North Hills rallies past Fox Chapel to win conference opener
Friday, August 30, 2019 | 11:10 PM
North Hills scored three touchdowns in an eight-minute span in the second half and got a late stop on defense to defeat Fox Chapel 35-28 in the Northern Conference opener for both teams at Martorelli Stadium on Friday night.
After taking a 14-6 lead into halftime, the Indians (2-0, 1-0) absorbed a hot start to the second half by Fox Chapel (0-2, 0-1) when the Foxes scored 15 points in less than a minute.
Fox Chapel’s Alex Wecht, who returned after missing last week’s game, scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. A 2-point conversion tied the score 14-14 with 10 minutes, 38 left in the third quarter. It was Wecht’s second TD run of the game.
One play later, North Hills’ Tyler Tomasic was hit in the backfield by Sam Brown and fumbled. Brown recovered at the North Hills 12 and three plays later, the Foxes took their first lead of the game, 21-14, on a 7-yard pass to Benjamin Wilk.
Susnak was terrific for Fox Chapel, completing 19 of 31 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers were limited by numerous dropped passes.
“Susnak played well tonight,” Foxes coach Tom Loughran said. “He stood up in the face of adversity when he had guys in his face and he threw the ball well. He deserved better some times, in terms of us dropping the football.”
North Hills drew even, 21-21, on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Liam Tracey on fourth-and-goal with 2:05 left in the third quarter.
The Indians regained the lead just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter after Susnak punted into the backside of Brown.
One play later, freshman John Green found Luke Hulbert on a halfback option for 29 yards and a touchdown that gave the Indians the lead for good, 28-21.
After a 7-yard scoring run by Indians quarterback Dylan Pawling extended the lead to 35-21, the Foxes charged down the field and cut the lead in half on a 7-yard TD pass from Susnak to Lorenzo Jenkins with five minutes left.
Fox Chapel got one more chance when it took over at its own 41 with 2:54 to play, but a final drive stalled out at the North Hills’ 15 on a dropped pass on fourth down.
“When we weren’t able to convert the first down deep in our end late in the game (and had to punt), we were concerned because we hadn’t been able to stop them all night,” North Hills coach Pat Carey said. “So, to come up big and get a stop at the end of the game like that was huge.”