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PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals preview: West Allegheny vs. Erie Cathedral Prep

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - West Allegheny's Tory Delmonico scores over Central Valley's Luke Kusler during the second quarter of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>West Allegheny's Tory Delmonico scores over Central Valley's Luke Kusler during the second quarter of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - West Allegheny's Chayse Dillon stiff-arms Central Valley's Anthony Williams during the fourth quarter of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>West Allegheny's Chayse Dillon stiff-arms Central Valley's Anthony Williams during the fourth quarter of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Heinz Field.

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PLAYER TO WATCH

CHAYSE DILLON

West Allegheny

RB/LB, Junior

5-foot-11, 190 pounds

West Allegheny's leading rusher caught five passes for 100 yards last week while also carrying 17 times for 59 more. The Ramblers will have to account for Dillon at all times.

how they got here

ECP: The Ramblers topped General McClane, 63-21, Friday to win their 19th District 10 title.

WA: The Indians beat Central Valley, 16-6, Saturday for their seventh WPIAL championship.

statistical leaders

ECP: Passing: Billy Fessler, 142-260-2,736, 39 TDs; Rushing: Jake DeHart, 84-974, 16 TDs; Receiving: Felix Manus-Schell, 32-639, 12 TDs.

WA: Passing: Andrew Koester, 89-138-1,483, 19 TDs; Rushing: Chayse Dillon, 138-1,205, 12 TDs; Receiving: Tory Delmonico, 21-337, 4 TDs.

by the numbers

2: Times Cathedral Prep has trailed at halftime during its 27-game winning streak, including a 10-6 deficit against West Allegheny last season.

2001: West Allegheny defeated Strath Haven, 28-13, to win the PIAA Class AAA title.

Prediction

Cathedral Prep, 35-28.

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, 6:35 p.m.
 

PIAA AAA QUARTERFINALS

WEST ALLEGHENY (13-0) vs. ERIE CATHEDRAL PREP (12-0) 7 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny

The Rematch has become reality.

Moments after West Allegheny's victory over Central Valley in the WPIAL Class AAA final Saturday night, Indians players began celebrating not only a seventh championship but also second crack at Erie Cathedral Prep.

The Ramblers topped West Allegheny, 27-13, at Erie Veterans Stadium in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals a season ago. The two will meet at 7 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny, again in the PIAA quarterfinals.

“It's going to be a hard-working week,” said senior running back/linebacker Tory Delmonico. “No one is going to want to screw around or anything. It should be a good week.”

Tied at 13, West Allegheny surrendered a pair of fourth-quarter scores in last year's meeting, both from Damion Terry to Delton Williams. Terry and Williams are now at Michigan State.

Terry has been replaced by Billy Fessler, who has completed 55 percent of his passes for 2,736 yards and 39 touchdowns. He's thrown just six interceptions.

Fessler's favorite target has been Felix Manus-Schell, an Old Dominion commit who averages 20 yards per catch, has 639 total receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

Erie Cathedral Prep (12-0) is the defending PIAA Class AAA champion and recently won its 19th District 10 title, 63-21, over General McClane. The Ramblers are unbeaten in their past 27 contests.

West Allegheny shut down Central Valley in the WPIAL title game, holding Division I prospect Jordan Whitehead to 31 yards on four offensive touches.

Linebacker Armand Dellovade, who had a team-high 11 tackles against the Warriors, was one of those eager for another crack at the high-scoring Ramblers, who average 52.8 points per game.

“I can't wait to face them again,” Dellovade said. “I want to completely shut them out, too.”

The winner draws Bishop McDevitt or Manheim Central, who meet Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.

— Jason Mackey

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