NA Manhandles McDowell In PIAA Quarterfinals, 41-7
The North Allegheny Tigers opened up a 35-0 lead by halftime and cruised to a 41-7 victory over the visiting McDowell Trojans in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals on Friday night at Newman Stadium. The Tigers advance to the PIAA’s final four for the first time since 2012. The victory also keeps North Allegheny perfect in head-to-head meetings with McDowell, having won all 12 matchups with the Trojans in a series that began back in 1982.
When NA last reached the state semifinals in 2012, it was McDowell who the Tigers marched through, 56-6, on their way to a PIAA crown. While the final score was not identical, NA’s dominance over McDowell was similar to 2012 as the Tigers carved up the Trojans like a Thanksgiving turkey.
On the opening kickoff, senior Khiryn Boyd returned the kick 74-yards to the McDowell 15-yard line. Three plays later, senior quarterback Logan Kushner scampered into the end zone on a 12-yard run for a quick 7-0 lead just 1:34 into the game.
After a three-and-out by the Trojans, the Tigers needed only one play on their next drive. With 8:36 on the first quarter clock, Kushner launched a 66-yard scoring strike to Boyd for a 14-0 lead.
McDowell, who averaged 42 points per game entering the game, drove to the NA 43-yard line on its next drive before turning the ball over on downs. The Tigers utilized six consecutive rushing attempts before throwing their first and only pass of the drive, a 29-yard touchdown aerial strike by Kushner to senior wideout Evan Lyon, to extend the lead to 21-0 with 2:58 to play in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, North Allegheny began to pull away and ballooned the lead to 35-0 by halftime to invoke the mercy rule. On a 4th and 6, Kushner tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lyon with 11:39 on the clock and Boyd took a reverse 25-yards for a touchdown with 8:35 remaining to account for the second quarter scoring.
McDowell managed to break the shutout with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Stephon Porter to cut the NA lead to 35-7. The Tigers capped the scoring with 37 seconds remaining on a 4-yard touchdown run by Luke Rohan to bring the score to its eventual final, 41-7.
Kushner completed 6 of 9 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, while adding another 89 yards on the ground and a touchdown on eight carries for Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors. Lyon hauled in three passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Liam Flaherty toted the football 16 times for 90 yards to help NA outgain McDowell, 442-226.
On defense, junior linebacker Dylan Langdon led the team in tackles with seven stops and brother Kyle Langdon recovered a fourth quarter fumble for the only turnover of the night.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 12-1 on the season. Its the most victories in a single-season since NA went 16-0 in 2012. McDowell’s season comes to a close with an 8-5 record. The Tigers will face Harrisburg next week in the PIAA semifinals at a site, time and date to be determined. Harrisburg rallied from a 28-13 fourth quarter deficit to beat Manheim Township, 34-28, in overtime on Friday night. Next week’s PIAA semifinal contest will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Football Summary vs. McDowell, 11-24-23
|SCORE BY QUARTERS