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Football Game Summaries

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2018-2019 Game Summaries

Tigers Storm Blue Devils, 34-3

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Amid a downpour at Mt. Lebanon High School, the No. 2 North Allegheny Tigers outlasted a two-hour lightning delay and the host Blue Devils for a convincing 34-3 conference win on Friday night. Facing the leading passer in Class 6A, the Tigers defense limited Mt. Lebanon quarterback Seth Morgan to 14 of 28 passing for 140 yards and an interception.

With the Blue Devils high-flying passing game grounded, the North Allegheny rushing attack seized control as senior Ben Maenza and junior Percise Colon both hydroplaned their way to 100-yard rushing performances. The duo combined for four touchdowns, three of which by Colon, who was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

The Tigers set the tone on the opening drive of the game, a 60-yard march that culminated on 42-yard rumble to the end zone by fullback Alfonso Cantu for a 7-0 lead 1:28 into the first quarter.

The early advantage for NA proved pivotal as sheets of rain began to fall in the second quarter which turned the game into a slugfest that favored the Tigers. Just before halftime, North Allegheny improved the lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard rushing score by Colon with 44 seconds left in the second quarter.

With both teams lined up for the second half kickoff, a lightning delay halted the action for two hours before play resumed. To open the third quarter, the Blue Devils had the ball first and used an 8-play, 46-yard drive to produce their first and only points of the night, a 39-yard field goal by Casey Sorsdal to trim NA’s lead to 14-3 with 9:53 on the clock.

The lightning delay, and the Sorsdal field goal, only postponed the inevitable as the Tigers scored 20-unanswered points to put the game away. Faced with a 4th and 8 from the Mt. Lebanon 32-yard line, junior quarterback Ben Petschke tossed a screen pass to Colon who not only picked up the first down but raced all the way to the end zone for a 21-3 lead with 3:39 remaining in the third quarter.

Following a three-and-out by Mt. Lebanon, North Allegheny scored three plays later on a 62-yard touchdown run by Maenza for a 28-3 advantage with 1:49 to play in the third quarter. Maenza totaled a team-high 133 yards on 11 carries, surpassing the century mark for the fourth time in a game this season.

With 10:59 left in the fourth quarter, Colon put the finishing touches on the victory with an 82-yard touchdown scamper to bring the score to its ultimate final, 34-3. Colon ended the evening with 147 total yards, 115 on the ground, and three total touchdowns.

The North Allegheny defense was impressive and forced three turnovers, including an interception by Corey Melzer for his team-leading third of the season. Junior Amosis Porter and sophomore Elias Bishop each recovered a fumble. Junior Luke Colella paced the team in tackles with 11 stops on the night.

With the win, North Allegheny leaps to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in Class 6A. Mt. Lebanon slides to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play. The Tigers return home for a week five date with the Seneca Valley Raiders next week.

Football Summary vs. Mt. Lebanon, 9-21-18

GAME SUMMARY     
SCORE BY QUARTERS1234FINAL
North Allegheny7714634
Mt. Lebanon00303

Three Second Half TD’s By Maenza Help Tigers Best Big Macs, 45-21

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Senior running back Ben Maenza rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns to help North Allegheny put away Canon-McMillan on Friday night, 45-21. All three of Maenza’s touchdowns came in the second half to turn a close game into a comfortable 24-point win. For his efforts, Maenza was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Playing in their first home game of the season, the Big Macs rode a wave of emotion in the early going and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge by Josh O’Hare for a 6-0 lead with 5:44 on the first quarter clock. Canon-McMillan missed the point after kick.

On the ensuing possession, North Allegheny answered back with an 11-play, 93-yard drive that culminated on a 9-yard touchdown run by quarterback Gunnar Fisher. With place-kicker Isaac West adding a successful PAT, the Tigers led 7-6 with 41 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers added on to the lead in the second quarter when Fisher heaved a 53-yard bomb to Joey Porter Jr. for a 14-6 lead. West tacked on a 35-yard field goal later in the quarter, with 4:16 on the clock, to increase the score to 17-6, NA.

Just when it appeared NA had seized control, Canon-McMillan responded with a quick three-play, 69-yard drive that was punctuated on a 32-yard touchdown by O’Hare to cut the score to 17-12. Davey Cooper rushed in the two-point conversion to bring the score to 17-14 just before halftime.

