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The Tigers played well again on offense and defense against Penn-Trafford in the final pre-season scrimmage at Newman Stadium on Friday night.  The NA defense kept the Warriors out of the end zone while the offense scored a pair of TDs.   Senior QB Geoff Greco ran nine yards for a score while freshman Alex Papson took it 36 yards for another.

In the controlled scrimmage after both teams worked on the goal line offense, the teams were given ten plays on offense during the first two possessions.  The NA defense held P-T without a first down while recovering a Warrior fumble during the first possession.  Senior DT Austin Fedell had a sack on the first play of the scrimmage.  In the second, a long pass and a QB draw got the Warriors to the NA 11 before the Tigers held.  On the first two NA possessions, senior RB Carl DeCiantis ran for eleven yards and junior QB Mike Locke hit Greco for another 12 but the Tigers were stopped at the P-T 38. On the second possession, NA went down the field and scored.  Key plays included a 14-yard pass from Locke to junior WR Brian Austin, another 11-yard run by DeCiantis, and a nine yard run up the middle by senior FB Corey Watts.  Greco ran around left end for the final nine yards.

On the next possessions, the teams played with the first down markers in place.  Coach Art Walker inserted a number on players into the lineup on the hot and humid evening.  On defense, P-T was held to just one first down on the third possession with key tackles by junior DB Mike Foglio and junior LB Jorden Kraus.  On the 4th attempt, the Warriors moved the ball to the NA 32 before the defense held.  For the Tigers, Papson was the story on offense with a 14 yards run and the 36-yard scoring scamper.  Papson had another long run of 25 yards in the fourth Tiger possession. 

The Tiger reserves played out the remainder of downs during the scrimmage.  It was another chance for Coach Walker to evaluate talent against a Quad A opponent.  The season begins on Friday with a non-section contest against Bethel Park.  Last year, the Tigers crushed the Blackhawks, 35-7, at Bethel in the season opener.  Game time at Newman Stadium is set for 7:30 pm.  The North Allegheny Sports Network will be there to broadcast the game LIVE on the internet.  Be sure to join Don Vandergrift and Rick Meister for all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm.

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In the opening scrimmage against perennial City League power Perry, the Tigers controlled play for most of the morning.  Offensively, NA junior QB Mike Locke hit junior WR Brian Austin on a 30 yard scoring strike for the only TD while the first teams were playing.  Defensively, the Tigers intercepted three passes and forced two fumbles while holding the Commodores scoreless.

Both teams received ten offensive plays for the first two series of downs during the controlled scrimmage.  On the first drive, the Tigers advanced to the Perry 8 before running out of plays.  Long runs by seniors Geoff Greco and Carl DeCiantis keyed the offense.  On Perry's first possession, junior LB Mike Zelik picked off a Perry pass and senior LB Corey Watts posted a sack as Perry could not move the ball.  On the NA second drive, Locke found senior TE Mike Fuhrman open for 26 yard gain.  Corey Watts ran for 24 yards and DeCiantis for 15 more as NA was able to find the end zone.  Defensively, senior LB Teddy Connelly had the hit of the day on a short pass in the flat.  Junior DB Jackson Boyd picked off a Commodore pass as the Tigers held Perry again.

On the next series, the teams were allowed to keep the ball if they gained first downs.  Starting at their own 20, NA advanced to the Perry 42 before losing the ball.  DeCiantis had a gain of 19 during the drive.  Once again, Perry was stopped.  A sack by senior DL Austin Fedell and senior DE Zack Watts was the key play.  NA went to the second team during the fourth drive and was able to score.  Sophomore QB Justin Brozick threw two 27 yard completions to Boyd during the drive with junior RB Jorden Kraus scoring from 15 yards.  Perry moved the ball for the first time picking up four first downs before the Tiger reserves stopped them.  The NA JV's finished off the scrimmage and picked up another score on an 8-yard run by freshman Alex Papson.

It's difficult to make a total assessment of success in the first scrimmage because of the nature of the first scrimmage of the season.  The Tigers did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball as they continue to get ready for the upcoming tough Quad A campaign.

The Tigers will host Penn-Trafford on Friday night at Newman Stadium in the final pre-season scrimmage.  The starting time is scheduled for 6:00 pm. 

 Any questions or comments should be directed to Athletic Director Bob Bozzuto at:  bbozzuto@northallegheny.org


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