2017-2018 Game Summaries
For the second consecutive week, the North Allegheny defense forced five turnovers and spearheaded a Tigers’ 49-14 victory at Seneca Valley on Friday night. The win was NA’s fifth in a row and secured a berth in the upcoming WPIAL playoffs. Junior defensive back Joey Porter Jr. reeled in three interceptions on his way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
Hosting senior night at NexTier Stadium, the homestanding Raiders were revved up to start the night and forced a three-and-out from the Tigers on their first possession. Seneca Valley’s ensuing possession was a seven-play, 61-yard march that culminated on a 14-yard touchdown pass by Gabe Lawson to Luke Smith for a quick 7-0 lead.
North Allegheny used its power-rushing game on the next drive and chewed up 80 yards on 11 plays for the game-tying score. Senior running back Turner White rushed for a 3-yard score with 4:15 remaining in the opening stanza to even things up at 7-7.
The Tigers defense began to take control of the game in the second quarter when Porter corralled his first interception of the night and returned the ball to the Seneca Valley 25-yard line. Eight plays later, John Vardzell scored on a 1-yard end around for a 13-7 lead with 11:07 left in the second quarter. The extra point kick was missed following the Vardzell touchdown.
Seneca Valley’s next possession lasted only one play when Lawson fumbled on a read-option carry and the ball was recovered by NA’s Alex Hays at the Raiders 29-yard line. The Tigers went for the jugular on the very next play and quarterback Luke Trueman rifled a 29-yard touchdown pass to Vardzell for a 19-7 lead. Trueman followed with a 2-point conversion pass to Porter to bring the score to 21-7, Tigers.
North Allegheny ballooned the lead to 28-7 with 4:17 left in the second quarter when Trueman scrambled for a 14-yard touchdown run. Trueman finished the night with 136 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.
Just before halftime, Seneca Valley converted on a 4th and 3 from the NA 14-yard line for a 14-yard touchdown pass from Lawson to Noah Mancuso to trim the Tigers lead to 28-14 by intermission.
Hoping to build on their late-second quarter success, the Raiders started the third quarter with the football. However, a wide receiver screen pass to Josh McLean was juggled away and intercepted by NA safety Nikko Rankin and returned 32-yards for a touchdown. The Tigers led 35-14 with 11:42 on the third quarter clock.
Following the Rankin interception, the rout was on and North Allegheny invoked the mercy rule before the end of the third quarter courtesy of a 70-yard touchdown run by Trueman and a 10-yard scoring tote by White for a 49-14 lead. White finished with 79 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
With the victory, North Allegheny improves to 6-2 on the season and 4-1 in the Northern Seven Conference. Seneca Valley slips to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Tigers host Hempfield next week in non-conference play.
Football Summary vs. Seneca Valley, 10-13-17
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The North Allegheny defense forced five turnovers and shutout the high-octane Penn Hills offense for three quarters en route to a 27-16 win in Northern Seven Conference play on Friday night. The Tigers hounded Indians quarterback Hollis Mathis for three sacks and intercepted him three times. Mathis had only thrown two interceptions all season long entering the game.
The tone was set early on by the NA defense and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. intercepted a Mathis pass at the North Allegheny 21-yard line to end Penn Hills’ first possession. The Tigers marched 79 yards in six plays and scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass by Luke Trueman to receiver John Vardzell for a 7-0 lead with 1:33 on the first quarter clock.
In the second quarter, Mathis could not reel in a high shotgun snap and the ball was recovered by North Allegheny’s King Gildon at the PH 16-yard line. The Tigers capitalized on the turnover and scored when Trueman tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to running back Turner White for a 13-0 lead with 6:12 left in the half. The extra point failed.
The Indians opened the third quarter with a lengthy possession but the drive stalled at the NA 7-yard line and Penn Hills settled for a field goal attempt by Shayne Meyers. Unfortunately for Penn Hills, the drive yielded no points at all when Myers’ kick was blocked. North Allegheny followed with an 80-yard drive on seven plays that culminated on a 1-yard by Trueman for a 20-0 lead with 5:40 remaining in third quarter. Trueman led the Tigers with 75 yards rushing, 80 yards passing and three total touchdowns on his way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
Following another interception and return by Porter to the Penn Hills 43-yard line, North Allegheny cashed in three plays later on a 10-yard touchdown run by White to balloon the Tigers lead to 27-0 with 27 seconds remaining in the third. Along with Porter’s two interceptions, senior linebacker Alex Hays also pirated a Mathis pass.
