Brumbaugh leads South Fayette past Beaver Falls, back to WPIAL title game
A Brumbaugh-led South Fayette offense is headed back to Heinz Field, and an old championship game rival is waiting.
Sure-armed junior Brett Brumbaugh — the latest in a line of the WPIAL's quarterback family — completed 17 of 23 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns and added a 1-yard score on the ground as the No. 2-seeded Lions spoiled Beaver Falls' WPIAL title hopes once again in a 35-7 WPIAL Class AA semifinal victory at Montour.
The victory sets up a showdown of Class AA unbeatens and a rematch of the 2010 championship game with Aliquippa, which defeated Beaver, 57-14, in the other semifinal. South Fayette and No. 1 Aliquippa are both 12-0.
South Fayette ended a 46-year championship drought with a 19-6 victory over Aliquippa in that 2010 championship game, with Brett's older brother, Christian, at the helm.
Brett Brumbaugh and the rest of the Lions will have a much shorter wait if they can get by the two-time defending champion Quips next Saturday at Heinz Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
“We were there in 2010, and now we are back,” South Fayette's Joe Rossi said, “but Class AA football goes through Aliquippa.”
Brumbaugh had little trouble directing South Fayette's spread offense, as the Lions easily eliminated the No. 6-seeded Tigers (9-3) for the fourth consecutive postseason.
The junior guided consecutive scoring drives that ended in 1-yard touchdown runs by JJ Walker to open the game before throwing touchdown passes of 12 yards to Conner Beck and 33 yards to Justin Watson after the half. He added a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to trigger a running clock.
“It means a lot,” Brumbaugh said. “We came up a bit short last year, but we grew from that. It is going to be a tough game.”
Beaver Falls got a late 9-yard touchdown from freshman Mason Carothers, but did little else for three quarters. The Tigers noted rushing tandem of Damian Rawl and Kahlil Caracter was shut down by a stingy South Fayette defense. The pair combined for 62 yards on 20 carries.
Following Walker's scores, the Tigers had a chance to make it a game down 14-0 in the first quarter. Quarterback Dan Stratton moved Beaver Falls within striking distance to the 9-yard-line, but the senior's pass was tipped and intercepted by South Fayette's Ryan Schmider at the 1-yard line.
From there, it was the same old story, as Brumbaugh found a groove and South Fayette cruised to a running-clock victory.
Brian Duermeyer is a freelance writer.