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Penn Hills – North Hills Preview

Written by: on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008


The Game: Penn Hills (7 AAAA) @ North Hills (7 AAAA)

Date: Friday, Nov. 7th, 2008, from Pine-Richland HS in Gibsonia

2008 Record: Penn Hills (7-3), North Hills (9-1)

About Penn Hills: It looked like it would be more of the same for Penn Hills at the onset of the season, as the Indians lost three of their first four games.  After a 2007 season which began in a similar fashion, and with one of the more talented teams in the WPIAL, it was only a matter of time before PH got its act together.

The Indians really caught fire when they knocked off Pittsburgh Central Catholic in an FSN-Pittsburgh Thursday night showcase game, 30-7, at Carnegie Mellon.  Including that resounding victory, the Indians have won six games in a row.

Penn Hills is led by Tom Fulton, a 4,000-yard passer for his career.  Fulton has a quality target to throw to in Brandon Ifill, and running back Teddy Blakeman is fast approaching the 1,000-yard rushing mark.  The PH offense averages just over 28 points per game.

Division-1 linebacker prospect Dan Mason anchors the defense, which allows an average of nearly 18 points per game.

Penn Hills defeated Pine-Richland 37-7 in the opening round of the playoffs.

About North Hills: Also nicknamed the Indians, North Hills boasts a veteran coach who is just one of six WPIAL coaches to ever surpass the 250-win plateau.  Jack McCurry has won 255 games, 4 WPIAL titles, the 1993 PIAA “AAAA” title, and the 1987 mythical USA-Today national championship.

McCurry was a 2001 PSFCA Hall of Fame inductee.

North Hills is led offensively by quarterback Justin Heinauer and running backs Elijah David and Max Creighan.  NH averages 26 points per game.

Defensively, North Hills has a Division-1 prospect of its own in Mike Hirt, who has led the lead the team in tackles each of the last two seasons.

In terms of using Pine-Richland as a common opponent, North Hills needed double-overtime to seal the deal against the Rams, winning 22-21 earlier in the season.

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