MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the fourth time in school history, Steel High sits atop a pillar of PIAA football, defeating Union 22-8 in the state championship game on Thursday at Cumberland Valley High School.
“My Dad said at the beginning of our freshman year – the first ever meeting we had – he said we’re not just building a football team, we’re building a dynasty and I think we are doing just that,” said Steel High quarterback Alex Erby.
And this Rollers team had to battle to hoist a trophy. They needed game-winning drives in both the state quarterfinals and semifinals to earn a right to play for a title. They also welcomed in a few new faces this season to help get them over the hump from nearby Middletown after their season was cancelled.
“The whole team and not even just us that came from Middletown, we all came through adversity. We all work hard everyday, hours of film room, it’s been a long ride. I’m just glad it all paid off,” said Appleby, who transferred to Steel High from Middletown.
Overall, the state title was a shining moment for Steel High, but it was especially bright for running back Ronald Burnette. He scored all three touchdowns in the win against Union. He was feeling sick the morning of the game, but knew he couldn’t miss this game.
“I don’t even have words for it,” Burnette said. “I had to help my brothers because they needed me. So that was the only job I had to do today.”
Burnette exploded in the last three games of the season, scoring a combined nine rushing touchdowns.
Steel High returns a large core of this state championship team next year, now it’s back to work.
“We just came in week in and week out and the preparation,” said Erby. “We are back in the weight room tomorrow so the season never really ends really.”