NA Defense Stymies Tornado For Third Straight Win
The North Allegheny defense forced three turnovers and held Butler to 143 yards of total offense as the Tigers shutout the Golden Tornado, 21-0, in a Northern Eight Conference tilt from Art Bernardi Stadium on Friday night. The game was a defensive struggle between the two teams, but NA’s defense proved to be the most opportunistic by forcing Butler into three second half turnovers, including a fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown by Ijhad Bonner that put the game on ice.
The Tigers began the game with the football from their own 20-yard line and marched the to the Butler 14-yard line before the drive stalled. North Allegheny settled on a field goal try by Seth Mancuso but the 31-yard kick sailed wide right and the game stayed scoreless despite a lengthy Tigers possession.
Butler’s first possession lasted only three plays and the homestanding Tornado punted the ball to NA sophomore Michael Pope who returned it 65-yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Tigers lead. The rest of the first half was played in a defensive stalemate with the only score of the half being Pope’s punt return touchdown.
In the second half, the Golden Tornado opened with the football but on a 3rd and 8, Tigers linebacker Layne Skundrich forced and recovered a fumble by Butler quarterback Jamison Smith at the Golden Tornado 25-yard line. North Allegheny capitalized on the turnover and scored five plays later on a 26-yard touchdown pass by Jeff Clemens to Matt Sell to bring the score to 14-0, Tigers, with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter.
Butler’s second possession of the half ended on an interception by Riley Trueman at the NA 29-yard line, and the Golden Tornado’s third and final fopaux of the night came when Smith threw an interception to Bonner that was returned 42 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 9:28 left in the game. Bonner finished with six tackles and the game clinching interception. For his efforts, Ijhad Bonner was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game in a contest where the Tigers defense ruled the day.
The victory over Butler was NA’s 11th straight over the Golden Tornado since 2003 and the third consecutive after beginning the season 1-2. The Tigers improve to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Quad North. Butler falls to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Football Summary vs. Butler, 10-3-14
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