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Gorman: For Quips, to win state won't settle the debate

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Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 9:58 p.m.

In Aliquippa, it's not just about winning a PIAA championship but also about bragging rights.

The 2012 Quips are about to endure what the 2003 state champs heard from the 2000 runners-up, what the 1991 state champs heard from the '88 runners-up:

Who's the best?

That question started a war of words on Twitter last week, just before the Quips beat Richland, 37-21, to clinch a trip to Hershey.

Darrelle Revis got the last word on a conversation that included his cousin, Quips' star Dravon Henry, whose 15-0 team can tout its invoking the mercy rule a dozen times and scoring six shutouts this season.

Now an All-Pro cornerback with the New York Jets, Revis reminded the young Quips that his team featured Tennessee Titans cornerback Tommie Campbell, Pittsburgh Power receiver Michael Washington and all-state linebacker Donnell McKenzie.

“They were bragging about their stats, saying their stats were better than ours,” Revis said. “I said, ‘Man, we've got too many weapons. If we could line up both of our teams, we'd give it to you guys.' ”

Despite giving good-natured grief, Revis said he plans to go to Hershey on Saturday to root for Aliquippa (15-0) against Wyomissing (15-0) in the Class AA final.

It will mark Revis' return to Hersheypark Stadium for the first time since he scored five touchdowns in a 32-27 victory over Northern Lehigh in '03. Revis ran for three, scored on a 69-yard return of a blocked field goal and on an 89-yard kick return.

“When we won states —I should say, when Darrelle won states — we had so many weapons,” Washington said. “They probably look good on paper, but we were just way too big, too strong, too fast.”

But if these Quips beat Wyomissing, they will be the first in school history to win a state title with an undefeated record.

Would that make them the best Quips team ever? Better than the Sean Gilbert-led '88 team that was ranked No. 2 by USA Today before losing to Berwick?

“That's a tough question,” said Revis, Gilbert's nephew. “I really don't know. If they go undefeated and win states, they're going to say they're the best Aliquippa team of all time because the stats show it. Truthfully, being a football guy, I still wouldn't give them that crown.

“I wouldn't even give my class that right. I'd probably give it to my uncle's team. I watched their high school film, and those guys were talented. I never came at my uncle saying, ‘We'd beat you' because they didn't look like a high school. They looked like a college team. I don't even know how they lost that game to Berwick.”

Before they can brag, these Quips need to win. Where tradition dictates that the WPIAL champions get their year on the fieldhouse roof at The Pit, the state champions get theirs on the stadium scoreboard.

“It's good for them. When they see that scoreboard, that they can set their own mark,” Washington said. “We used that as motivation when we made our run. I hope they get to go undefeated and win states. They could make history.”

And start a great debate.

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