North Allegheny opened the second half with possession and put together a 10-play, 80-yard march that concluded on an 8-yard run by Maenza for a 24-14 advantage with 7:27 to go in the third quarter.

Canon-McMillan quarterback Jonathan Quinque keyed the ensuing drive with a 48-yard swing pass to O’Hare, which led to a 5-yard touchdown pass to Alec Hendal with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter to trim the NA lead to 24-21. O’Hare finished with 155 yards rushing and 223 total yards for CM.

A block in the back penalty on the kickoff and a personal foul on the next play had the Tigers backed up to a 1st and 17 at their own 8-yard line. Undaunted, sophomore quarterback Peter Vardzel hit senior receiver Corey Melzer in stride for an 82-yard pass play to the Canon-McMillan 10-yard line. Moments later, Maenza scampered into the end zone for a 4-yard score and a 31-21 lead with 3:42 to play in the third period.

From there, the Tigers were able to put the game away in the final stanza courtesy on a 37-yard touchdown run by Maenza and a 38-yard rumble by fullback Sam Gelosh for a 45-21 victory.

An important team stat in the win was third down conversions. North Allegheny was able to sustain drives by going 9 of 13 on third down conversions. Meanwhile, Canon-McMillan’s inability to extend drives was detrimental to its cause, converting on only 1 of 7 attempts.

With the win, North Allegheny remains unbeaten with a 4-0 record overall and 3-0 mark in Class 6A. Canon-McMillan falls to 0-3 in conference play. The Tigers will visit Mt. Lebanon next week.

Football Summary vs. Canon-McMillan, 9-14-18

GAME SUMMARY     
SCORE BY QUARTERS1234FINAL
North Allegheny710141445
Canon-McMillan687021

No. 2 NA Rolls Past Third-ranked Central Catholic, 27-3

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by Jonathan Spina

In a matchup of the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in WPIAL Class 6A, North Allegheny’s defense shined brightest forcing six turnovers in route to a 27-3 statement victory against Pittsburgh Central Catholic.

The game started off very slow with the first four possessions of the game ending with punts. North Allegheny’s offense finally got going midway through the first quarter when Ben Maenza had a 59-yard run to put the Tigers in the red zone. He then finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run and after a quarter of play North Allegheny led 7-0.

The second quarter also started slow but three minutes in, Liam Alker-Connelly recovered a fumble to give North Allegheny’s offense a short field at the CC 28-yard line. As they have all season, the Tigers offense took advantage with Maenza running the ball in from 10 yards out to make the game 14-0. Central Catholic threated late in the second quarter and had a 1st and goal on the 5-yard line with about two minutes to go in the half but the North Allegheny defense stood tall and forced Central Catholic to kick a field goal and the Tigers had the lead at the half, 14-3.

The second half started as perfectly as North Allegheny could have imagined when Central Catholic fumbled the opening kick which was recovered by Josh Dozier at the Vikings’ 20-yard line. The possession ended in a missed field goal but the North Allegheny defense was just getting started playing take away.

The next two possessions for Central Catholic ended with interceptions by Joey Porter Jr. and Corey Melzer. After the Melzer interception it looked like a North Allegheny drive had stalled on 4th down when Coach Art Walker called a fake punt and punter/kicker Isaac West found Dante Caputo for the first down to keep the drive going. West would finish the drive with a 22-yard field goal and after three quarters North Allegheny had a 17-3 lead.

West then added a 39-yard field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter to make the score 20-3. On the next possession, Melzer got his second interception of the night and then caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Gunnar Fisher with 4:33 remaining in the game. North Allegheny got one more turnover when Khalil Dinkins had a sack and forced fumble which was recovered by Nathan Hoke and that capped a huge 27-3 win for the Tigers.

Maenza was the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. He finished with 22 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

North Allegheny will be back in action next Friday on the road against Canon Mac (0-2, 0-2 in WPIAL 6A). Kickoff is at 7 pm and can be listened to right here on the North Allegheny Sports Network and the Trib Live High School Sports Network.

Football Summary vs. Central Catholic, 9-7-18

GAME SUMMARY     
SCORE BY QUARTERS1234FINAL
Central Catholic03003
North Allegheny7731027

Defense, Special Teams dominate as Tigers take down Knights

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By Jonathan Spina

Defense and special teams were the recipe for success as North Allegheny used a 28-0 run in the second quarter to defeat Norwin, 56-14,on the road to improve to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Class 6A. 

