CLAIRTON (KDKA/AP) – Just call them the comeback kids, the Clairton Bears battled back from a huge deficit Friday for a second straight PIAA Class A title.
It was one for the ages as Clairton came into the game as the top defensive team in Single-A football in the entire state.
They posted 10 shutouts and allowed just 34 points total all year. In this game though, shockingly, they gave up 24 in the first quarter alone, but they staged one the biggest rallies in history.
Now, there is a lot of celebrating going on in Clairton as the spotlight shines on their town. At the bar just down the road from the football stadium, everybody seemed to be talking about the win.
“I’m so glad that Clairton won and I have nothing by Bear pride,” said Hezekiah Bristow, a Clairton resident.
“It means a lot to Clairton; we’re a football city and we appreciate what they’re doing for us,” added Michael Lewandowski, another Clairton resident.
The Bears (16-0) have now won 31 games in a row. They overcame a 24-0 deficit Friday with five straight touchdowns to defeat Riverside 36-30 at chilly Hersheypark Stadium.
Quarterback Desimon Green ran for a score and threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Boyd – the second early in the third quarter to give Clairton its first lead at 28-24. The defense clamped down on what had been an explosive Riverside offense.
A title repeat looked bleak early with Green struggling and the Vikings (14-2) relying on big plays.
Corey Talerico threw for touchdowns of 60 and 23 yards. Riverside converted three 2-point conversions to go up 24 at 10 minutes of the second quarter.
Talerico threw another touchdown pass late in the fourth to get within six after Clariton’s rally, but the Bears held on.
The residents of Clairton were set to welcome home their champions late Friday and say the hard-working Bears deserve their second championship in a row.
“It would be terrible for them to win all season long and not win today, so they deserved it,” said Mimi Demeo, a Clairton resident.