Central Catholic shuts out North Hills
Luigi Lista-Brinza rushed for 144 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown and Riley Redman added an 8-yard score of his own, as top-ranked Central Catholic edged turnover-plagued North Hills, 24-0, in a WPIAL Class AAAA Quad North game at Martorelli Stadium.
The Indians inducted legendary coach Jack McCurry into the school's Hall of Fame prior to kickoff, but any pregame enthusiasm was tempered by the prospects of playing a Central Catholic squad that scored 65 points on Shaler a week ago.
The points did not come as easily against the Indians, but a steady dose of Lista-Brinza and another smothering defensive effort spoiled Pat Carey's home coaching debut and kept Central Catholic undefeated (2-0, 2-0).
“They got after us up front. That is as good of a front four as we will see this year,” Carey said. “The plan was to run the football and keep the ball away from their offense. We had a hard time maintaining their blocks.”
The Vikings scored on their first possession thanks to a nifty play from quarterback J.J. Cosentino. The Florida State recruit connected with Graham Adomitis on fourth down for a 2-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
North Hills (1-1, 0-1) found its defensive footing in the second quarter, but consecutive turnovers put the Indians into a deeper hole.
Lista-Brinza turned a muffed punt into a 2-yard touchdown run and a 13-0 advantage, and Mitch MacZura kicked a 27-yard field goal following a botched North Hills handoff.
“Any time you can tilt the field position in a big game, you're fortunate,” Central Catholic's Terry Totten said. “We knew coming in we would have a tough time. That is a pretty experienced defense.”
North Hills trailed by 17 in the second when junior quarterback Jake Bruder drove the Indians into scoring position.
Carey called for a wide receiver option pass that seemed to put North Hills on the board, but Stephen Smith's would-be 23-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Koch was ruled an illegal forward pass. The Indians failed to threaten again, and Redman pushed the lead to 23-0 when he scored from 8-yards out to seal the victory.