The Penn Hills offense finally found the end zone early in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard scoring pass by Mathis to Michigan State recruit Julian Major with 9:38 to play. Terry Smith ran in the two-point conversion to trim the NA lead to 27-8. Mathis finished with 12 completions on 22 attempts for 165 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
North Allegheny’s next drive went three-and-out and a bad snap on the punt led to a Penn Hills possession at the Tigers 4-yard line. Following a penalty, the Indians later scored on an 11-yard pass from Mathis to Dante Cephas with 5:54 remaining. The two-point pass by Mathis to Daquan Hardy was good and the Indians were suddenly back in the contest trailing North Allegheny, 27-16.
The Tigers were again forced to punt on their next drive but Trueman’s punt with just over three minutes remaining was fumbled by Indians returner Anthony Grimes. The ball was recovered by Luke Collella deep in Penn Hills territory and the Tigers ran out the waning minutes to secure a 27-16 victory.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Northern Seven Conference. Penn Hills slips to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play. The Tigers can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Seneca Valley next week.
Football Summary vs. Penn Hills, 10-7-17
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In a non-conference clash with the first-place team in the Southeastern Conference, the North Allegheny Tigers vanquished the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils on Friday night, 44-27. The Tigers offense amassed 511 total yards and slugged it out with the finesse and up-tempo Blue Devils. Senior quarterback Luke Trueman rushed for 122 yards and passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns on his way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
The night began inauspiciously for the Tigers, however, as the opening possession ended on an interception by Mt. Lebanon’s Michael Palmer at the NA 30-yard line. The Blue Devils quickly capitalized and scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass by James Stocker to Aiden Cain for a 7-0 lead. Cain, the leading receiver in the WPIAL, hauled in five passes for 105 yards on the evening.
North Allegheny answered back on the ensuing possession and tied the game at 7-7 when Trueman tossed a scoring strike to junior receiver John Vardzel from 30 yards out with 4:04 to play in the first quarter. After Mt. Lebanon’s next drive was foiled on a sack by Dylan Wall, the Tigers scored again on a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Turner White to give NA a 14-7 lead with 1:39 remaining in the opening stanza. The touchdown was set up thanks to a 62-yard pass by Trueman to tight end Sam Humes to the ML 9-yard line.
In the second quarter, Trueman fired two more touchdown passes to give NA a 27-7 lead going into halftime. Trueman hit fullback Ryan Langdon for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 6:52 in the second quarter and dealt a 20-yard scoring pass to Vardzel with just three seconds left in the half.
Mt. Lebanon opened the third quarter with a furious 63-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard rushing touchdown by John Naylor. The Blue Devils’ senior running back gained all 63 yards on the possession to help bring the score to 27-14, Tigers.
A 26-yard field goal by Dom Falo increased the North Allegheny lead to 30-14 before the most critical play in the game occurred on Mt. Lebanon’s next drive. Deep in Tigers territory, Stocker fumbled and NA defensive back Joey Porter Jr. scooped up the loose ball and returned it 75-yards for a touchdown and a 37-14 lead with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter. The play proved to be a backbreaker for the Blue Devils.
Playing an important role in the outcome of the game, the Tigers defense was able to disrupt the rhythm of the Blue Devils offense. NA pressured Stocker and sacked him three times on the night. That constant pressure also forced the Mt. Lebanon signal caller into mistakes as he threw interceptions to Luke Collella and Dante Caputo, to go along with his pivotal fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Porter.
Mt. Lebanon trimmed the NA lead to 37-21 on a 10-yard scoring run by Antonio LaSota with 1:33 left in the third period. The Tigers iced the game on a 20-yard run by Ben Maenza in the fourth quarter to make it 44-21, North Allegheny. The Blue Devils capped the scoring in the waning minutes on a 10-yard touchdown pass by Seth Morgan to Lucas DeCaro to bring the final score to 44-27.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 4-2 on the season while Mt. Lebanon slips to 4-2 overall. The Tigers will host Penn Hills next week at 7:30 p.m.
