HERSHEY, Pa. —
They carry an authentic joy and pride in their grip of something no one else in the country has. The Clairton Bears (Pa.)
, owners of a 63-game winning streak, the nation's longest, have no qualms or superstitious fears when it comes to talking about their run.
they're going to win each time they step on the field. That's it. No doubts. No fears. No worries.
Clairton won its fourth-straight PIAA Class A state championship with a 20-0 victory over Dunmore on Friday at Hersheypark Stadium, ending their season 16-0 and closing an amazing run for a senior class that leaves with a 63-1 record.
Clairton, which last lost Sept. 4, 2009, 15-8 to Laurel High School in its season opener, joins the rarefied territory of Berwick and Southern Columbia as winners of four-straight Pennsylvania state titles. Southern Columbia holds the all-time state lead with five-straight championships, winning from 2002-2006.Read Dave Krider's feature on Clairton's nation-best winning streak
The Bears throttled Dunmore, amassing 432 total yards of offense to Dunmore's 115 in garnering their first shutout in a state championship game. It was Clairton's sixth shutout this season.
led the way for Clairton again, rushing for a game-high 117 yards on 20 carries, including a five-yard scoring run that finished the Bears' first drive.
"The senior class had to go out with a bang, and we're the only class that's won four-straight state championships at Clairton," said Boyd, who's being sought by Penn State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Arizona, among many others. "There are games we didn't even care about the streak. We fight forward to win, then we care about the streak. I think I'll miss playing around here and going to college life after this."
Dunmore had to know it was in trouble when Clairton converted a first down after opening the game with a penalty, which pushed them into a first-and-33. The Bears held a 14-0 halftime lead thanks to Boyd's score and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Armani Ford
to Terrish Webb
Dunmore went 12:27 without a first down. The Bucks had a series of three-and-out drives from late in the first half to the last play in the third quarter before achieving a first down.
"I think their team speed was the difference," Dunmore coach Jack Henzes said. "Boyd is an outstanding athlete. He hits the hole and his speed takes over. They put their players in a position where they could succeed. We didn't make the big plays when we had to in crucial situations. But overall, I thought our kids did a great job and had a great overall season."
For Clairton's Boyd and Webb, they played their last high school game holding that bittersweet feeling of a lump in their throats. It pulled an emotional cord for both Clairton stars.
"This is all about hard work, dedication and pride," said Webb, who committed to Kent State but said he may change his mind and think about attending Pittsburgh, where teammate Titus Howard
is heading. "We're a pretty confident group and this means a lot, it means more playing the last time for Clairton and playing with my friends. That means everything."
Joe Santoliquito is a frequent MaxPreps contributor and Philadelphia-based writer. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.