Jeannette’s bid for a third PIAA state football championship fell short Friday, as District 3’s Steelton-Highspire defeated the Jayhawks, 32-20, in the Class 1A title game at Hersheypark Stadium.
The score was tied 14-14 at halftime, but Steelton-Highspire took a three-point lead in the third. The Steamrollers went on to outscore the Jayhawks, 15-6, in the fourth to secure its third state title.
Jeannette finished the season with a 10-2 record overall — making its fourth PIAA state championship game appearance since 1988. The Jayhawks advanced to the Class 1A final with a 48-12 win at Reynolds in the state semifinals, and a 45-14 victory against Clairton in the WPIAL championship.
The Steamrollers lifted their third state championship after winning back-to-back state Class 1A titles in 2007 and 2008, with wins against Serra Catholic and Clairton, respectively. Jeannette was seeking its first state title after most recently winning it in 2017 with a 42-12 win against Homer-Center. In 2007, Jeannette — led by former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Terrelle Pryor — defeated Dunmore 49-21 to win the PIAA Class 2A championship. The year prior, Wilson Area edged the Pryor-led Jayhawks, 29-28, in the title game.
The other WPIAL teams that competed during the PIAA state championships over the weekend went three-for-three in their respective title matches.
Central Valley defeated Wyomissing, 35-21, in the Class 3A title match, its first PIAA championship in program history. The Warriors fell 21-14 to Wyoming Area in last year’s state final.
Also Friday, Pine-Richland routed Erie Cathedral Prep, 48-7, in the Class 5A final, during the program’s fourth PIAA state final appearance. It marks the Rams’ second PIAA title, and first since defeating St. Joseph’s Prep, 41-21, in 2017.
Thomas Jefferson won its fifth PIAA championship with a 21-14 win against Jersey Shore in the Class 4A match Saturday. The Jaguars have now won back-to-back state titles after defeating Dallas, 46-7, in last year’s PIAA Class 4A championship.