NA Crushes Canon-McMillan In WPIAL Semifinals, 49-7

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In a rematch of last year’s WPIAL Class 6A semifinal, the North Allegheny Tigers once again defeated the Canon-McMillan Big Macs, 49-7, on Friday night at Newman Stadium. It was NA’s 10th consecutive win over Canon-McMillan, including four playoff victories, since the Big Macs joined Class 6A.

A season ago in the semifinal round, quarterback Logan Kushner scored the game’s only touchdown with less than seven minutes remaining to propel the Tigers to a 7-0 victory. On Friday night, Kushner scored the first of many touchdowns for the Tigers in a playoff blowout. On the opening drive of the game, North Allegheny was faced with a 4th and inches from its own 29-yard line. On a QB sneak, Kushner burst through the line into the open field and ran away from the Big Macs defense for a 71-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead with 10:28 to play in the first quarter.

After a three-and-out by Canon-McMillan, senior Khiryn Boyd returned a punt 59-yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead. The two-point conversion try failed, keeping the score at 13-0 with 8:34 left in the opening stanza. For Boyd, it was his second punt return touchdown this season and the fifth special teams return score of his career.

In the second quarter, North Allegheny hit pay dirt three more times to take a strangle hold of the contest. With 6:58 remaining in the period, Kushner scampered into the end zone on a 15-yard run for a 19-0 advantage.

On the ensuing possession, a Canon-McMillan fumble was recovered by linebacker Dylan Langdon at the CM 20-yard line. Two plays later, Kushner tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Daniel Sellers to grow the NA lead to 26-0 with 6:01 left in the half. Sellers added a 1-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep with 2:37 on the clock to send the Tigers into the locker room with a 32-0 lead at the half.

North Allegheny invoked the mercy rule early in the third quarter when junior running back Liam Flaherty toted the football into the end zone from 11 yards out for a commanding 39-0 advantage with 9:36 left in the period. Senior kicker Peter Notaro added a 43-yard field with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter for a 42-0 lead. Canon-McMillan broke the shutout when Mikey Evans heaved a 62-yard touchdown pass to Zyan Howard, cutting the NA lead to 42-7 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Tigers put the final touches on the victory midway through the fourth quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Luke Rohan to bring the final score to 49-7. Rohan finished the night with a 61 yards on seven carries.

Kushner was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game, rushing for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He added 101 yards through the air and one passing touchdown.

The NA defense limited the Big Macs to 180 yards and forced three turnovers. Along with Langdon’s fumble recovery in in the second quarter, junior Nicholas Humphries recovered a CM fumble and junior Brady Meyer made a leaping interception in the second half.

North Allegheny improves to 10-1 overall following the victory, while Canon-McMillan’s season ends with a 6-5 record. The Tigers will take on Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class 6A championship game on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. from Norwin High School.

Football Summary vs. Canon-McMillan, 11-10-23

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