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WPIAL championship notebook: Sto-Rox QB ends career among Pa. passing leaders

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams stiff-arms North Catholic's Ryan Long during the third quarter of the WPIAL Class A championship game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Heinz Field.

Lenny Williams finished his outstanding career with 8,509 yards, best in WPIAL history and fifth all-time in state history. He finished 36 yards short of the 8,545 yards compiled by Kyle Smith of Lancaster Catholic (2006-09).

Williams career line: 479 completions, 823 attempts, 8,509 yards, 102 touchdowns.

“We have accomplished a lot,” he said. “We didn't get what we wanted, you know, to cap off our whole legacy, but at the end of the day, through all our years we did a lot of things, a lot of positive things, a lot more positive than negative things.”

• With Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic's first WPIAL title in tow, it also means the Trojans will appear in the PIAA playoffs for the first time. North Catholic will play District 5 champion Tussey Mountain (11-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Hampton's Fridley Field. Tussey Mountain is located in Saxton, north of Bedford. It's one of the most rural school districts in the state, serving 11 small municipalities covering 171 square miles in Bedford and Huntingdon counties.

• Saturday's 14-0 loss was the first time Sto-Rox was shut out since Sept. 9, 2005, when the Vikings fell to South Park, 40-0. Sto-Rox also became the first school to lose three straight WPIAL championship games since Gateway (2007-09).

• North Catholic's defense held Sto-Rox to 19 rushing yards. The Trojans sacked Williams six times and threw the Vikings for losses on 12 plays.

Class AA

South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh keeps moving up the list of all-time WPIAL passers. His 315-yard performance Saturday places him eighth with 5,919 yards.

Brumbaugh passed Penn-Trafford's Tyler Huether, Sto-Rox's Paul Jones and Pine-Richland's Jake Long in the WPIAL annals. His next target is Steel Valley's Luke Getsy, in seventh place with 6,010 yards.

Also, Brumbaugh went over the 3,000-yard passing milestone for the season on a 19-yard completion to Conner Beck early in the third quarter.

Brumbaugh has 3,096 yards passing this year.

• The win gave South Fayette its fourth WPIAL football title. The other championships came in 1937, 1964 and 2010.

• Aliquippa's Terry Swanson completed an outstanding season with his 166 rushing yards, giving him 1,704 on the season. He also scored 19 points for the Quips, allowing him to finish the season with 145 points.

• Saturday also was Aliquippa's 24th WPIAL title game appearance. The Quips have a 15-9 mark in WPIAL championship games.

Class AAA

West Allegheny coach Bob Palko became the first coach to win seven WPIAL football titles outright. New Castle's Phil Bridlebaugh won seven titles, but one was a tri-championship with Jeannette and McKeesport in 1932. Prior to 1987, the WPIAL declared co-champions in tie games.

• The win also provided West Allegheny with its seventh title, tying the school with Glassport, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon for sixth place in number of football titles won.

• Central Valley was hoping to become the first WPIAL school to win two titles in its first four years of existence since Burrell did it in 1967 and ‘68.

Seton-La Salle won two titles with its new name when South Hills Catholic absorbed Mary Elizabeth Seton in 1978. But Seton-La Salle maintained the South Hills Catholic nickname, mascot and school building.

Class AAAA

Central Catholic junior Graham Adomitis will never forget his second rushing attempt of the season. It came on an errant Vikings punt where Adomitis picked up the ball behind the line of scrimmage and raced 66 yards for a touchdown. Prior to Saturday, Adomitis had a lone 14-yard carry before the thrilling play with 3:56 to go in the second period.

• Saturday's win represented the fourth WPIAL title for Central Catholic, all coming in the last 11 seasons. The Vikings also brought home WPIAL gold in 2003, '04 and '07. The school has now won 481 football games since inaugurating its program in 1927. The Vikings have compiled 14 straight winning seasons.

• Luigi Lista-Brinza again was the workhorse for Central Catholic, carrying the ball 27 times for 136 yards. During one drive, Lista-Brinza carried the ball on six consecutive plays. In three other series, he carried four times in five Vikings plays. Lista-Brinza now has 181 attempts for 1,411 yards on the season.

• Central Catholic's calling card all season has been ball control football. But all four Vikings touchdowns consumed less than four minutes, particularly their final scoring drive of four plays and 32 yards in just 1:40.

• Woodland Hills coach George Novak was looking to become the first WPIAL coach to guide his teams to seven titles. Novak has five at Woodland Hills and one at Steel Valley.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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