we grew from that.”

Quips’ senior quarterback Quentin Goode goes out a winner. He felt the brunt of that McDevitt loss last year and wanted to rectify it with this last opportunity.

“I can’t explain it, ever since we were growing up, we always thought of ourselves as this special class that was able to do special things, and we did it,” Goode said. “This is it. It will hit me playing the last game with my seniors, but we went out with the best note you can go out on.”

The game was over by halftime.

Aliquippa took a 40-14 lead into intermission, scoring on three drives of 90 yards or more, intercepting the Mountaineers three times, including a pick-six, and Hayes doing almost anything he wanted, rushing for 179 yards and three TDs in the first 24 minutes.

The Quips took their first possession 91 yards over seven plays, which chewed up a quick 2:37 off the clock. Quentin Goode pulled the Dallas defense in with a play-action fake and hit Brandon Banks wide open for a 36-yard touchdown in the right corner of the end zone. The big play of the drive was a Tracy 30-yard run, which was followed by the Quentin Goode TD pass.

Dallas stumbled on the next drive, putting the Mountaineers in a bigger fix, when QaLil Goode picked off Dallas’ quarterback Brady Zapoticky at the Dallas 45 for the first of his three picks.

Three plays later, it was 16-0, thanks to the 35-yard chunk play from Cameron Lindsey. Hayes made Dallas pay with a seven-yard TD run, and with 5:28 left in the first quarter, the Quips had surged out to a 16-0 lead.

But here is where Dallas stayed in the game, for however brief. Down 16-0 midway through the first quarter, battling an explosive team that could run away with the game, the Mountaineers responded with a scoring drive when Zapoticky hit Gavin Lewis with a 39-yard touchdown pass. It temporarily took the momentum away from Aliquippa and forced the Quips to answer.

They did.

For the second time on its first three possessions, Aliquippa drove over 90 yards to score again.

In the first 12 minutes, Aliquippa amassed 228 yards of total offense, averaging 12 yards a play. By halftime, that total climbed to 347.

Hayes was near unstoppable. Through one quarter, he already had 93 yards rushing on 11 carries, averaging 8.5 yards a carry and two touchdowns. Much of that was a credit to the guys in front: left tackle Rico Miller, left guard Justus Starks, center Braylon Wilcox, right guard Mylez Greene, a freshman, and left tackle Kamari Mathews and tight end Jayace Williams.

If it wasn’t Hayes accelerating through the Dallas defense, it was QaLil Goode’s three first-half interceptions. Two led to touchdowns, one by QaLil Goode himself, taking a pick-six 87 yards for the final score of the half.

For Dallas, the state title loss was a rough one, considering the Mountaineers’ double-overtime state semifinal upset over McDevitt.

“We’ll start working on the next run tomorrow,” said Dallas coach Rich Mannello, who did an amazing job this season getting Dallas back to the state finals. “We had a chance before the half, and the pick all the way back, that hurt us. What I said to (his team) is this is hard to swallow right now, but they’re going to look back some day and look at this year and see how much they accomplished.”

Scoring Summary

Aliquippa (15-0) 24 16 13 7-60

Dallas (15-1) 7 7 0 0-14

1st Quarter

A – Brandon Banks 36 pass from Quentin Goode (Tiqwai Hayes run), 8:04

A – Hayes 7 run (Mekhi Green pass from Goode), 5:28

D – Gavin Lewis 39 pass from Brady Zapoticky (Rowan Laubach kick), 4:22

A – Hayes 34 run (John Tracy run), 1:04

2nd Quarter

A – Hayes 61 run (Jayace Williams pass from Goode), 9:15

D – Dylan Geskey 1 run (Laubach kick), 4:30

A – QaLil Goode 87 INT return (Quentin Goode run), 1:20

3rd Quarter

A – Tracy 15 run (pass failed), 9:09

A – Cameron Lindsey 9 run (Malachi Shegog kick), 6:11

4th Quarter

A – Tracy 46 run (DeShaun Ansa kick), 11:49




RUSHES-YARDS (NET) 40-406/27-47


Passes Cmp-Att-Int 7-14-1/9-26-5


Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0/0-0

Punt Returns-Yards 0-0/1-7

Kickoff Returns-Yards 2-4/9-68

Interception Returns-Yards 5-176/1-47

Punts (Number-Avg) 1-31.0/2-49.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0/1-1

Penalties-Yards 12-100/5-42

Possession Time 24:38/23:22

Third-Down Conversions 4 of 9/3 of 11

Fourth-Down Conversions 3 of 4/1 of 3

Red-Zone Scores-Chances 3-6/1-2

Joseph Santoliquito is a hall of fame, 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 []. Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball [].

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

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