CTK '17 - 2016 WPIAL Class 3-A Football Flashback

Headlines, Standings and Postseason Results From WPIAL 3-A in 2016
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Expansion was a huge part of the 2016-2017 school year as the PIAA and thus the WPIAL got its first taste of six classifications starting with the 2016 football season. While the playoff format garnered several headlines in Class 3-A, one 'super' conference was unhappy about the number of guaranteed playoff teams they would have. But in the end, a team from that conference, Beaver Falls stood tall to claim the Tigers in over three decades.

2016 WPIAL 3-A HEADLINES:

*  Long before the 2016 season kicked off, there was great debate in Class 3-A over the playoff format. Even though the classification had three conferences like 2-A and 1-A, only the top two teams in each conference would qualify for the playoffs with two third place teams making it via a wild card. That opposed to 2-A and 1-A where the top five teams made it to the postseason plus one wild card. The WPIAL set it up that way because the four highest classes continued to play their championship games at Heinz Field in 2016, but because of 6-A, 5-A and 4-A only taking eight teams to the playoffs for a three week postseason, district officials had to squeeze 3-A into the 'three week playoff' mix and decided only eight teams would qualify.

*  The biggest beef of the Class 3-A playoff format came from teams in the Beaver Valley Conference. Not including Hopewell and Quaker Valley which both finished at or over .500 overall for the season, the BVC earned the 'super' conference status as the top four teams...Aliquippa, Beaver, Beaver Falls and Central Valley jockeyed back and forth and spent nearly the entire season locked into everybody's 3-A Top 5. In fact, after eight weeks of the regular season, Beaver was ranked #1 not only in the MSA Sports rankings, but also in the state in 3-A with an 8-1 record. However the Bobcats fell in the regular season finale in Week Nine 20-15 to Beaver Falls dropping them to 4-2 in the Beaver Valley Conference and into a tie for third place with Central Valley behind co-champs Beaver Falls and Aliquippa. Beaver lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Central Valley and while the Warriors garnered one of the classifications two wild card spots, the Bobcats were inexplicably home for the WPIAL playoffs.  

*  In a season with plenty of changes, there was one thing that did not change in 2016 and that was Aliquippa going all the way to the WPIAL title game. The Quips played for district gold for a record NINTH straight year. But Aliquippa dropped to 4-5 in those finals when rival Beaver falls avenged a Week One loss to the Quips with a 35-22 triumph over the black and red. The title was the Tigers first WPIAL football crown since 1984.

*  The top quarterback in the WPIAL in 2016 was from Class 3-A. Alex Smith led Keystone Oaks to the Allegheny Conference championship by hitting on 189 passes for 3,061 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards as the Golden Eagles suffered only one non-conference loss in the regular season in what many feel was the game of the year in the district, 77-49 to Beaver. The leading rusher in 3-A was Lionel Deanes of Seton-LaSalle who gained 1,814 yards, just less than 100 yards more than the 1,715 yards rushed by Tyler Balega, who helped make 2016 a dream season for Derry. A perennial pushover for many in recent years, the Trojans used a pound on ground attack and a spirited defense to claim the Interstate Conference championship with a perfect regular season. Derry added to the memorable run with the Quarterfinals win over Central Valley before the party ended just one win shy of Heinz Field with a 46-20 loss to Aliquippa in the Semifinals. 

*  Three teams finished without a victory in 3-A in 2016 as Ellwood City, Shady Side Academy and Waynesburg all ended up 0-9. The fall of the Indians and Raiders on that list comes only two years after both of those teams made the WPIAL playoffs. Southmoreland did win a game last fall, but the longest current playoff drought continued as the Scotties now have not qualified for a football postseason game since Jimmy Carter was president 37 years ago.

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2016 WPIAL Final Class 3-A Standings:

While it was business as usual for rivals Aliquippa and Beaver falls as they shared the new Beaver Valley Conference title and would eventually square off in the 3-A title game at Heinz Field, it was a dream season for Derry in the Interstate Conference and Keystone Oaks in the Allegheny Conference.

