Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny 27, Penn Hills 16 Tigers Snag a Victory Defense Takes Control, Forces Five Turnovers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny 27, Penn Hills 16 Tigers Snag a Victory Defense Takes Control, Forces Five Turnovers

Article excerpt

One thing kept going right -- North Allegheny's defense continued to force turnovers and its offense kept capitalizing.

Defensive back Joey Porter Jr. picked off Penn Hills quarterback Hollis Mathis twice and Alex Hays caught another interception as the Tigers more than doubled Mathis' interception tally and North Allegheny took down Penn Hills, 27-16. Penn Hills committed five turnovers total.

"You try to keep them from making big plays and you try to capitalize off of turnovers and stuff like that, and offensively, we try to run the clock and try to keep their offense on the sideline," North Allegheny coach Art Walker said. "But the defensive coaches just worked their tails off to take away their best stuff and stay in coverage and keep pressure on Mathis, trying to keep him in the pocket because he's dangerous when he gets out."

The Indians entered the game averaging 32.8 points on offense and Mathis entered the game with 1,353 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He completed 12 of 23 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the fourth quarter.

The capper, however, came as kick returner Anthony Grimes fumbled on his return, giving North Allegheny the ball on the Penn Hills 19 with 4:19 to play. The Tigers were able to run out the clock.

The Indians couldn't find a rhythm in the first quarter, with three of their first four drives resulting in turnovers. Those woes seeped into the second half as North Allegheny blocked a field-goal attempt by kicker Shayne Myers with 8:18 left in the third quarter and Porter Jr. jumped in front of a pass by junior quarterback Hollis, nabbing his second interception of the game.

"I'm ecstatic about how our defense played tonight," Walker said. "The defense gets the game ball. They're the ones that tilted it our way."

Back-to-back personal foul calls on Penn Hills set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Turner White to make it 27-0 North Allegheny as the third quarter wound down.

On Penn Hills' opening drive, Porter Jr. …

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