District 7: Class 5A Championship Preview

Tagged under: District 7, Gameday Hub, News, pfn, Playoffs

Ethan Spozarski | November 13, 2023

The storyline for Saturday’s 5A Championship matchup is something you write about happening. You have Peters Township that last season missed the playoffs and finished 6-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play. On the other side, you have the defending 5A WPIAL and PIAA champions Pine- Richland who started off the last season 1-3. And it doesn’t stop there, these teams faced each other three years ago for the same title. However, let’s look at this year for both teams. 

Peters Township: 12-0 (5-0)

Peters Township, will look to win their first ever 5A Championship with this being their only third appearance. Sophomore QB Nolan DiLucia has been a leader for this offense, since taking over the starting job late last season. DiLucia passed for 2,300+ yards and 23 TDs. There were six players with 100+ receiving yards and two players with 400+ receiving yards. 

The Indians not only succeeded through the air, they were able to run the ball effectively too. Two players had 500+ rushing yards with DiLucia having 300+ on his season as well. One of those rushers Vinny Sarcone was able to score 20 of the 60+ TDs this year. 

When you look at the Indians defense you have to be amazed with what they have done this year. Five different times they shut out their opponents, and four times they allowed only single digit points. In the playoffs through two games the team has only allowed 18 points as well, all of which came against Moon last week. 

Pine-Richland: 9-3 (4-1)

Pine-Richland, the defending champions, are looking to repeat history from last year when the Rams defeated and dominated USC 35-3 just a year ago. 

The Rams offensively have a guy who leads the charge with that being Ethan Pillar. Pillar finished with 1,400+ rushing yards and 20+ TDs this season. He also carried the ball 200+ times and averaged just under six yards per carry. 

Pine-Richland also has two QBs at the helm, one of which is a freshman. Freshman Aaron Strader also known as “Oobi” though was able to help the Rams last week against Penn Hills and the game winning drive with just a little over 2 minutes remaining in the game. This season though, both have 200+ yards passing this year and combined have 5 TDs and 6 interceptions. 

Despite the Rams mostly running the ball, they do have two receivers with 200+ receiving yards. 

On the defensive side of the ball the Rams have been hot. In their last four games they have allowed only 15 points, and two of those games were shutouts. 


As mentioned, this game is definitely just more than a game for both sides. For Peters, while having a lack of experience in the championship stage, they are arguably the hottest team in all of the WPIAL. Pine-Richland lost a lot of talent from the past graduating class, however the Rams are getting really hot and have an entire team with a good supporting cast. 

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