North Hills pulls away from Kiski Area

Friday, October 2, 2020 | 10:35 PM

In three plays, Kiski Area went from looking like it was going to be right back into its game with North Hills to having the momentum completely flipped.

Down eight points early in the second half and facing a fourth and 3 at the North Hills’ 4-yard line, Kiski Area quarterback Logan Johnson was sacked, forcing a turnover on downs.

Two plays later, the Indians turned the fourth-down stop into points.

Liam Tracey scored on a 15-yard run, and North Hills didn’t look back from there on its way to a 42-20 win at Dick Dilts Stadium in a Class 5A Northeast Conference game Friday night.

Tracey broke a 65-yard run on the play prior to his touchdown.

“That was huge because they came out and took the momentum from us,” North Hills coach Pat Carey said. “It was important for us to stop them there. Then we had a really nice six-minute drive in the fourth quarter that was really nice. That’s really what we want this offense to do.”

The Cavaliers (1-2, 0-2) trailed North Hills (2-2, 2-0), 21-13, at halftime but seized momentum on the first play of the third quarter when James Pearson put a big hit on North Hills running back Curtis Foskey that forced a fumble. Kiski Area recovered at the North Hills 20, which set up the drive that stalled inside the 5.

“It was disheartening,” Kiski Area coach Sam Albert said. “But our kids kept fighting back. We went into halftime and made an adjustment on defense. We told our outside ’backer to go. He did and made a hit and got the ball. That was big if we were able to score, but we didn’t.

“On that (fourth-down) play, we were supposed to roll left and two of our offensive linemen went the other way. They’re going to come through and make a play if you roll that wrong way, but our linemen are young. Four of our lineman hadn’t started a varsity game prior to Connellsville.”

North Hills quarterback Ethan Marker found Robert Dickerson on touchdown passes of 14 and 30 yards on the Indians’ next two possessions, which ballooned the lead to 42-13.

Dickerson had 148 yards rushing on seven carries and three receptions for 99 yards and scored four touchdowns. Marker was 5 for 6 passing for 124 yards and four touchdowns.

Johnson was 14 of 27 passing for 179 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Cavaliers. Calvin Heinle caught six passes for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Kiski Area forced four North Hills turnovers and twice had the ball inside 20-yard line off of turnovers but came away with no points.

Albert is still seeing some of the small miscues that come with not having a full training camp because of the team having to take two weeks off after being shut down for covid-19 concerns.

But he likes his team’s effort and is looking forward to seeing them grow as the season goes on.

“We didn’t have two-a-days. We didn’t have a scrimmage where you can go out and correct some things,” Albert said. “I think that we’re showing that we’re still a little behind from not having a camp or a scrimmage.

“But I’m proud of our guys. They never give up and that was a quality football team we played.”

Watch an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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