MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — After defeating McKeesport to clinch a WPIAL championship three-peat two weeks ago at Acrisure Stadium, Aliquippa coach Mike Warfield gathered his team in the locker room and delivered one simple message — “This ain’t good enough.”

Now, with the Quips standing triumphantly back on top of the mountain as the Class 4A state champs after a mesmerizing performance Thursday night, Warfield and his team finally can take a moment to celebrate.

Facing unbeaten District 2 champion Dallas in the PIAA Class 4A final at Cumberland Valley High School, Aliquippa mauled the Mountaineers (15-1) from the opening whistle until the final horn, making an emphatic statement with a mind-boggling 60-14 beatdown. The Quips (14-0) could have made a run at the all-time state championship scoring record, set by Southern Columbia in a 74-7 win over Avonworth in 2019, but the always classy Warfield decided to pull his starters early in the fourth quarter after Aliquippa reached the 60-point mark.

By that point, the message was loud and clear — these Quips belong in a class of their own.

“It feels great,” Warfield said. “I’m extremely excited and proud of the kids. I’m extremely excited and happy for our community. … It’s a total team effort.”

Competing as a Class 1A-sized school in Class 4A, it’s remarkable that Aliquippa has reached three consecutive PIAA championships while extending its surreal streak of consecutive WPIAL championship appearances to 16 years in a row. But to win another state title while making an undefeated foe look like it didn’t belong on the same field — and to complete the first undefeated season in school history in the process?

Now that’s something for Warfield to be proud of.

“History is history,” Warfield said. “It’s never been done. I told the kids last week, we’re not going to be superstitious about it and run from it. We’re going to poke our chests out and try to achieve it.”

From left, Aliquippa’s Brandon Banks, Tiqwai “Tikey” Hayes, Quentin “Cheese” Goode and Arison Walker celebrate their 60-14 victory over Dallas in the 2023 PIAA Class 4A championship Thursday night at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (Steve Rotstein/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

A former star quarterback for the Quips who took over for legendary coach Mike Zmijanac prior to the 2018 season without any prior head coaching experience, not even the biggest Aliquippa supporters could have envisioned such a remarkable start to Warfield’s tenure. In six years at the helm, Warfield has compiled a sparkling career record of 74-6 while guiding the Quips to six WPIAL championship appearances, four WPIAL titles, four PIAA championship appearances and three state titles.

On top of that, Warfield has instilled a sense of pride, commitment and dedication among his players that permeates throughout the program, teaching kids life lessons beyond the game of football that will shape them for many years to come. As a result, he has elevated Aliquippa’s already mystical aura to new heights, with the Quips seemingly shattering a record every other week while further stamping their legacy as one of Pennsylvania’s premier programs.

“This thing is precious,” Warfield said about the Aliquippa dynasty. “We’ve got to hold it tight.”

They say big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games, and, boy, do the Quips have a bunch of them. All of the marquee names lived up to their billing, making it difficult to single out one player of the game — but in the end, unsung sophomore Qa’lil Goode took home the honors after snatching three interceptions and returning one for a crucial 85-yard pick-6 late in the first half.

“I knew I had to take it all the way,” Goode said. “It was the third one. Everybody was blocking. I had to.”

Elsewhere, junior running back Tiqwai “Tikey” Hayes fought through a nagging injury to deliver another vintage performance in front of his future college coach, Penn State coach James Franklin. Hayes finished with 18 carries for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns, doing most of his damage in the first half to help put the game well out of reach. The other half of Aliquippa’s one-two punch, senior John Tracy, carried the ball only eight times in the game — but as he so often does, Tracy made sure to make the most of his opportunities, rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

For the season, Hayes finished with 2,130 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns while Tracy rushed for 855 yards with 15 scores despite missing several games due to injury. Hayes now is up to 5,887 yards rushing in his three-year career, and he will have a legitimate shot to join the ultra-exclusive 8,000-yard club before he graduates.

“He works for it. He doesn’t waste a day,” Warfield said about Hayes. “He’s probably our hardest worker at practice. You can see how he works in the games. He’s one of our hardest workers in the classroom. He’s just a role model for our kids and our youth, and he’s a very unselfish kid.”

Although Goode stole the spotlight with his trio of interceptions, it was also a solid game for his older brother, record-setting senior quarterback Quentin “Cheese” Goode. The Quips’ all-time leading passer threw for 149 yards and a touchdown in his final high school game, adding one more signature win to his already pristine resume.

In three years as Aliquippa’s starter, Goode compiled an astonishing record of 41-2, with both losses coming against teams that won state championships. He led the Quips to three WPIAL titles and two PIAA titles, becoming the first quarterback in school history to accomplish both feats. And to make it even sweeter, he got to do it alongside his younger brother and his older brother, former Aliquippa quarterback Darrien Fields, who engineered the Quips’ high-powered offense to perfection in his first year as offensive coordinator.

“It feels amazing,” Quentin Goode said. “We always knew we were going to make history, but we never knew what type of way or when it was going to come. Now that we had our chance, we couldn’t let this one slip away.”

Aliquippa coach Mike Warfield and senior linebacker Cameron Lindsey (11) prepare to lead the Quips onto the field prior to the PIAA Class 4A championship against Dallas Thursday night at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (Steve Rotstein/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Like Hayes, senior Brandon Banks was dealing with a nagging injury coming into the game, and he appeared to aggravate it while hauling in a 36-yard touchdown pass on Aliquippa’s opening drive. After limping off the field in obvious pain, Banks received some treatment on the sideline, then came back in to finish with 3 receptions for 124 yards and a score — and he’s hardly even known for his offense. The standout cornerback will take his talents to Yale next season as the first Aliquippa athlete to earn a scholarship to the prestigious Ivy League school.

“I messed up my hamstring and missed a couple games, but I knew my guys were going to get me back here. And once we got back here, I couldn’t not play,” Banks said. “On the touchdown, whenever I messed it up again, I just gritted it out until the clock hit zeroes.”

Another of the Quips’ prized recruits and the team’s unquestioned emotional leader, senior linebacker Cameron Lindsey joined in on the fun on offense with 4 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. Of course, this Pitt recruit also dished out a few of his trademark earth-shattering hits — including one especially powerful run that saw him pulverize a would-be tackler near the goal line.

Aliquippa gained a whopping 580 yards, including 412 on the ground, while limiting Dallas to just 185 yards of offense and only 48 yards rushing. The Quips generated six turnovers, with five interceptions coming courtesy of Qa’lil Goode and junior Arison Walker, who came down with two second-half picks.

The win moves Aliquippa into a tie with Thomas Jefferson for the most state titles among WPIAL schools, with five each. Warfield now joins Jaguars coach Bill Cherpak (5) and North Allegheny coach Art Walker (3) as the only active WPIAL coaches with three or more state titles.

So is it too soon to start carving out Warfield’s sculpture on the Mount Rushmore of WPIAL coaches? Not even a little bit. At this rate, Warfield is going to be in a class of his own by the time it’s all said and done — and the Quips’ on-field accomplishments are only a small reason why.

“What other coach is doing that?” Quentin Goode said. “That’s why he’s the G.O.A.T [Greatest Of All Time].”

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at