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WILKINSBURG, Pa. — Khalil Dinkins is hard to miss.
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound North Allegheny wide receiver and linebacker is an imposing physical presence on the football field. The son of former Pitt and NFL tight end Darnell Dinkins, Khalil is a Power Five prospect in his own right, with offers from Michigan, Penn State, Pitt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others.
Unfortunately for Central Catholic quarterback Branndon Pezzelle, he did just that in the Tigers’ 35-21 loss to North Allegheny on Friday.
In the third quarter, as Central Catholic was looking to get back into the game with an offensive drive while trailing, Pezzelle missed Dinkins sitting on an out route, and the big linebacker stepped right in front of the throw and took it 36 yards for a score to give North Allegheny an insurmountable lead.
Dinkins did some damage when he was easy to spot, too. Lining up at flanker in North Allegheny’s offense, he scored a third quarter touchdown on a sweep to the right to put the Tigers up two scores before his interception padded the lead.
Most of North Allegheny’s offense on the evening came on the ground. Running back JR Burton scored to cap a first-quarter drive and finished with 108 yards on 13 carries for the evening. Burton was also heading into the end zone later in the first quarter when he fumbled forward into the end zone, allowing Tigers lineman Ben Withrow to fall on the ball for the score.
Central Catholic answered the first score, when Brandon Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff for a score, but the Vikings offense failed to gain much traction throughout the evening.
After Pezzelle’s interception, he was replaced by Adam Obrin. Obrin thew another interception, but was able to lead Central Catholic to a touchdown drive, scoring on a quarterback keeper from four yards out.
Tigers fullback Brady Leczo answered with a two-yard run after some tough running late in the game.
Vikings running back Eddie Tillman scored with 45 seconds to play, but the Central Catholic onside kick was recovered by the Tigers to seal the victory.
North Allegheny (2-0) will visit Mt. Lebanon next Friday. Central Catholic (1-1) plays at Seneca Valley.