2023 Week 14 (Pennsylvania)

2023 Week 14 (Pennsylvania)

After spending two weeks in Texas and New Mexico, I was back home in the familiar confines of western Pennsylvania. There was really only one plan for Week 14. And that was the four games at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.

With Ohio having no Saturday games, and Pennsylvania’s schedule being sparse, I had planned for an FCS playoff game in Youngstown.

But, first was Thanksgiving. Arriving home on Wednesday, I didn’t have time for any festivities so my daughter and I went with one of our favorite places. Chinese food in Boardman.

On Friday morning, I headed out for Pittsburgh. Weather looked nice for the day. Clear. No rain or snow. Wind was minimal. Knowing that Acrisure was probably not feeding media and I didn’t want food at the stadium, I stopped at Burger King on the way.

As for the day, my only real complaint was that the games were repetitive. Both the 2A and 3A games were repeat matchups of 2022. While 4A featured two teams I had seen many times in the past. And 1A was two teams I had seen previously. Both of them I had seen previously. Both at home. I saw South Side host OLSH back in 2012, when they still played home game on Saturday afternoons. As well as a road game at Freedom in 2017. While Fort Cherry was a 2016 playoff against Sto-Rox. Both were wins for the home team. I also saw Fort Cherry on the road at Greensburg Central Catholic in 2016, when the GCC home game was played on a rare Saturday afternoon.

#60 – South Side v. Fort Cherry

I’ve been to Acrisure Stadium, formerly Heinz Field, 31 times previously. Having attended the WPIAL Finals in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021, and 2022. The last three times were on the sidelines.

This was a fun game, and the more notable one of the day. Fort Cherry, the Rangers, brought a large crowd for their first trip to a WPIAL Final. While South Side, the Rams, had won a state title back in 1991. Both teams entered the game with matching 13-0 records. Fort Cherry would win a higher scoring game, 42-28.

#61 – Steel Valley v. Beaver Falls

This was a rematch of the 2022 final, won by Steel Valley. Beaver Falls entered the playoffs as the 10th seed in the Class 2A Playoffs. They were one of the rare teams making a late run. I had seen them play at Western Beaver and wasn’t too impressed by them. In fact, them winning a playoff game seemed preposterous to me.

Beaver Falls, the Tigers, were 8-5 heading into the WPIAL Final. While Steel Valley were 10-1. This was a rematch of 2022. And it started like Steel Valley was going to run away with it. And I was on the sideline photographing it. Until my primary camera’s shutter decided to fail. Unlike my older camera that had a broken shutter, the shutter curtain didn’t clear the sensor, so it was stuck blocking the sensor. So, I had to switch to my backup, which was just setup for wide-angle. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the camera to work. And afterwards, didn’t spend too much time on photographs as I was trying to get my t8i working properly. In the end, the two teams would be tied at 6-6 going into the fourth quarter. Steel Valley would score, taking a 12-6 lead. And with 44 seconds left, Beaver Falls would score the improbable touchdown and winning two-point conversion to win, 14-12.

#62 – Belle Vernon v. Avonworth

This was another rematch of 2022. The Belle Vernon Leopards were 10-1 and were defending state champions in Class 3A. While Avonworth, the Antelopes, were 12-0 and looking to avenge a 24-7 loss in the 2022 WPIAL Final. But it didn’t go any better. Belle Vernon jumped out to a 10-0 lead after one and held it into the third. Where Belle Vernon salted the game away with a 16-point third frame. Including a safety. And would go on to win their second straight WPIAL Final, 26-0.

#63 – Aliquippa v. McKeesport

This was my 16th game seeing Aliquippa. The third most of any team behind Greenville and Steubenville. They were 10-5 in games.
While this was my 8th time seeing McKeesport, 4-3 in games I’ve attended. This was my 35th game at Acrisure Stadium.

The Tigers of McKeesport would go up 14-7 in the first half, before Aliquippa storms back just before half. Taking a 21-14 lead with under a minute left in the half. The second half was mostly just Aliquippa exerting their will in the frigid temps. Winning a closer than expected game, 35-21.

After the game, I headed home. I stopped along the way for a Steak Ranch Hoagie. On Saturday, with a busted camera, I decided to forego the Youngstown State-Duquesne game. If only because I didn’t think I could give it my all just shooting with one camera that also had a busted shutter, but still worked in Live Mode. So, it was a very abbreviated weekend. Just four games with no new teams and no new venue.


Total cost for the four games was food. $7 at Burger King and $28 for after the games. Total mileage was 148 from home and back.


2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 14 Pennsylvania

2023 Statistics

63 Games
120 Teams
37 Stadiums
15 States

62 New Teams
27 New Stadiums

1,555 different teams
495 different stadiums

1,437 total games


The state finals of Ohio would take place in Canton. With plans for a Friday night game in Farrell. If Clymer/Sherman/Panama or Salamanca had made it to the state finals in New York, I would’ve preempted my weekend for a trip to Syracuse.

For photos from this game, and others this weekend, click HERE.

For photos from previous weeks and seasons, visit http://www.flickr.com/sykotyk/sets/

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