No. 7 North Allegheny routs No. 5 Mt. Lebanon in opener
By Adam Bittner
Published: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
North Allegheny may have lost several seniors from its 2012 state championship team, but the Tigers still know how to take advantage of other teams' mistakes.
As No. 5 Mt. Lebanon committed turnovers and drive-killing penalties, No. 7 North Allegheny stayed steady and got a few big plays on its way to a 55-7 season-opening nonconference win Friday night at Newman Stadium. The victory extended the Tigers' WPIAL winning streak to 31 games.
Senior wideout Elijah Zeise was responsible for most of the highlights, racking up four catches for 129 yards. He broke free for receptions of 44, 41 and 39 yards. That, in turn, opened space for running back Josh Bergman to rush for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Zeise, a Pitt recruit, also gave new quarterback Jeff Clemens a safety valve, catching half of his eight completions.
“There were a couple balls that could have gone either way,” Zeise said. “My role was to help him out.”
The three-time defending WPIAL champion Tigers (1-0, 0-0) got a touchdown from a big guy when 245-pound senior defensive lineman Dario Denillo picked off Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout and scored to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
That play was symbolic of the many mistakes that cost Mt. Lebanon (0-1, 0-0).
In addition to the costly turnover, the Blue Devils were tagged with eight penalties for 134 yards.
“We played a terrible game, not taking anything away from North Allegheny,” Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk said. “Every time we made a play, we made a penalty.”
Penn State recruit Troy Apke was a bright spot, catching four passes for 39 yards. Jake Rolfsen gained 79 yards on 15 carries, and his touchdown with just over two minutes left came after the Tigers had scored 55 straight points to open the game.
By night's end, North Allegheny outgained Mt. Lebanon, 472-188.
“You never know what you're going to be like or what's going to happen until you're in a live contest,” NA coach Art Walker said. “I'm really happy with how they answered the call.”
Adam Bittner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Central Catholic prepares for St. Joseph’s physical, skilled offense
- Gateway football to join AAA ranks
- Central Catholic delivers crushing defensive performance to qualify for PIAA championship
- Running game carries South Fayette past Hickory and into PIAA title game
- South Fayette hopes for better result than 2010 PIAA Class AA final
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals
- Friday’s PIAA semifinal football games postponed
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic sees a little of itself in Old Forge