In a defensive battle at LT. J.C. Stone Field, North Catholic (2-2, 1-0) defeated Highlands (3-1, 0-1) 19-0. It was the first section game of the season for both teams, which made this an even bigger statement win for North Catholic.
In the first half, Highlands was held to just two first downs with one coming off a mishandled punt return by North Catholic. The offense, which came into game averaging over 30 points a game, was stifled by a strong North Catholic defensive line that was missing three starters in the game.
Granted, they were still led by four-star 2025 defensive end recruit Brady O’Hara who pressured the quarterback several times including registering a sack in the half. O’Hara, who also plays tight end, kept the defensive line together despite the losses.
The lone touchdown scored came from North Catholic’s other division-one recruit Jack Fennell. This came after a botched punt from Highlands set North Catholic up at the two yard line early in the game. A blocked field goal had the score early.
It was the only score of the half, although North Catholic threatened several times. Twice North Catholic elected to go for it on fourth down in the redzone and twice they were stopped. As stated, it was a defensive battle through and through in the first half.
And that battle extended into the second half. It’d take eight minutes in the third quarter for the second touchdown of the game. This time it came off a 28-yard touchdown pass from North Catholic’s Jason Skilet to Jack White. A two-point conversion was stopped short after a delay of game pushed the Trojans back.
After stopping Highlands on fourth down, North Catholic had the largest play of the game. A 74-yard touchdown pass from Skilet to O’Hara gave them a 19 point lead and sealed the deal for the Trojans late in the third quarter.
Highlands would drive down the field in the fourth quarter. However a fourth down stop within the North Catholic five-yard line further cemented the victory for the Trojans.
North Catholic will next travel to Kiski while Highlands will host Indiana, both games being section match-ups. Those two games are both next Friday at 7:00 p.m.