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Clairton could reach national scoring mark in PIAA Class A title game

| Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, 11:42 p.m.

High-scoring Clairton will need to put up more points in the PIAA Class A championship football game than all but one of its 15 previous contests to establish a single-season national high school scoring record.

The Bears (15-0) hold the Pennsylvania mark with 940 points this season and need 84 in the state title game Friday in Hershey against Altoona Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic (15-0) to break the all-time mark of 1,023 by Aledo (Texas) in 2013.

Clairton's highest output came in an 86-0 rout of Wilkinsburg in the second week of the season, and a 54-18 victory over Sharpsville in the PIAA semifinals three days ago marked the 13th time the WPIAL champion has scored at least 50 points in a game.

“We could've had it, but we play with a mercy rule, and that speeds up the game significantly when that happens,” Clairton coach Wayne Wade said, referring to the national scoring record. “The state of Texas doesn't have a mercy rule.”

Clairton is averaging a season-low 62.7 points per game, primarily because the majority of its opponents have been more formidible in the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs, where the Bears escaped in the WPIAL semifinals with a 48-42 overtime victory over Neshannock, one of just two games that didn't trigger the mercy rule.

Still, Wade said, “We've been able to come close (to the national record).”

Clairton will be playing in its sixth PIAA championship game in the past seven years and has won four state titles during that time. The Bears also defeated District 10 champion Sharpsville, 30-8, in the 2011 semifinals on their way to a third consecutive crown.

Sophomore running back Lamont Wade, who rushed for 165 yards against Sharpsville, boosted his touchdown total to 45 — 41 rushing after a pair of scores Friday night in Clairton's latest lopsided win at North Allegheny.

Wade increased his season rushing total to 2,715 yards after taking over as the team's featured runner early in the year when junior Harrison Dreher was sidelined for much of the season with a knee injury.

Quarterback Ryan Williams has totaled 43 touchdowns (39 through the air), including 13 to senior Jamie Hines, who is averaging 25.7 yards per catch.

Clairton's team defense has been similarly impressive this year, having registered six shutouts and given up more than 14 points on just three occasions.

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic, the District 6 champion, hasn't been as prolific as Clairton, averaging 47.4 points but has registered seven shutouts, one more than the Bears.

Among the Mauraders' victories was a 27-3 decision over District 5 Class AAA champion Somerset, which lost to Archbishop Wood Catholic in the PIAA semifinals Saturday.

Following the Clairton-Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic game at 1 p.m. Friday, District 12 champion Archbishop Wood Catholic meets WPIAL champion Central Valley for the PIAA Class AAA title at 7 p.m.

Both games will be played at Hersheypark Stadium, as will the Class AA and AAAA games Saturday. The WPIAL representatives are defending champion South Fayette, which plays District 2 champion Dunmore at noon in Class AA game, and Pine-Richland, which meets District 12 champion St. Joseph's Prep at 6 p.m. in the Class AAAA game.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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