There are plenty of nicknames you could bestow upon Aliquippa’s senior quarterback Quentin Goode, especially after watching him engineer a surgical game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute to beat West Allegheny last Friday.
“Crunch Time Q,” “Ice Cold Quentin” and “Captain Clutch” are just a few ideas to kick around, but really, there’s no need to assign a new nickname for Goode. After all, everybody around town already knows him by just one word — “Cheese.”
The nickname was given to Goode’s father long before he was born, and for as long as he can remember, he has gone by the same moniker. He’s not quite sure of the significance or where it came from, but one thing you can be sure of is that Aliquippa fans will remember the name long after he takes his final snap for the Quips.
“You could say I’m clutch, but I just show up whenever it’s my time to show up,” Goode said.
At 5 feet 10 and 180 pounds, Goode lacks the prototypical stature most college coaches desire in a quarterback — but he makes up for it in spades with his accuracy, arm strength, football IQ and leadership ability. Like it or not, a quarterback is judged on wins and losses above all else, and few quarterbacks in WPIAL history — not just at Aliquippa — can match Goode’s sparkling resume.
Since taking over as the Quips’ starting quarterback as a sophomore in 2021, Goode holds a career record of 30-2, including 9-1 in postseason play. He has never lost a WPIAL playoff game, leading Aliquippa to back-to-back WPIAL Class 4A titles in 2021 and 2022 despite being a Class 1A-sized school. Goode also propelled the Quips to back-to-back state championship appearances for the first time in school history, including a 34-27 win against Bishop McDevitt in the 2021 PIAA Class 4A final to secure the program’s fourth state title.
Sure, Goode is far from the only reason for Aliquippa’s success in recent years, as the Quips have a laundry list of big-time recruits and impact players on both sides of the ball. But before you label him as just a “system QB” or a “game manager” carried by Aliquippa’s dominant running game, do yourself a favor and take a look at the numbers.
As a sophomore making his varsity debut, Goode completed 114-of-198 passes for 1,927 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions while leading the Quips to a state title. He was even better as a junior, when he completed 118-of-228 attempts for 1,935 yards and 23 touchdowns with six picks. And in only the third game of his senior season, Goode surpassed 2019 Aliquippa grad Eli Kosanovich to become the school’s all-time leading passer in its long and storied history.
Kosanovich finished his heralded high school career with 4,155 yards passing, while Goode now sits at 4,510 yards for his career after eclipsing the mark with a 260-yard effort in a 42-18 win over Class 4A No. 5 Montour on Sept. 15. After back-to-back games with 200-plus yards through the air, he appears poised to blow past 5,000 career yards and might even make a push for 6,000 before the season is over. Kosanovich still holds the Quips’ career record for touchdown passes with 56, but Goode is right on his heels with 47.
“There have been a lot of great quarterbacks to come through,” said coach Mike Warfield, a former Aliquippa quarterback himself and a 1987 grad. “[Goode] knows the game, he studies the game. He can throw with the best. He can make every throw in the book. But his mind is also a great asset as well.
“As far as talent and skill-wise and decision making, he’s right up there at the top.”
Three of Goode’s most recent TD passes came in what may have been his finest performance to date in a 29-22 come-from-behind win in the Parkway Conference opener at West Allegheny on Friday night. When the mighty Quips fell behind by one in the final minute — a scenario the team practices for daily but almost never finds itself facing in an actual game — Goode remained calm, cool and collected as ever, displaying pinpoint accuracy and an innate ability to not only read the defense before the snap but also hold and bait defenders with his eyes to create the necessary throwing windows down the field.
Yes, a field goal would have been enough to win the game, but after driving his team across midfield, Goode now had his sights set on the end zone. After looking off the safety over the top, Goode found Yale recruit Brandon Banks for a game-winning 34-yard TD strike down the sideline with eight seconds left.
As if there was ever any doubt.
“He’s a competitor. He’s someone I trust in his decision making, and he’s a leader,” Warfield said. “I’m happy for him, because he deserves it. We threw him in there his first year, and he didn’t bat an eye, and he hasn’t looked back. I’m very pleased. It wasn’t given to him. He earned it.”
