North Allegheny blanks North Hills, clinches 3rd in Quad North
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With this night as proof, the three-time defending WPIAL champion believes it's ready for the playoffs.
North Allegheny forced five turnovers and held North Hills scoreless in Friday's 31-0 victory at Martorelli Stadium, a confidence-building effort in the regular-season finale. The win clinched third place in the Quad North and a likely home playoff game next week.
“This is huge for us,” said NA linebacker Reilly Sullivan, who recovered two fumbles. “We want to go as far as we possibly can.”
This was the first shutout this season for No. 7 North Allegheny (6-3, 5-2). For the first time in weeks the defense was healthy, Sullivan said.
Only once did North Hills reach the 20-yard line, and that possession ended with a fumble. The Indians lost four fumbles and an interception.
This was the third straight year that NA has beaten its rival. As the conference's fourth-place team, North Hills (5-4, 4-3) will start the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs on the road.
“It's discouraging,” North Hills coach Pat Carrey said. “The one thing we've done all year is play tough, gritty football. We've been in every game. When you fumble the football and give them a lead, it's hard to get back into it.”
NA senior Cage Galupi completed 11 of 18 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He replaced senior starter Jeff Clemens, who left with a knee injury on the fourth play.
Galupi threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Weaver and a 46-yarder to Elijah Zeise.
Josh Bergman led NA with 47 yards on 13 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown. The Tigers rushed for 87 yards on 32 carries, but two of North Hills' four fumbles led to touchdowns.
The Indians' turnover issues started on their second snap. After quarterback Kindhal Taylor fumbled near midfield, NA moved 46 yards in six plays and Isaac Weaver caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cage Galupi to lead 7-0.
North Allegheny used a fumbled North Hills kick return and its own fumble to score touchdowns 38 seconds apart in the second quarter.
When Weaver fumbled at the goal line and teammate Sean Idowu recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, the Tigers held a 14-0 lead. North Hills fumbled the kickoff that followed. A 3-yard touchdown run by Bergman gave North Allegheny a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Seth Mancuso made a 32-yard field goal, and Zeise caught a touchdown in the fourth.
This was NA's best effort this season, coach Art Walker said.
“I think collectively, against a quality opponent, this has to be our best,” Walker said. “We've struggled against some of the better teams. ... This is a great confidence builder rolling into the playoffs.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlanTrib.
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.
- WPIAL coaches, QBs have concerns about using newly-approved footballs
- Story lines abound for start of new grid season
- Ringgold jumping right into the fire
- Monessen ready for battle of strengths
- Chad Waggoner is a nose guard/offensive guard for Charleroi Area
- H.S. Picks ‘tunes’ up for new season
- Southmoreland seeking 1st playoff appearance in 35 years
- GCC, Monessen matchup to feature contrasting styles
- Previewing Week 1 high school football matchups
- Freshman Jaden Datz will start at cornerback for Southmoreland
- Hampton to return to run-first philosophy