North Allegheny, Trueman take control against Morgantown

Friday, August 25, 2017 | 11:39 PM

North Allegheny won the opening coin toss, elected to receive and then proceeded to start off its season with a strong and steady drive that lasted nine plays and ate up 71 yards before running back Turner White punctuated his team's efforts with a 1-yard touchdown run.

The rest of the Western Pa. Legends Classic at North Allegheny High School between the Class 6A No. 3 Tigers and Morgantown, W.Va. followed a similar tone as the home team overwhelmed the visiting Mohigans on offense, defense and special teams to notch a 45-0 victory.

In his first career varsity start at quarterback, senior Luke Trueman displayed his command over the Tigers' offense by completing 9 of 16 passes for 165 yards and gashing the Morgantown defense for 56 yards rushing on eight carries. Trueman also punched in a 1-yard scoring run to go along with a pair of touchdown passes, one to Cory Melzer and the other to Brennan McCauley.

“He was tremendous,” North Allegheny coach Art Walker said of Trueman. “He's got a different personality. He's excited about playing, and he's never apprehensive about anything. He was looking forward to this opportunity and waiting patiently. He was the backup for us for the last two years, and now he won this job. I'm excited for him and that he had such a good night.”

Turner White and Ben Maenza also performed well as ball carriers, with the former rushing for 54 yards and a score and the latter tallying 63 yards on the ground.

On defense, North Allegheny (1-0) limited Morgantown (0-1) to 62 rushing yards on 33 carries. The Mohigans managed just 83 yards of total offense and were 0 for 10 on third-down conversions.

“We're not going to make any wholesale changes; it's Game 1. We came up here and played a very good football team, so hats off to them,” Morgantown coach Matt Lacy said. “I think we did some things well. We'll need to look at the film and just continue to get better at the little things.”

One aspect of his team's play Walker said he was especially pleased with was the special teams unit. On the kickoff following halftime, the Tigers gambled with an onside kick and saw it pay off as they recovered the ball while holding a 24-0 lead.

In addition to the onside kick recovery, Joey Porter Jr. made his presence felt by fielding a Mohigans punt and taking it 46 yards for a special teams touchdown.

“We put an emphasis on special teams, and I'm excited about how those kids played. It made a difference for us,” Walker said.

“I'm happy with where we're at. Our coaches did a great job prepping them and getting them ready.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.


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