As one of the most prolific passers ever to don Aliquippa’s famous red and black jersey — not to mention the all-time leader in just about every major passing category at Marietta College — Darrien Fields knows a thing or two about game-winning drives.
Now in his first year as offensive coordinator at his alma mater after calling plays at Sto-Rox in 2022, Fields had a front-row seat for Goode’s heroics on Friday night, but it wasn’t anything surprising or new to him. After all, he has been watching his younger brother do the same thing ever since he first put a high school-sized football in his hands when Goode was 4 years old.
“That’s the competitor [in him],” Fields said. “You want to win a game at all costs. The competitor in you wants to go out and say, ‘I want the game on me, and I want to go win it.’ … He wants it in his hands. He’s like, ‘I’m the one who can make it happen, and I’m going to.’”
A 2015 Aliquippa grad, Fields passed for 2,852 yards and 36 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in his two years under center while leading the Quips to back-to-back WPIAL championship appearances. He then went on to rewrite the record book as a three-year starter at Marietta College, helping transform the small school into a winning program before immediately starting his career as a coach there upon graduating.
Last year, he came back to WPIAL football and took the job as offensive coordinator at Sto-Rox, where he helped orchestrate one of the most explosive offenses in the area with standout quarterback Josh Jenkins at the helm. He still kept a close eye on Aliquippa, where Goode and his other younger brother, then-freshman receiver Qa’lil Goode, were playing together on the same team for the first time since twerps league.
When Warfield called and the Quips offensive coordinator position opened up, Fields jumped at the opportunity to coach his two younger brothers in what will be their final year of high school ball together.
“I hope one day I get to call in a play and ‘Cheese’ throws a touchdown and my brother [Qa’lil] catches it. That would be like early Christmas for me,” Fields said. “This is like something we can never get back. People will grow up and wish they had a time like this.”
Just like Goode, Fields was a 5-10 quarterback who dealt with constant questions about his height, so he knows all too well about the perils of getting caught up in the recruiting process — or lack thereof relative to his peers. Although Warfield said Division II coaches have been reaching out and requesting his film and transcripts, Goode has yet to receive his first official scholarship offer.
Some might wonder if it’s a bittersweet feeling for Goode seeing his teammates sign letters of intent to Power Five programs like junior running back Tiqwai “Tikey” Hayes (Penn State) and senior linebacker Cam Lindsey (Pitt). But Fields has always reminded his brother that quarterbacks are recruited differently, and all you can do is control your play on the field and let everything else fall into place.
Fields can only hope that the example he set along with the knowledge he has passed down will help Goode get through the process unscathed while keeping his mind focused on the task at hand. And judging by his even-keeled demeanor and steady disposition in even the most chaotic and pressure-packed moments on the field, it’s safe to say Goode is doing just fine.
“I wouldn’t say I deserve anything, because nothing is handed to you,” Goode said. “Do I think that maybe I should be [ranked] up there more? Yeah, but, it’s all God’s plan.”
When Fields took over as the starting quarterback as a junior in 2013, Aliquippa had already reached five consecutive WPIAL finals — and thanks to his younger brother, the Quips’ unfathomable record-setting streak now stands at 15 WPIAL championship appearances in a row and counting.
But like Warfield always says, they don’t give out championship rings for winning the WPIAL at Aliquippa — and they certainly don’t give them out just for getting there. The Quips have 19 WPIAL titles in program history, five more than any other school. But it’s the state titles that matter most at Aliquippa, and after coming up short in last year’s PIAA Class 4A championship rematch against Bishop McDevitt, the four-time PIAA champion Quips are still searching for “one for the thumb.”
A WPIAL championship three-peat would be unprecedented at Aliquippa, and considering the absolute gauntlet that is Class 4A, even Warfield would have to admit that it would be a remarkable achievement. But getting back to the state finals and potentially becoming the first Quips quarterback to capture two PIAA championships? That would have to put Goode in a class all his own.
“I think that for a fact, he’s going to be the hardest to dispute as No. 1,” Fields said. “I coached in college for two years, so I can turn the film on and tell you a kid who has it and who doesn’t. That’s a factor you look for. He has it. … He has every tool, every number, every attribute that you could want to have in any moment.
“This group has some of the best stories that you can tell 20 or 30 years from now, which is why I think ‘Cheese’ is going to be undisputed.”