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PREVIEW: Aliquippa vs. Ambridge (PA)

August 26, 2013

ALIQUIPPA, PA. – The Aliquippa Quips and the Ambridge Bridgers will meet for the 89th time on Saturday at 7 p.m. (EST) Upwards of 7,000 people are expected at Aliquippa’s Carl A. Aschman Stadium as part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

The Quips hold a 49-35-4 all-time series lead in one of Beaver County’s most historic rivalries featuring two schools from opposite sides of the Ohio River. The Quips easily won last season’s meeting 36-0.

Aliquippa went 15-1 last season under coach Mike Zmijanac, losing 17-14 to Wyomissing in the PIAA Class AA championship game. It would’ve been their first title since 2003.

The Quips may have lost dual-threat quarterback Malik Shegog (1,363 total yards and 20 TDs), but two 1,000-yard rushers will return. Seniors Dravon Henry and Terry Swanson return to form one of the state’s most formidable backfields, as Henry ran for 1,919 yards and 32 TDs last season and Swanson added 1,546 yards and 21 TDs. Henry has gotten offers from Ohio State, Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia, while Swanson has gotten offers from some Mid-American Conference schools.

The Bridgers really struggled last season, going just 3-6 under coach Neil Tkatch. They lost quarterback Nick Santiago (624 yards and 4 TDs), but return do-it-all junior Stephan McGinnis, who had 278 rushing yards, 196 receiving yards and 50 passing yards last season.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.