ShareThis Page

Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: One and done for area football teams

Doug Gulasy
| Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, 11:18 p.m.
Fox Chapel's Nick Gizzo runs the ball against Penn-Trafford in the third quarter in a WPIAL playoff game Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at Penn-Trafford.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Nick Gizzo runs the ball against Penn-Trafford in the third quarter in a WPIAL playoff game Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at Penn-Trafford.

The Alle-Kiski Valley endured a shutout on the opening weekend of the WPIAL football playoffs.

With the losses of Fox Chapel to Penn-Trafford in Class 5A, Freeport to Seton LaSalle in Class 3A and Springdale to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in A, it meant no local team advanced past the first round.

The winless weekend came five years after the most recent time the A-K Valley didn't get a team to the second round: In 2012, Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Freeport, Kiski Area and Springdale and Valley all dropped their opening-round contests.

Another instant classic

Fox Chapel pushed No. 1 Penn-Trafford to the brink in Friday's Class 5A playoff opener before falling 28-21. The Foxes came close to avenging a 20-year-old playoff loss to the Warriors.

The Foxes and Warriors met in the 1997 Class AAAA semifinals, with Fox Chapel the favorite after rolling through the regular season and routing North Allegheny in the quarterfinals. But Penn-Trafford pulled the upset, taking advantage of four turnovers and a blocked punt, returning two of those for a score, in a 21-19 victory.

Chad Killian scored a touchdown to cut Penn-Trafford's lead to two points in the final minute, but the 2-point try failed, giving Penn-Trafford the win despite getting massively outgained.

“(It was) definitely one of those things where when you look at it on paper, the lead would go to us for sure,” Killian said this week, reminiscing. “We had some good people, and it was one of those times where it was an interesting game but a bummer for sure.”

Fox Chapel nearly got its revenge this week against the title-hopeful Warriors, with the one-two punch of quarterback Nick Gizzo and running back Micah Morris denting Penn-Trafford's stingy defense. John Gay IV's touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter provided the winning score, and the Foxes turned it over on downs in Penn-Trafford territory in the final minute.

Rossi rolling

Former Riverview coach Joe Rossi, now the coach at South Fayette, has his eyes on another WPIAL championship after a 35-0 Lions victory over West Mifflin in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Top-seeded South Fayette (11-0) has outscored opponents 480-115 behind a prolific passing game led by senior quarterback Drew Saxton.

Rossi, who coached Riverview from 2002-06 and compiled a 26-23 record, led South Fayette to WPIAL titles in 2010, ‘13 and ‘14 and to PIAA titles in the latter two years.

Soccer All-Star game

The Western Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association's annual boys soccer All-Star games are Nov. 25 at Highmark Stadium. Players will be released at a later date.

The games feature 80 players from around the WPIAL. Class A and Class AA All-Stars will play each other at 11 a.m., followed by Class AAA vs. Class AAAA All-Stars at 1 p.m.

On the trail

A pair of local athletes made their college decisions recently.

Fox Chapel senior Carson Cohen verbally committed to play basketball at Division III Tufts (Mass.). Cohen, a point guard, led the Foxes in scoring as a junior as they shared the Section 3-6A championship with Latrobe and Penn Hills.

Greensburg Central Catholic senior James Rice, a Leechburg native, committed to play baseball at Mount Aloysius. Rice, the son of former Apollo-Ridge baseball coach Joe Rice, was a starter on the 2017 GCC team that finished as WPIAL Class A runner-up and advanced to the PIAA semifinals.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.