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It’s a sports cliche: get hot at the right time.
Cliche, maybe, but that’s what Tamaqua’s done at the end of the 2019 PIAA football season.
Only, Tamaqua is not looking at the end right now. Tonight, the Blue Raiders face Wyoming Area in the PIAA Class 3A state semifinal game. Kickoff happens at 7 p.m. at Wyoming Valley West High School.
The winner earns a spot in the state championship game on Dec. 7 at noon in Hershey.
Tamaqua vs. Wyoming Area – PIAA Class 3A Semifinal
Tamaqua comes into tonight’s game on fire and on an historic run.
The Blue Raiders finished 3rd in Schuylkill League Division 1 play during the regular season. But Tamaqua avenged a loss against North Schuylkill to capture the school’s first District 11 football championship.
In the state tournament, Tamaqua routed Pope John Paul II in the first round and upset previously unbeaten Wyomissing in the quarterfinals. Tamaqua’s won 7 games in a row (including a forfeit win over Marian Catholic).
The Raiders told WNEP they’re ready for tonight’s match-up with Wyoming Area.
On the other side of the field, Wyoming Area comes into tonight’s game on a roll of its own. Essentially, it’s been one-and-done for more than a month for every high school football team. So, every team is hot.
But Wyoming Area enters fresh off throttling Montoursville in the quarterfinals. In that game, the Warriors outscored Montoursville 30-6 in the second half. According to a report from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the team’s quarterback Dominic DeLuca threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns. That many yards in a high school game, especially in the run-happy coal region, is unheard of, really.
Check out the highlights from the game from WNEP-TV:
Looks like Tamaqua’s secondary better bring its track shoes.
Prior to last week’s win, Wyoming Area beat Scranton Prep, 27-0, to win the District 2 championship.
Since losing to Southern Columbia on Oct. 11, Wyoming Area outscored opponents in 5 games, 219-39 (3 shutouts).
Tamaqua Area Blue Raiders
- Record: 12-2
- Head Coach: Sam Bonner (13th year)
- Awards: District 11 Class 3A Champion
- How They Got Here:
|DATE||OPPONENT||TIME||TAM Score||OPP Score||Record|
|Aug. 23||@Line Mountain||WIN||40||0||1-0|
|Aug. 30||MAHANOY AREA||WIN||50||0||2-0|
|Sept. 6||SCHUYLKILL HAVEN||WIN||37||7||3-0|
|Sept. 13||@Panther Valley||WIN||50||16||4-0|
|Sept. 20||@Blue Mountain||WIN||49||14||5-0|
|Oct. 4||@North Schuylkill||LOSS||18||27||5-2|
|Oct. 18||JIM THORPE||WIN||40||7||7-2|
|Oct. 25||MARIAN CATHOLIC||WIN (forfeit)||1||0||8-2|
|Nov. 1||NOTRE DAME-GREEN POND (D11 3A Semifinal)||WIN||49||28||9-2|
|Nov. 8||North Schuylkill (D11 Class 3A Championship)||WIN||20||0||10-2|
|Nov. 15||Pope John Paul II (PIAA 3A 1st Round)||WIN||47||21||11-2|
|Nov. 22||Wyomissing (PIAA 3A Quarterfinal)||WIN||20||10||12-2|
|Nov. 29||Wyoming Area (PIAA 3A Semifinal)||7 p.m.|