This is the first edition of the WPIAL Insider Thursday Night Special. The TNS will be about really anything in the WPIAL that sparks our interest. This week, with the first edition, we would like to welcome the Aliquippa Defense to the stage….
Defense wins championships. It is the constant phrase you hear from defensive coaches at every level of football. Aliquippa football knows a little bit about winning championships and playing great defense. But for a team that has produced defensive studs like Darrelle Revis and Ty Law, could this latest addition of the Quips be the best defense in school history?
Through seven games this season, the Quips have shutout six of the seven teams they have faced this year. Even more impressive is the Aliquippa defense has yet to surrender an offensive touchdown so far in 2017.Beaver Area is the only team to score any points on them, which came in a 30-10 win over the Bobcats. Since that Week 3 contest, the Quips have outscored their opposition 164-0.
Coming into this season, most of the attention was going to senior safety Kwantel Raines and rightly so. Raines is currently ranked as one of the top seniors in the state and is rated as the no.15 safety in the entire country. Speaking with PennLive.com, Raines stated that their defense is doing nothing new, just playing as a cohesive group.
“We play as a unit,” Raines said. “We’ve played together our whole lives so we’re just having fun playing together.”
Raines isn’t the only one in the secondary making waves for the Quips. Juniors MJ Devonshire and Xavier Harvey could be the best corner tandem in the WPIAL. Both of them are ranked in our WPIAL Hot 100 list. Raines is also on the list though he is rate a lot lower than some would think a 4-star recruit should be. Quips defensive tackle Dajour Fisher also made the list last week, ranking just behind Henry.
If Aliquippa wants to keep their scoreless streak going, they will have to slow down one of the best offensives in Class 3A on Friday night. The Quips will travel to Quaker Valley, who are also undefeated, in a game that should decide who will win the Beaver Valley Conference. Quaker quarterback Ricky Guss has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the WPIAL so far this season. The USA Today/Massey predictor actually picked the Quakers to pull the upset over the Quips Friday night. That is a bold prediction if I have ever seen one.
Expect a great game and a possible WPIAL final preview this Friday night in Leetsdale.