WPIAL Class 1A-5A Championship Previews

Breakdowns and predictions for all five class title games

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Colcombe

Class 1A Championship:

No. 2 Jeannette (8-1) vs. No. 1 Clairton (8-0)

Saturday 11 a.m. at North Hills’ Martorelli Stadium

Once again, 1A comes down to another rematch between the Jayhawks and Bears. These teams met at the beginning of the season and the Bears handed the Jayhawks their only loss of the season. The thing about this matchup is that it happens so often it feels like it’s almost guaranteed they will meet each other in the championship game as they are this year. Both of these teams have great offenses and defenses. Let’s see how they will match up against each other. 

Players To Watch:


  • Brad Birch, QB, 6-2, 195 lbs. – Freshman.
  • Brett Birch, ATH, 5-10, 170 lbs. – Junior


  • Deontae Sanders, RB, 6’2, 235 lbs. – Senior. 

Keys To The Game:

  • Jeannette’s Brad Birch has to play calm and collected on the big stage, no turnovers 
  • Clairton needs to run the ball between the tackles and wear down the Jayhawks’ defense

Prediction: Clairton over Jannette


Class 2A Championship:

No. 3 Sto-Rox (8-1) vs. No. 1 Beaver Falls (9-0)

Saturday 5 p.m. at North Hills’ Martorelli Stadium

Coming into this season, both teams had dreams of reaching the WPIAL 2A Championship, and on Saturday those will become reality. Sto-Rox will be playing in their second straight WPIAL final. However, last year, Sto-Rox fell to Clairton, 41-19 in the Class 1A Championship game. 

These teams were perfect all year other than a Week 1 Sto-Rox forfeit to Carlynton, due to not having enough eligible players. Beaver Falls comes into this game undefeated and are led by the 1-2 punch of senior running backs Josh Hough and Shalique Livingston.

Both backs have over 1,000 yards on the ground this season and they have run through opponents all year long. This week will be a different style of play than they have seen all season. Sto-Rox is a team that prides itself on throwing the ball and wears opponents down by running the ball. This will be an interesting matchup on both sides of the ball. 

Players To Watch:

Sto – Rox: 

  • Dionte Givens, ATH, 6-0, 220 lbs. – Senior
  • Josh Jenkins, QB, 6-3, 165 lbs. – Sophomore

Beaver Falls: 

  • Josh Hough, RB/LB, 6-3, 230 lbs. – Senior 
  • Shileak Livingston, RB/DE 5-11, 220 lbs. – Senior

Keys To The Game:

  • Sto-Rox defense needs to keep Beaver Falls offense off the field and control the clock
  • Can Beaver Falls’ defense keep up with the Sto-Rox, high powered passing attack? 

Prediction: Sto-Rox over Beaver Falls 


Class 3A Championship:

No. 3 Elizabeth Forward vs. No. 1 Central Valley

Friday 7 p.m. at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium

Looking at this game, you would think of it as a very lopsided matchup, but that is not the case at all. These are two teams that are built around defense.

Central Valley has allowed only 8.2 points per game, and Elizabeth Forward has only allowed 9.1. Still, a big part of this matchup is that Central Valley is an offensive powerhouse that averages over 50 points per game.

Elizabeth Forward hasn’t played a team this year with a lot of offensive firepower. This game could go one of two ways, either a defensive showdown, or Central Valley will run away with the title. 

Players To Watch:

Elizabeth Forward:

  • Chase Whatton, HB/DE, 6-5, 240 lbs. – Senior

Central Valley: 

  • Stephon Hall, RB/S, 6-1, 165 lbs. – Senior
  • Myles Walker, WR/CB, 5’9, 165 lbs. – Senior 

Keys To The Game: 

  • Can Elizabeth Forward’s hold strong against a tough offense
  • Elizabeth Forward has to have a balanced offensive attack 

Prediction: Central Valley over Elizabeth Forward


Class 4A Championship:

No. 2 Thomas Jefferson (7-1) vs. No. 1 Aliquippa (9-0)

Saturday 1 p.m. at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium

Well folks it’s the game that you all have been waiting for as this game has the makings to be one of the best WPIAL title games of all time. With Aliquippa, a school that has an enrollment of a Class A football team, playing up in Class 4A, shows that they can play with just about anyone. 

These teams both have multiple WPIAL titles. Between the two teams, there are 26 WPIAL titles. The Jaguars are back again in the WPIAL title game and it seems to be no surprise. In years past, Thomas Jefferson usually runs away with the title, but in 2020, a slip up towards the end of the season gave the Jaguars a 20-14 loss to McKeesport. Maybe this Aliquippa team can do something special?

Players To Watch: 

Thomas Jefferson:

  • Jake Pugh, QB, 5-10, 165 lbs. – Senior 
  • Preston Zandier, WR/LB, 6-2, 200 lbs. – Senior


  • Vernon Redd, RB/DB, 5-11, 160 lbs. – Senior
  • Vaughn Morris, QB/S, 5’8, 145 lbs. – Senior

Keys To The Game:

  • Can Aliquippa handle Thomas Jefferson up front in the trenches? 
  • Turnovers will determine the winner of this game

Prediction: Aliquippa over Thomas Jefferson 


Class 5A Championship: 

No.3 Peters Township (8-0) vs. No.1 Pine Richland (8-0)

Saturday 7 p.m. at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium

Last week, Peters Township came back to defeat Gateway 20-19, after being down 19-0 in the second half. This is one of the better Peters Township teams in recent years.

Can this team finally get the monkey off their back of never winning a WPIAL title? This team is riding high and has a lot of momentum coming into this game.

Pine Richland is still Pine Richland. Year after year this team seems to always be in a WPIAL Championship game, whether it’s Class 5A or 6A. After reclassification last year, the Rams dropped down to 5A, where once again, they’ve steam rolled most opponents through the season.

Players To Watch:

Peters Township: 

  • Donovan McMillion, WR/FS, 6-2, 195 lbs. – Senior 
  • Logan Pfeuffer, QB, 6-0, 160 lbs. – Senior

Pine Richland:

  • Cole Spencer, QB, 5-10, 180 lbs. – Senior
  • Eli Jochem, WR, 5-11 160 lbs. – Senior

Keys To The Game:

  • Peters Township must keep Pfeuffer protected 
  • Pine Richland needs to play it’s game, per usual

Prediction: Pine Richland over Peters Township