The Tigers offense came out strong scoring two minutes into the game on a Gunnar Fisher 6-yard run. Isaac West tacked on the extra point and North Allegheny led 7-0. After each team went 3-and-out it was Norwin’s offense that got on the board with a 3-yard run by Gianni Rizzo. The extra point was missed and North Allegheny held a 7-6 lead after a quarter of play. 

The second quarter was all North Allegheny. After the offense sputtered the first couple drives the defense forced a punt and it was Dante Caputo who was able to block the punt and set up the Tigers offense 1st and goal at the 1-yard line. The next play it was Fisher once again with the 1-yard plunge to make the score 14-6. The North Allegheny defense then got a 3-and-out and a muffed snap set up the Tigers once again on the doorstep of the end zone. Ben Maenza then got in on the action with a 21-yard touchdown run making it 21-6. The defense again forced another turnover when Amosis Porter recovered a fumble and for the third straight possession North Allegheny’s offense started in the red zone. The next play, junior  quarterback Ben Petschke hooked up with senior Joey Porter Jr. for a 20-yard touchdown and the route was on as the lead swelled to 28-6. Luke Colella added a 22-yard touchdown run to give  the Tigers a 35-6 lead at the half.  

Norwin came out strong to start the second half scoring 30 seconds in but that would be the last time they reached the end zone in this game. Maenza scored again on a 1-yard run, Justin Kerber scored on a 38-yard run and Percise Colon finished the scoring with a 65-yard touchdown run. Drew Jefferies put through the last extra point and North Allegheny finished the game with an impressive 56-14 win. 

Fisher was the Wright Automotive Player of the Game with 12 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns, he was also 1 for 2 through the air  for 10 yards. Colon had three carries for 81 yards and a touchdown while Maenza had nine carries for 73 yards and two touchdown. Josh Dozier led all defenders with 4.5 tackles, Caputo had four tackles, three for loss, a sack and a blocked punt. 

North Allegheny will be back at home next week to take on Central Catholic (2-0, 1-0). Kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm and as always you can find it on the North Allegheny Sports Network and the Trib Live High School Sports Network. 

Football Summary vs. Norwin, 8-31-18

GAME SUMMARY     
SCORE BY QUARTERS1234FINAL
North Allegheny72871456
Norwin608014

NA Blasts COF Academy In Season Opener, 45-20

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By Jonathan Spina

North Allegheny (1-0) came alive in the second half, outscoring COF Academy (0-1) 27-8 en route to a 45-20 win in the Tigers’ Week Zero matchup. This is COF Academy’s first season as a football team and was the first game in the school’s history.

The first quarter was a defensive slugfest with North Allegheny getting the only points of the quarter on a Ben Maenza 4-yard run. COF Academy jumped offsides on the extra point attempt so NA head coach Art Walker elected to go for two and quarterback Ben Petschke ran it in and the Tigers were up 8-0.

COF dominated the beginning of the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns in a three-minute span but missed both two-point conversions. With 9:57 left in the second quarter, COF Academy was leading 12-8 in their first ever game.

The Tiger offense then started to wake up scoring 10 unanswered points to end the half. The first seven came on a Maenza 3-yard run and then Isaac West booted a 39-yard field goal from the right hash to give North Allegheny an 18-12 lead at the half.

The second half was all North Allegheny as they scored four straight touchdowns. The first was a 14-yard hookup on a slant from Petschke to Joey Porter Jr.  Maenza followed with his third touchdown from 6-yards out. Gunnar Fisher and Kenny Williams also added touchdown runs for the Tigers and the rout was on as NA led 45-12.

COF Academy put the ball into the end zone one more time and North Allegheny was able to take their week zero matchup, 45-20.

Finishing with 23 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns, Maenza was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

North Allegheny will be back in action next Friday as they take on Norwin (1-0), who were 44-36 winners against Penn-Trafford in their Week Zero game. As always you can hear this game on the North Allegheny Sports Network and the Trib Live High School Sports Network.

Football Summary vs. COF Academy, 8-24-18

GAME SUMMARY     
SCORE BY QUARTERS1234FINAL
COF Academy0120820
North Allegheny810131445