Football Summary vs. Mt. Lebanon, 9-29-17
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North Allegheny churned up 263 yards on the ground and outmuscled the Butler Golden Tornado on Friday night, 29-7, in a Northern Seven Conference contest. For the third consecutive game, senior running back Turner White rushed for over 100 yards to lead the Tigers backfield. White totaled 146 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns on his way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors. (Friday’s contest was video streamed live via pay-per-view by the North Allegheny Sports Network. You can watch the archive for $8.00 by clicking in the video player below.)
The North Allegheny rushing attack not only produced yards but also set up the play-action pass which resulted in the first touchdown of the night with 5:52 on the first quarter clock. On a 2nd and 4 from the Butler 38-yard line, Luke Trueman launched a deep pass to junior receiver John Vardzell for a touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead. The Tigers converted the two-point conversion with a successful run by Ben Petsche for an 8-0 advantage.
Using a run-first approach, the Butler offense got going on the ensuing possession and chewed up over seven minutes off the clock and 83 yards on eight plays and scored on a 6-yard run by Dan Kline to cut the NA lead to 8-7 with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter. The drive was spearheaded by senior Luke Michalek who busted off a 66-yard run on the possession. Michalek was a bright spot for Butler and finished with 137 yards on 25 carries.
The Tigers took the football right down the field on the next possession and culminated a 66-yard drive with a 24-yard misdirection touchdown run by Ben Maenza for a 15-7 lead. Later in the second quarter, North Allegheny ballooned the lead to 22-7 on another misdirection touchdown jaunt, this time by White from 23 yards out with 1:50 to play before halftime.
The defenses buckled down for a scoreless third quarter before the Tigers put the game away on a 2-yard touchdown run by White with 7:13 remaining in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 29-7, North Allegheny.
Along with Turner’s big night, Maenza rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on just six carries. Trueman toted the football seven times for 43 yards, while adding 123 yards through the air and a score.
North Allegheny improves to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Northern Seven Conference. Butler slips to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The Tigers will take on Mt. Lebanon next week in a non-conference contest.
North Allegheny snapped its modest two-game losing streak and extended Shaler’s lengthy losing skid to 18 games in a row with a 55-7 thrashing of the Titans on Friday night at Newman Stadium. While it’s been a long time since the Titans have won a game against anyone, it’s been even longer since they’ve defeated North Allegheny. The Tigers have won 30 of the past 31 head-to-head meetings. Shaler’s last win against NA was a 17-0 decision back in 1987.
On Friday night, the Tigers overpowered and outgained Shaler, 405-128, en route to their first Northern Seven Conference victory. Junior running back Turner White rumbled to a game-high 124 yards rushing on just five carries and two touchdowns.
It was White who opened the scoring on the second play from scrimmage by racing 63 yards for a touchdown just 28 seconds into the game. Following a Shaler punt, the Tigers drove 76 yards on seven plays and culminated the drive on White’s second touchdown of the night, a 2-yard run with 5:50 to go in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
From that point on, the rout was on. The Tigers added touchdowns in the opening stanza on a 56-yard jet sweep by Luke Collella and a blocked punt and 1-yard return for a score by Dante Caputo. The extra point attempt failed following the Caputo touchdown and the Tigers held a 27-0 lead.
Shaler scored its only points of the night in the second quarter on a eight play, 60-yard drive. The Titans capped its best possession of the evening with a 4-yard run by Jake Pollak to trim the score to 27-7, North Allegheny.
The Tigers added on to their lead when fullback Ryan Langdon bulldozed his way through the Titans for a 21-yard touchdown run with 7:10 to play in the half for a 34-7 advantage. Ben Maenza plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard score and Luke Trueman fired a 26-yard touchdown pass to Cory Melzer to bring the score to 48-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, Maenza dashed into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night on a 4-yard run to finish off the Titans for a 55-7 triumph. Maenza finished with 36 yards on seven carries. Trueman rushed for 54 yards and was a perfect 4 for 4 through the air for 94 yards and a touchdown. Trueman was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny stats crew.
North Allegheny improves to 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Northern Seven Conference. Shaler falls to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Tigers visit the Butler Golden Tornado in week four. The Titans host the Penn Hills Indians next week.
Football Summary vs. Shaler, 9-15-17
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