The Greater Latrobe Wildcats knew the ingredients for an upset of the Penn Hills Indians. The Wildcats needed to get out to an early lead, put the pressure on Penn Hills and force them to make mistakes if they wanted to beat the Indians, who have high expectations regarding the state playoffs this season.
Early into the game, Latrobe was putting all of the pieces together.
But the pieces did not stay together as Penn Hills did their jobs, and took care of Latrobe, 50-13.
Latrobe got out to an aggressive start. Despite failing to convert, the Wildcats called a fake punt on their first fourth down of the game, showing that they were there to land the first punch. They blocked a field goal on their first defensive stand and then put the pressure on the Indians with a deep touchdown caught by Zakh Williams in the soft spot of a zone.
Williams caught the pass, made two defenders miss after the catch and officially put Penn Hills on upset alert early into the game with a 7-0 deficit. However, from there the Indians took a deep breath, regrouped and retaliated. Penn Hills scored on the next possession to cut the lead to 7-6. Quarterback Hollis Mathis took a deep shot to receiver Daequan Hardy who made an impressive play on the ball.
The Indians then forced a three and out. The very next play Mathis took off on a quarterback draw to take the lead. The Indians never looked back from there, scoring 44 unanswered points. Penn Hills went into the half with a 26-7 lead and used the second half to milk away the clock and the Wildcats chances of hanging on in this game.
Penn Hills attacked from all angles. Mathis beat the team in the air and on the ground. He accumulated six total touchdowns, two on the ground with long runs in the open field and four through the air to a variety of pass catchers. His running mate Terry “Tank” Smith burst for a 34-yard touchdown as well.
The speed of Penn Hills began to overwhelm Latrobe, and the big plays that led to touchdowns can speak to that. It was as if Penn Hills had a completely different gear and as the game went on, it became apparent that Latrobe had no answer.
The loss puts Greater Latrobe at 0-2 on the season, 0-1 in section play. Penn Hills keeps their undefeated season alive after beating a daunting foe in Steubenville last week. The 2-0 Indians will look to continue their winning ways next week at Fox Chapel. Latrobe will open their home schedule as they host Franklin Regional next week in a quest to get their first regular season win of the year.