DORMONT, Pa. — Sometimes it can be as simple as winning the game in the trenches. The 6-A Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings knew that they had the size advantage on both lines when they opened their season against the 5-A Penn Hills Indians. PCC showed a commitment to flexing their muscle from the start of the game and continued it throughout en route to a blowout victory 48-7.
The trench domination started immediately when quarterback Julian Dugger struggled to wrangle in a snap and the defense swarmed him for the first sack of the game.
Penn Hills was immediately stuck inside their own 20, and it took multiple drives to get away from their own end zone.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic started the scoring off with a field goal following the first Penn Hills three-and-out.
A fumble recovery by senior defensive tackle Donovan Hinish led to the first PCC touchdown of the game, a Peyton Wehner quarterback keep from a few yards out.
Up 10-0, Hinish recorded a sack that pinned the Indians deep once again. He finished with two on the game.
Penn Hills found life in the second quarter, but an interception from Keith Cushenberry silenced the comeback and a Gannon Carothers run from four yards out on the ensuing drive gave the Vikings a 17-0 lead.
Another strip-sack forced by Ty Yuhas gave Central Catholic the ball inside scoring range once again, which led to a short touchdown reception by Josh Altsman to extend the lead to 24-0.
Penn Hills put together their best drive of the game, right before the half after converting a fourth and goal that cut the lead to 24-7.
The drive did not change momentum, though. Brandon Jackson took a screen to the house early into the Vikings’ first drive of the second half to go up 31-7. PCC added a 45-yard field goal, and a pick-six by freshman Xavier Thomas to put the game completely out of reach, 41-7, before the start of the fourth quarter. That was plenty of cushion to put things away in the fourth.
Penn Hills will have a chance to rebound against another formidable opponent in the Gateway Gators next week. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Central Catholic will head to Pine-Richland next week.
GALLERY by Jared Todhunter: