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FNR REPLAY: North Allegheny claims conference title in win over Pine-Richland

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A cold, rainy night at Newman Stadium turned out to be the perfect backdrop for North Allegheny's physical brand of football Friday in a 27-7 victory over rival Pine-Richland, earning the Tigers a perfect regular season and a conference title in a Week 9 C. Harper Auto Group Powered by IGS Energy Friday Night Rivals broadcast live on 22 the Point.

PITTSBURGH -- A cold, rainy night at Newman Stadium turned out to be the perfect backdrop for North Allegheny's physical brand of football Friday in a 27-7 victory over rival Pine-Richland, earning the Tigers a perfect regular season and a conference title in a Week 9 C. Harper Auto Group Powered by IGS Energy Friday Night Rivals broadcast live on 22 the Point.

Despite trailing 7-0 at halftime, North Allegheny committed to its power running game identity, using a convincing 15-play drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run from fullback Sam Gelosh.

The momentum shift was immediate and North Allegheny stuck to its ground attack, leaning on the Rams for three more rushing touchdowns.

"Unbelievable effort by our kids and by our coaching staff, from January until now," North Allegheny Head Coach Art Walker Jr. said in the postgame trophy presentation on 22 the Point.

"I'm excited for everyone in our district and in our community."

Quarterback Ben Petschke kept for a score to extend the lead to 14-7, followed by senior running back Ben Maenza's 69-yard scoring dash. Petschke added another fourth quarter rushing touchdown to complete the show of force. Cade Hoke and Ethan Augustine led the North Allegheny defense which slowed the Rams following their first half score.

Pine-Richland junior running back Luke Meckler led the Rams' offense with 114 yards, with sophomore quarterback Cole Spencer providing their only score.

The North Allegheny win caps off a 10-0 regular season and the No. 1 overall seed in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs. Pine-Richland finishes the regular season 8-2 overall but could get another crack at the Tigers in the WPIAL championship game at Heinz Field in three weeks.

"There's a great chance we could see each other again, we know that's a possibility," Walker said.

Re/Max Select Realty Player of the Game

Ben Maenza - North Allegheny running back

Dunkin' Donuts Play of the Game

Ben Maenza - North Allegheny running back

Todd Titsworth HealthMarkets Insurance Defensive Play of the Game

Luke Meckler - Pine-Richland defensive back

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