North Hills uses balanced approach to handle Hampton

Friday, September 13, 2019 | 11:33 PM

North Hills won against Hampton, 35-14, the only way it knows how Friday night — with a selfless effort.

The Indians didn’t have a player with more than 100 yards passing, rushing or receiving, but it didn’t matter for an offense that enables skilled players to share the spotlight.

“We have a great energy on our team, and we’re always happy for each other,” North Hills running back Curtis Foskey said. “We go hard every play whether we get the ball or we block for someone else. We try to do everything perfect.”

North Hills coach Pat Carey will stick to his winning formula.

“The scheme and what we preach revolves around everyone having opportunities,” Carey said. “The kids have bought into the fakes, the blocking and the unselfishness. It’s really hard to defend against four guys who can run the ball and throw the ball a little.”

Curtis scored on touchdown runs of 23 and 32 yards, and quarterback Dylan Pawling led the Indians (4-0, 3-0) with 94 rushing yards. Pawling also connected with Tyler Tomasic for a 22-yard passing score.

Hampton (2-2, 2-1) has a similar offense, but turnovers proved to be its downfall.

The Talbots lost a fumble on their first drive of the game, a drive that was 11 plays and 57 yards long,

“We marched the ball down the field and inside the red zone, and we turned the ball over three times tonight,” coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “We did the same thing in our first game and turned the ball over five times. When you turn the ball over, you don’t put yourself in a position to win. We were doing what we wanted to do, but it’s hard to overcome three turnovers.”

Down 14-0 early in the fourth quarter, Hampton quarterback Ian Andersson connected with Michael Berarducci for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Pawling responded on the next drive with a 56-yard touchdown run on a broken passing play, and Tommy McDonough intercepted Andersson’s next pass to set up North Hills’ fourth touchdown and to give the team a 28-7 lead with 6 minutes left.

Andersson then found Gage Galuska for a 39-yard touchdown pass, and the Talbots didn’t have enough time for late-game heroics.

“We never quit, and we know our kids didn’t quit,” DeMatteo said. “They’re battling through some injuries, and today we battled through turnovers. I was proud of their effort, but we know we can’t turn the ball over.”

North Hills wasn’t without its flaws. The team failed to convert two first-half trips to the red zone into points.

“The mistakes we made in the red zone were forced by the other defense,” Carey said. “I’ll tell you what, Hampton has a good team over there. We watched them on tape, and they played how we thought they would. They’re aggressive and sound defensively, but our guys kept plugging away.”

The Indians’ ability to put their miscues behind them, Foskey said, is another reason why they keep winning.

“We just told each other to keep our heads up and to stay in the game,” Foskey said. “I’m happy for the whole team staying together. I’m happy for this coaching staff, because they do an amazing job preparing us, and that’s why we’re undefeated.”

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