Tigers Host Central Catholic Tonight In Conference Opener
The North Allegheny Tigers (1-1) look to bounce back from a week one loss to Bethel Park with a home contest against conference rival Central Catholic (1-1) tonight at Newman Stadium. The Tigers fell to the Black Hawks last week in non-conference play, 35-15, but are hungry to face the reigning Class 6A champions this evening. The Vikings, meanwhile, rebounded nicely from a 40-7 defeat to a strong Cathedral Prep team in week zero with a 49-0 waxing of the Shaler Titans last Friday. Along with last year’s WPIAL crown, Central Catholic has won three WPIAL titles in the last four seasons.
The Vikings lost 17 starters from last year’s championship team and entered the 2017 campaign as a much younger squad than in recent years. However, Central Catholic still boasts several players with Division-I talent and an experienced field general at quarterback. Senior Troy Fisher is a three-year starter at the position and has committed to play collegiately at Lafayette College in the Patriot League. A pro-style quarterback, Fisher has thrown for 330 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions so far this season. Fisher is coming off a junior season in which he threw for almost 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns, to go along with 571 yards rushing and 12 more scores.
In addition to Fisher, another Viking that has received some headlines is senior fullback and defensive lineman, David Green. Green is headed to the University of Pittsburgh next season where he’s tabbed to play on the defensive front. Senior receiver and defensive back Khalil Weathers is drawing Division I interest and will be another player to keep an eye on tonight. Central Catholic is coached by Terry Totten who is in his 13th season leading the Vikings and boasts a head coaching record of 148-22.
North Allegheny head coach Art Walker is in his 13th season leading the Tigers and previsously spent time as Central Catholic’s head coach from 1998-2004. With a career record of 180-54 with five WPIAL titles and three state crowns, Walker and the Tigers would like to add another important victory to the win column tonight against a familiar foe.
Senior quarterback Luke Trueman continues to develop and is the Tigers team leader in passing and rushing. Trueman has thrown for 228 yards and two touchdowns, and has rushed for 143 yards and one score. Running back Ben Maenza has toted the football 13 times for 84 yards and three touchdowns, while backfield mate Turner White has gained 76 yards and one touchdown. At receiver, John Vardzel leads the team with seven catches for 98 yards. Junior wideout Joey Porter Jr. has hauled in six passes for 83 yards with all of his production coming in last week’s game against Bethel Park. On defense, linebacker Dante Caputo is the leading tackler with 15 stops and one sack. Seniors Josh Sanders and Alex Hays have 12 tackles each, followed by middle linebacker Ryan Langdon who has 10 tackles.
Central Catholic has won four of the last five meetings with North Allegheny, including a 55-14 victory in week two last season. North Allegheny’s lone win in that span is a 24-17 triumph over the Vikings on September 18, 2015 at Newman Stadium.
Kickoff for tonight’s game is slated for 7:30 p.m. The North Allegheny Sports Network will provide an audio broadcast of the game with the pregame show slated for 7:10 p.m., including an interview with NA head coach Art Walker. Randy Gore and Rick Meister will have the call. To listen to tonight’s broadcast, click here.