Penn State prospects to watch in Thursday's PIAA state championship games

On3 imageby:Ryan Snyder12/06/23

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Penn State will have no shortage of recruits playing in this weekend’s PIAA state championship games at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa. In addition to a handful of players who already committed to play for head coach James Franklin and his staff, all six classifications will have at least one player who holds a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions participating.

On Thursday, we’ll see both the Class 1A and Class 4A games, beginning with a 1A matchup between Fort Cherry and Steelton-Highspire at 1 p.m. ET. The 4A game between Aliquippa and Dallas is set to start at 7:00 p.m.

Below are the players Penn State fans need to know heading into Thursday’s games.

Thursday – Dec. 7

Class 1A – 1:00 pm ET – Fort Cherry (15-0) vs. Steel-High (15-0)

It’s not often that Penn State has scholarship offers out to players in the Class 1A game, but that’s not the case this season with 2026 athlete Matt Sieg leading Fort Cherry to its first appearance in a state championship game.

In the semifinals this past weekend, Sieg totaled an eye-catching 247 yards rushing playing quarterback. With his team trailing 16-13 entering the fourth quarter, Sieg totaled 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns in just the final quarter to give the Rangers a 33-23 win and a spot in Thursday’s final.

For the season, Sieg has totaled 2,234 yards rushing and another 1,650 yards passing. When you add in two punt returns for touchdowns, plus an interception that he took back for a score, Sieg has totaled an eye-catching 62 (!!) touchdowns for Fort Cherry in 15 games. Sieg will also line up on defense, primarily playing safety. That’s actually the position Penn State is recruiting him to play at the next level.

But it won’t be easy for Sieg and his teammates, as they’re set to face the defending Class 1A champions in Steel-High. The Rollers are led by future Navy quarterback Alex Erby. His twin brother, Andrew Erby Jr., is committed to the Ohio Bobcats to play offensive line. Their father, Andrew Erby Sr., is the head coach.

The Rollers are aiming for their third state championship in the past four years after winning it in 2020 and then again last season. Alex now holds the all-time state records in Pennsylvania for career passing yards and career touchdown passes. He needs just two touchdown passes in his final game to also break the state record for the most in one season with 58.

Class 4A – 7:00 pm ET – Aliquippa (13-0) vs. Dallas (15-0)

Running back Tiqwai Hayes from Aliquippa will be the first of Penn State’s committed players to watch this upcoming weekend. The Class of 2025 prospect has totaled 204 carries for 1,758 yards rushing, giving him an average of 8.6 yards per carry heading into Thursday night’s game. He has 18 touchdowns on the year.

Aliquippa is also home to a few other notable players, including Pitt linebacker commit Cameron Lindsey and Yale cornerback commit Brandon Banks. Both are 2024 prospects.

Most expected this year’s 4A state championship to be a rematch from last year when Bishop McDevitt defeated the Quips 41-18. McDevitt is home to multiple Div. I prospects – Kentucky QB commit Stone Saunders, Alabama WR commit Rico Scott and 2026 linebacker Maurice Barnes, to name a few – but the Crusaders lost to Dallas in double overtime this past Friday, 26-23.

Dallas doesn’t have any players who currently hold an FBS scholarship offer, but quarterback Brady Zapoticky has led the Mountaineers to an undefeated 15-0 record this season. Before facing McDevitt, Dallas knocked off Penn State defensive end commit Mylachi Williams and his teammates at Bonner-Prendergast in the 4A quarterfinals, 28-27.

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