“Bout Dat” was the Clairton Bears rallying cry for the last few years. Clairton’s 66 game winning streak was the longest in WPIAL and state history with five consecutive WPIAL and four straight state championships. But all dat changed in 2013.
The WPIAL championship is high school football’s version of Mount Everest and the Bears climbed to the top of the mountain over Sto Rox’s for the last two years.
On a chilly Friday night at Chartiers Houston Stadium the Vikings were looking for payback and revenge is a dish best served cold.
Quarterback Lenny Williams led Sto Rox’s (12-0) to a 24-19 win over Clairton (10-2).
The physical tools always have been there for Williams: arm strength, quickness, speed, patience and leadership qualities. He’s an elite player who seem to put it all together as a senior.
Williams is the first player in WPIAL history with more than 10,000 yards of offense and has passed for 34 touchdowns this season.
Sto Rox took an early 6-0 first quarter lead on a Lenny Williams 12 yard touchdown run.
The Bears showed the heart of a champion when Ryan Williams threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to Aaron Matthews to even the score at 6-6.
The Bears took a 13-6 halftime lead when Vance Allen returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown.
Division I prospect Brendan Blair got on the scoreboard with a 5 yard touchdown run to close the gap to 13-12.
Blair leads the team with 18 touchdowns and 800 yards rushing. He is being recruited as a wide receiver and defensive back.
For Blair, competing is a burning fire that never dies. It’s like the pilot light inside an oven. It might be smaller and dimmer, but it’s always there.
Williams turned into the “Turnover Machine” for the Vikings. He lost two fumbles and his interception was returned for a touchdown. He almost handed the game over to the Bears.
Williams, who is one of the state’s best players, began to give the Bears fits with his scrambling ability. He ran for 133 yards and made his presence felt on offense and defense.
Williams returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Vikings an 18-13 lead.
“Lenny is a big time player,” said Blair. “Big time players make big time plays in big time games.”
The lead was short lived because Harrison Dreher ran around, through and out raced the Vikings for a 53 yard touchdown. Clairton took the lead 19-18.
After getting over some jitters in the first half, Williams was able to take over the game. He passed and scrambled the Vikings down the field and his 22 yard touchdown run put Sto Rox ahead for good and into the championship game Saturday at Heinz Field.
“He’s a good player,” Clairton coach Tom Nola said. “We had him a number of different times, but he always seemed to get out of it.”
Sto Rox will face North Catholic Saturday at 11 a.m. The Vikings could be overlooking the Trojans who will be making their first WPIAL championship appearance.
“We haven’t accomplished anything yet,” said Blair. “We had to get this monkey off our backs. Our goal isn’t just to make it to the championship. We are going to win it.”
Western Pennsylvania has been called the cradle of quarterbacks and Williams is one of the best. He can run, pass and defend.Williams and Blair are out to prove that beating Clairton was no fluke.