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The Tigers dropped a tough 14-10 decision to North Hills in the WPIAL Quad A quarterfinals at Pine-Richland Stadium on Friday night.  NA took leads of 3-0 and 10-7 only to see the Indians rally to win with a fourth quarter touchdown.  Senior PK Jackson Cox booted a 26-yard field goal and junior WR Dan Slivka scored on an 18-yard pass from senior QB Justin Brozick for the NA points. 

North Hills’ Michael Sivak returned the opening kickoff 22 yards to the NH 30 and the Indians started a drive.  On a second and seven, NH quarterback Taylor Schmidt threw to WR Brandon Holland for nine and a first down at the Indian 42.  On a second and six, Max Creighan gained nine and another first down to the NA 45.  On a second and one, Schmidt ran the left side and got all the way to the Tiger 22 but the Indians were called for holding, moving the ball back to the NH 41.  Two running plays came up short and David Hollenberger punted to junior halfback Matt Steinbeck who made a fair catch at the NA 26.  The Tigers then went on a drive that took the ball inside the NH 10.  On first down, junior halfback Alex Papson ran left for 17 and a first down at the 43.  On the next play, it was Papson right for ten more and another first down at the Indian 47.  After Papson gained eight on a run to the left, North Hills called a time out.  Two plays later, Papson got a first down at the 34.  Brozick then found Slivka open along the left sideline and the junior receiver dove for a first down at the NH 25.  On the next play, Papson ran the middle and cut to the right before being pulled down at the Indian 7.  Papson was caught for a two yard loss on the next play.  On second down, Steinbeck made a diving attempt on a Brozick pass in the end zone but the ball was just overthrown.  On third and goal, a pass intended for senior halfback Grant Huckestein was just a little high and fell incomplete.  Cox came in to kick the 26-yard field goal to give NA a 3-0 lead with 3:18 remaining in the quarter.  It did not take long for NH to answer and take the lead.  After Sivak returned the kickoff for 15 yards to the Indian 28, halfback Elajah David ran the middle for five to the 38.  On the next play, Creighan got a first down at the 39.  After senior defensive lineman Dom Borgese knocked down a Schmidt pass on first down, Creighan took a pitch out around right end for eleven and a first down at midfield.  After an incomplete pass, Schmidt found WR Scott Zubik open down the middle at around the five where the NH receiver was able to make the catch and take it into the end zone.  Anthony Chiapetta added the point and North Hills took a 7-3 lead with 1:21 remaining in the quarter.  Senior halfback David Humphrey returned the kickoff for 21 yards to the NA 36.  On first down, Huckestein ran the right side for 13 and a first down at the 49.  Three plays then gained only five yards and Brozick punted to Brody Zangaro who made a fair catch at the NH 15.  After Creighan ran the middle for three to the 18, the quarter ended with North Hills holding the 7-3 lead.

After the second quarter began, two NH running plays gained only a yard and Hollenberger punted to Steinbeck who returned the ball nine yards to the NH 46.  Three plays lost a yard and Brozick punted to Creighan who made a fair catch at the Indian 4.  After Sivak gained nine on first down, the NH senior picked up nine more on the next play for a first down at the NH 22.  On a second and 13, junior Justin Haser broke through to tackle Creighan for a four yard loss at the 15.  A third down play got only three and Hollenberger punted to Huckestein who made a fair catch at the NA 43.  On the first play, Huckestein broke through the line and ran all the way to the NH 38 on a double handoff, but the Tigers were called for an illegal block below the waist moving the ball all the way back to the Tiger 36.  On the next play, Brozick was sacked for a six yard loss at the 30.  A screen pass to Papson in the right flat was run to the North Hills 44, a gain of 26 yards and a first down.  After Papson got seven up the middle, North Hills called a time out.  Huckestein then got three and a first down at the Indian 34.  On the next play, Huckestein ran right for six to the 28.  After an incomplete pass, Papson gained two to the 26.  After an NA time out, Papson was stopped short on a fourth down play, and the Indians took over at the NH 26.  The Indians were called for holding on the first play moving the ball to the NH 16.  On the next play, Sivak fumbled but dove on the ball at the 18.  The Tigers were called for a personal foul in the scramble for the football giving NH a fifteen yard penalty that moved the ball to the NH 33 after a long discussion by the officials.  On the next play, Schmidt threw a pass to Creighan in the right flat for a gain of six and a first down at the 39.  Three running plays got eight yards, but the teams allowed the clock to run out in the half.  North Hills took the 7-3 advantage to the intermission.

