WEXFORD, Pa. — The matchup between the two best teams in WPIAL 6A, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and North Allegheny, earned the name “Game of the Century,” by some around the region. Central Catholic prevailed in this matchup, 50-22, to take the top spot in their classification Friday night at Newman Stadium.
The Vikings (5-0 overall, 2-0 Tri-County Five) get revenge on the Tigers (4-1 overall, 1-1 Tri-County Five), who defeated them twice last year, including in the WPIAL 6A Title game. It is the first 5-0 start for the Vikings since 2014 and keeps them perfect under first-year head coach Ryan Lehmeier. It is also the first loss for the Tigers against the Vikings since 2021, with their last win against the Vikings at home in 2019.
The 50 points the Vikings scored is the first against the Tigers since 2016 and the second time this season they’ve scored this many points, along with the 62-46 victory over the Bethel Park Blackhawks.
North Allegheny started the first quarter off well. They forced Central Catholic to punt on the opening drive and then moved down the field easily to score on a 3-yard rush from senior running back Tyree Alualu, along with a two-point conversion to put themselves up 8-0.
The Vikings responded, thanks to junior running back Elijah Faulkner, who capped off the next drive with a 30-yard rushing touchdown, that saw him bounce off a few tackles into the end zone. Senior quarterback Peyton Wehner completed a pass to senior wide receiver and Penn State commit Peter Gonzalez for the two-point conversion.
North Allegheny looked like they scored on the next drive, but Central had other plans. A strip sack from senior linebacker and Michigan commit Cole Sullivan on senior quarterback Logan Kushner fell into the hands of fellow senior linebacker and Penn State commit Anthony Speca.
Speca ran all the way to the 13-yard line, which then led to another touchdown from Faulkner to put the Vikings up 15-7.
The Tigers had no issue on the next drive, as Alualu kept moving on the ground in the rushing attack to get into the red zone. Kushner wasted a great opportunity for the Tigers, as he overthrew his a wide-open target, leading to an interception by Vikings junior defensive back Xxavier Thomas in the end zone.
After a few missed opportunities, North Allegheny eventually found the end zone once again. Kushner avoided a sack and ran untouched, 26-yards for the tying score.
Faulkner continued to lead Central on the ground and into great position, finishing the first half with 17 rushes for 142 yards.
Wehner also got into a rhythm with Sullivan, completing two touchdowns to him for 13 yards in the near end zone and then nine yards on a screen pass. The Vikings held the Tigers for the rest of the second quarter and took in a 29-15 lead into the halftime.
Central Catholic used their defense to solidify the win in the third quarter. Kushner overthrew his wide receiver by at least 10 yards, leading to Thomas to make his second interception of the game. Following a punt on their next drive, Sullivan forced a fumble on North Allegheny senior Evan Lyon, to give Central possession on the 20-yard line.
Sullivan got the Vikings to the one-yard line, allowing Faulkner to score his third touchdown of the night to increase the lead to 36-15.
Wehner completed an incredible throw to Gonzalez in coverage for a large gain, setting up Faulkner again for his fourth touchdown of the night to increase the lead to 43-15.
The Tigers did score once more, with senior wide receiver Khiryn Boyd making an incredible over-the-head catch to set up Kushner for a one-yard score.
Junior running back Amari Shields had a 62-yard rushing touchdown to get on the board himself and increase the rout.
Central Catholic takes on conference foe Canon-McMillan next Friday, Sept. 29 at Gesling Stadium on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. North Allegheny faces off against rival Pine-Richland the same day next time out at home.