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WPIAL

Field Position, Defense Lead Peters Township over Explosive North Hills

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WEST VIEW, Pa. — Peters Township (7-4) came into the WPIAL 5-A playoffs as the No. 11 seed, but do not tell them that they are an underdog. They proved that they are getting healthy and playing their best football right now with an impressive 33-28 win over No. 6 seed North Nills (6-4).

The scoring started fast and furious for North Hills when their star wideout Robert Dickerson ran a stop and go and adjusted underneath a John Green bomb to go 70-yards to the house. North Hills ran two quick curls to Dickerson the series before and let out the all-out bomb to start the scoring.

This did not stop Peters Township from sticking in this game, as they dominated field position throughout the first half. Three of their drives started in their own zone, including a scoring drive that ended with a Sam Miller quarterback keeper. Miller hit Jacob Macosko for a touch pass that led to 25 to set up the score.

Peters kept chipping away, but North Hills kept relying on their explosive plays. Green took off for 41 on 3rd and 8, and then Chase Fosky finished off the scoring with a 25 yard explosive run on a jet sweep to take a 14-7 lead.

Peters responded just a couple of plays later, though on a quick strike of their own. Macosko went for 70 on a catch and run where he made two defenders miss, and stiff-armed another as he found his way into the end zone.

The game went into the half tied, but not before two costly mistakes hurt Peters Township. PT started with the ball inside the 35 off of a bad punt and got inside the five before a strip led to a fumble. They got the ball right back, and this time got to the one-yard line before a quarterback sneak was stuffed as time expired in the half.

Still, in the first half Peters Township ran more plays, dominated the line of scrimmage and field position, and while they failed to show it with the missed scoring chances, they came out in the second half inspired that they were the better team.

Bryce Thompson hauled in a 25-yard pass that set up an Ethan Kirsch touchdown to make the score 21-14. Peters Township immediately got the football and threw up a 53-yard bomb to Jacob Macosko that set up another Kirsch score on the ground. Just like that, it was 28-14.

On the flip side, North Hills was content sticking to their plan of relying on the splash play. Robert Dickerson caught a pass behind the line and fired a bomb to Cooper Thompson. In the very next play, North Hills went 39 yards to Dickerson to put the ball at the two. A quarterback sneak cut the lead to 28-20.

Peters Township took the lead into the fourth quarter, and kicked a field goal early on to go up 31-20. However, as North Hills did all game, they answered through explosives. Chase Foskey and Cooper Thompson made big catches through the air, and Liam Tracey finished the drive that needed just those threeplays to cut the lead to 31-28.

Peters Township drove down the field, but a fourth down prayer wound being picked off. However, that turned out to be the blessing that PT needed because it gave North Nills the ball at the one yard line, where the interception occurred rather than the spot of the incomplete fourth down.

With North Hills backed up at the 1-yard line, a bad snap led to a safety and gave Peters Township the ball and a 33-28 lead with under four minutes to go in the game. You can say the interception leading to a safety were two lucky breaks, but Peters Township dominated field position all game, which put them in those advantageous positions.

Peters Township got the punt and drove, setting North Hills up with 1:47 and the ball at their own 21, needing a touchdown to win. Marcos Recker picked off a desperation pass towards the sideline that sealed off the game.

Peters Township will now face No. 3 Pine-Richland at Pine-Richland next week.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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