The Tigers took the second half kickoff and then drove for a score to take the lead.  After Humphrey made a good return of the kickoff for 33 yards to the NH 46, a first down pass was incomplete.  On second down, Huckestein ran the double handoff reverse for 14 and a first down at the Indian 32.  On second and 13, Huckestein again ran the reverse for 15 more and a first down at the 20.  After two running plays got only two yards, Brozick threw to Slivka in the right corner of the end zone where the NA junior made a good catch for the touchdown.  Cox added the point to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead with 9:49 still remaining in the quarter.  After Creighan returned the kickoff to the NH 21, the Indians gained only two yards on two plays.  On third down, senior corner Blair Plivelic knocked down a pass to force a NH punt.  Hollenberger sent a high punt that Huckestein took on a fair catch at the NA 42.  On second and nine, Brozick again found Slivka open for a gain of ten and a first down at the Indian 48.  Three plays gained only four yards, and Brozick punted and the ball rolled into the NH end zone for a touchback.  After an incomplete pass, senior LB Jon Lowery broke through to sack Schmidt for a loss of 13 to the Indian seven.  After Schmidt picked up nine on the next play, Hollenberger had to punt again with the ball rolling out of bounds at the NA 45.  After a loss of one on first down, an incomplete pass brought up a third and eleven.  On the next play, Brozick tried to hit Slivka but the ball was tipped and intercepted by Josh Neurohr who made a diving catch at the NH 47.  On second and ten, Creighan gained eight on a pitch out around the right end.  On the next play, Schmidt threw to Zubik for a gain of five and a first down at the Tiger 40.  Sivak then ran up the middle for ten more and another first down at the NA 30.  After a false start penalty, David was stopped for no gain.  On the next play, Schmidt threw long to Zubik in the end zone but the NH receiver could not hold on to the ball.  Lowery then came in unblocked from the right side and forced a fumble by Schmidt that Sivak was able to recover for a loss back at the 40.  On fourth and long, Hollenberger punted to Steinbeck who made a fair catch at the NA 12.  After a loss of two on first down, the quarter ended with the Tigers still holding the 10-7 lead.

After Papson gained three off the right side on the first play of the final stanza, Brozick was caught for a loss of two.  There were offsetting personal fouls on the play.  In a quirky high school rule, the penalty against NA was marked off half the distance to the goal followed by a fifteen yard walk off against the Indians to the NA 20.  The final placement came up a yard short and Brozick punted to Zangaro who returned the ball three yards to the Indian 44.  North Hills went on a nine play drive that covered the 56 yards to take the lead.  On first down, Creighan gained four to the 48.  On the next play, Schmidt threw to Creighan in the left flat for six more and a first down at the Tiger 46.  After Sivak gained six, the Indians called a time out.  After David got three up the middle, NA was called for a face mask penalty giving NH a first down at the Tiger 32.  On the next play, Schmidt scrambled up the middle for seven to the 25.  Sivak followed with run to the left side for eight more and another first down at the NA 17.  After David ran the middle for six, it was Sivak again off the left side for seven and a first and goal at the Tiger 4.  Sivak took the ball left again on the next play and carried a number of NA tacklers into the end zone for what would prove to be the winning score.  Chiapetta’s point made it a 14-10 North Hills lead with 6:57 still left to play.  Papson returned the ensuing kickoff for16 yards to the NA 31.  After two running plays got four yards, Brozick threw a pass down the left sideline to Slivak who made the catch and took the ball to the NH 35, a gain of 30 yards and a Tiger first down.  Papson then ran for another first down at the NH 23.  On the next play, Papson ran left and cut right for what would have been another gain of ten, but the ball came loose and Neurohr recovered at the Indian 13.  North Hills was able to hold on to the ball for the remaining 5:14 to claim the victory.  After two running plays got four yards, Schmidt ran a keeper for eleven and a crucial first down at the Indian 29 with 3:42 left.  After an NA time out, Sivak got five to the 34 on a first down run.  On the next play, Schmidt threw short to Crieghan who ran for ten yards and another first down at the 44.  After Sivak got six on first down, the NH senior gained nine more and another first down to the Tiger 41 where NA called another time out.  After a gain of one on the next play, the Tigers used their final time out.  After Sivak got four on first down, the Indians called a time out with 1:02 left.  Sivak ran right for three on the next play.  Schmidt then took a knee with the Tigers being called for a person foul on the play.  One more knee by Schmidt ran out the clock to give the Indians another improbable playoff victory with the 14-10 win over the Tigers.

It was a tough loss for the Tigers who battled hard throughout the contest.  North Hills did not commit a turnover, however, while NA was guilty of two.  In a close game, this might have been the difference.  The Indians outgained the Tigers, 258-233 in total yards and by a 165 to 141 count on the ground.  Papson finished with 96 yards to lead NA with Huckestein adding 52.  Brozick was 5 for 14 for 92 yards and a touchdown.  Slivka pulled in four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown to pace the NA passing attack.  For North Hills, Schmidt completed 8 of 13 for 93 yards and a touchdown while Sivak led the Indians in rushing with 78 yards, much of the yardage on the crucial winning touchdown drive.  For his efforts defensively, the North Allegheny Sports Network named senior Jon Lowery as the Player of the Game.

The loss ended the Tiger season as they finished with a final record of 9-2 and the Northern Six Conference title.  North Hills advances to the semifinals and a date with #1 Gateway.  The Indians also took the lead in the all time series, 26-25, with the split in the two game series this season.  North Hills also took a 5-2 lead in playoff games against the Tigers.  All in all, Friday the 13th was not a good night for the Tigers.








North Hills

















Jackson Cox, 26-yard field goal



Scott Zubik, 50-yard pass from Taylor Schmidt (Anthony Chiapetta, kick)






No Scoring






Dan Slivka, 18-yard pass from Justin Brozick (Cox, kick)






Michael Sivak, 4-yard run (Chiapetta, kick)







First Downs



Rushing Yards



Passing Yards



Total Yards






Fumbles - Lost



Penalties - Yards



Punts - Average



Statistics Courtesy of Steve Heckmann


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


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