Goal-line stands lift No. 10 Penn Hills past Baldwin
No. 10 Penn Hills used a pair of goal-line stands to shift momentum early before cruising to a 37-21 victory over Baldwin.
“We fought adversity,” Penn Hills coach John Peterman said. “We fought through it and our defense played well when we were on the goal line.”
Baldwin (1-2, 1-2) drove 80 yards on four plays on the opening drive to take early lead and forced Penn Hills into two quick three-and-outs.
“We were in some positions to make some plays and we have to get better,” Baldwin coach Pete Wagner said. “We were in position to go up 14-0 and we didn't.”
After a short Isaiah Jones punt gave Baldwin the ball at the Penn Hills' 28-yard line, the Indians stuffed Baldwin on seven straight plays from inside the 10, including a fake field-goal attempt.
Before Penn Hills (3-0, 3-0) could finish celebrating its stand, Cody Allen fumbled on the first play after the Indians took over, giving the ball back to Baldwin at the Penn Hills 7-yard line.
Again, the Indians tightened inside the shadow of the goalpost, forcing a 22-yard field-goal attempt, which kicker Prajal Sharma pushed right.
“They took the momentum from that point on,” Wagner said.
Both teams entered this week ranked in the WPIAL top ten for rushing offense, and continued to rack up yards. Penn Hills, which entered the game averaging 36 points and 464 rushing yards per game, gained 406 yards on the ground. Running back Te'Shan Campbell and quarterback Billy Kisner combined for 281 yards and three touchdowns.
“I just wanted to go out there and do everything I could for the team,” Campbell said. “It just happened to be my day today.”
The Indians averaged more than 7 yards per carry on 55 attempts, but it was Campbell who paced the offense with 133 yards.
“We rode Campbell,” Peterman said. “He was the hot hand today. We rode with him.”
The win sets up a first-place showdown in the Quad Central as Penn Hills will play host to No. 2 Upper St. Clair next week.
“Every game from now on gets bigger and bigger,” Peterman said. “Upper St. Clair is always there. Hopefully, we'll be ready for that.”
Justin Criado is a freelance writer