WPIAL 3A BEAVER VALLEY CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Aliquippa

5-1

8-2

316-189

+34

#-Beaver Falls

5-1

8-1

321-143

+31

*-Central Valley

4-2

7-3

300-160

+23

x-Beaver

4-2

7-2

371-172

+28

x-Quaker Valley

2-4

5-4

182-218

-20

x-Hopewell

1-5

5-5

213-287

-44

x-Ellwood City

0-6

0-9

70-269

-52


 

WPIAL 3A ALLEGHENY CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Keystone Oaks

7-0

8-1

402-172

+70

*-Apollo-Ridge

5-2

7-3

319-267

+27

x-Valley

5-2

6-3

243-258

+18

x-Seton-LaSalle

4-3

5-4

239-235

+17

x-Freeport

3-4

4-5

204-236

-16

x-Burrell

2-5

3-7

211-309

-26

x-Deer Lakes

2-5

2-7

179-259

-28

x-Shady Side Academy

0-7

0-9

155-272

-62

 

WPIAL 3A INTERSTATE CONFERENCE

TEAM

SECTION

OVERALL

PF-PA

TIEBREAK PTS

#-Derry

7-0

10-0

338-121

+70

*-Mount Pleasant

5-2

7-3

338-181

+33

*-South Park

5-2

5-4

203-180

+26

x-Elizabeth Forward

4-3

5-4

222-199

+2

x-McGuffey

3-4

5-5

177-228

-9

x-Yough

3-4

4-5

182-223

-11

x-Southmoreland

1-6

1-8

118-318

-43

x-Waynesburg Central

0-7

0-9

77-290

-68

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2016 WPIAL Class 3-A Football Playoff Results:

Six of the eight 3-A playoff teams also qualified in 2015 with Derry and South Park as the two exceptions. The two wild card teams came from the Beaver Valley Conference (Central Valley) and the Interstate Conference (South Park).

2016 WPIAL CLASS 3-A FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Beaver Falls Tigers  35  -   Aliquippa Quips  22  

WPIAL CLASS 3-A Semifinals:

Aliquippa Quips  46  -  Derry Trojans  20  

Beaver Falls Tigers  28  -  Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles  21  

WPIAL CLASS 3-A Quarterfinals:

Aliquippa Quips  42  -  South Park Eagles  7  

Derry Trojans  33  -  Central Valley Warriors  20  

Beaver Falls Tigers  42  -  Mount Pleasant Vikings  14  

Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles  56  -  Apollo-Ridge Vikings  20  

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2016 PIAA Class 3-A Football Playoff Results:

It was an inauspicious start to the 2016 season for Beaver Falls as they fell big at home in Week One to rival Aliquippa 44-13. 13 wins later, the Tigers were celebrating the schools first ever PIAA football championship after rolling past Middletown in the 3-A finals at Hershey.

2016 PIAA CLASS 3-A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

BEAVER FALLS TIGERS 30 - Middletown Blue Raiders 13  

PIAA CLASS 3-A Semifinals:

BEAVER FALLS TIGERS 14 - Martinsburg Central Scarlet Dragons 7  

Middletown Blue Raiders 49 - Notre Dame-Green Pond Crusaders 14

PIAA CLASS 3-A Quarterfinals:

BEAVER FALLS TIGERS - BYE

Martinsburg Central Scarlet Dragons 36 - Karns City Gremlins 21

Middletown Blue Raiders 40 - Scranton Prep Cavaliers 13

Notre Dame-Green Pond Crusaders 36 - Delaware Valley Charter Warriors 22

PIAA CLASS 3-A First Round:

BEAVER FALLS TIGERS 35 - ALIQUIPPA QUIPS 22  

Karns City Gremlins 35 - Hickory Hornets 17

Martinsburg Central Scarlet Dragons 49 - Juniata Indians 0

Middletown Blue Raiders 48 - Wyomissing Spartans 20  

Scranton Prep Cavaliers 37 - Montoursville Warriors 13

Notre Dame-Green Pond Crusaders 28 - Pen Argyl Green Knights 7

 

Delaware Valley Charter Warriors 26 - Conwell-Egan Catholic Eagles 14

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