ShareThis Page

Aliquippa shuts out Clairton in penalty-riddled game

| Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, 12:45 a.m.

It wasn't pretty, but a win is another win for Aliquippa.

The Class 3A No. 1-ranked Quips defended their home turf at the Pit with a 28-0 nonconference win over Class A No. 5 Clairton.

The game was marred by a combined 38 penalties.

“There are no pictures next to Ws,” Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said. “It wasn't pretty. But as long as you are playing that kind of defense, you have a chance.”

Aliquippa (7-0, 3-0) dominated the game from the opening whistle, outgaining Clairton in total yards 211-12.

The Quips got the scoring going in the first quarter as Eli Kosanovich hit Deoveon Crute on a 10-yard fade to the corner of the end zone.

The ground game got going in the second quarter as Tariq Jones scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 2 yards.

“That's what we do,” Zmijanac said. “That is our M.O. The idea is to win the game. Playing defense and taking care of the ball does that.”

The Quips outgained the Bears, 140-minus-29, on the ground.

“They should make noise in Class 3A,” Clairton coach Wayne Wade said. “If that is a 1A football team, we're not. That is a great team.”

The penalties played a major part in Clairton's struggles. In the second quarter, the Bears had the Quips in a third-and-13 at the Aliquippa 30. But back-to-back personal foul penalties set up the second Jones touchdown run.

“We've been fighting that kind of stuff all year,” Wade said. “We need to clean that up. That is something we can control.”

The Quips had outgained the Bears, 158-7, by halftime.

Clairton's most successful drive was the opening series of the second half. The Bears gained 45 yards on Aliquippa penalties alone. But a bad snap and a false start at midfield turned a second and 8 into a third and 17.

The teams' 38 combined penalties accounted for 303 yards.

“Our kids play to the whistle,” Zmijanac said. “I think sometimes we get called for things because we're playing all the way through the play.

“But that is one of the reasons why our players are good.”

Avante McKenzie rounded out the Quips' scoring in the fourth quarter with a 6-yard run. The junior led the team with 104 yards on the ground.

Junior M.J. Devonshire recorded an interception.

Aliquippa has record six shutouts so far this season. The defense has yet to surrender a touchdown.

“You are talking about a championship football team,” Wade said. “(Aliquippa) is a good football team. They are big up front. They are fast. They don't let you get to the edge. They can cover guys in the secondary.

“It showed why they haven't given up a touchdown this year.”

The last time Clairton (4-2, 3-1) lost back-to-back games in the regular season? 2005. The Bears lost to Rochester and Duquesne in Weeks 2 and 3.

“We'll clean some things up,” Wade said. “We are going to dust this one off and walk out of here with our heads up. We still have a lot of football to play.”

Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.