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Aliquippa players downplay significance of 2010 final loss to South Fayette

| Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 10:18 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Aliquippa's Terry Swanson carries for a touchdown against Beaver Falls on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at Geneva College.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh looks to pass against Beaver Falls during the third quarter of a WPIAL Class AA semifinal Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Montour High School.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Aliquippa's Patrick Anderson scores on a halfback touchdown pass in front of Beaver Falls' Dalton Cleckley Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at Reeves Field in Beaver Falls.

There's a saying Aliquippa football coach Mike Zmijanac has that resonates with center Nayo Seaburn.

“One thing (Zmijanac) tells us is, ‘Revenge is for losers.' ” Seaburn explained. “If you think about it, that's the truth. We just want to prepare like it's any other game.”

South Fayette might have topped Aliquippa in this game three years ago, but the Quips aren't concerned with retribution — only chasing a 16th championship.

“We don't try to think about it,” senior Dravon Henry said. “We just go out and play our game.”

Which, for Aliquippa, means getting the ball to Henry and Terry Swanson, the WPIAL's set of 4,000-yard runners. Together they've rushed for more than 9,000.

While Aliquippa would rather forget 2010 — a 19-6 loss — the Lions talked often this week about that game. How four Aliquippa fumbles provided a much-needed boost. How their older teammates celebrated South Fayette's first WPIAL title since 1964.

“I remember Christian Brumbaugh and Nick Faraci celebrating,” South Fayette linebacker Zach Walker said. “You see them run off the field, hands in the air. It looked like the best feeling, and I want that for myself.”

Aliquippa could have an advantage up front with an offensive line that averages 275 pounds. South Fayette defensive tackles Ben Berkovitz and Bryce Christoff go about 225 each.

The Quips average 312 rushing yards per game, while Henry and Swanson have combined for 35 touchdowns.

South Fayette counters with a sophisticated passing game that Brett Brumbaugh (2,781 yards, 31 TDs) runs to perfection.

This may be Week 13 of the regular season for Aliquippa, but South Fayette views it as a chance to repeat 2010.

To knock off one of theWPIAL's premier programs.

“We talk about that 2010 team a lot,” South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. “We talk about how those guys put their stamp on the program.

“We tell them all the time, ‘How are you going to leave your mark on this program? What are you going to do in these types of games so the future South Fayette kids talk about you guys the same way?' ”

A fine goal. But a tall task considering Aliquippa has 15 WPIAL titles and Zmijanac, the man behind the mantra, has a career record of 188-29.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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