If Julian Dugger has done anything during his senior season at Penn Hills, it’s showcase exactly why he’s such a regarded dual-threat option at quarterback.
A couple of weeks after he ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a big win over Pine-Richland High, Dugger completed 15-of-20 pass attempts for 268 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-9 win over North Hills High Friday night on the road.
He completed touchdown passes of 12, 30 and 66 yards in the process, showcasing a live arm that can complete throws all over the field.
It’s the continuation of a strong start to Dugger’s senior season, as he accounted for nearly 750 yards of offense over his first three games — 473 passing yards with seven touchdowns and just two interceptions and 268 rushing yards with three touchdowns. And most importantly, Penn Hills started 3-0 to start on the season.
A 14-13 loss to Moon last weekend wasn’t what the Indians had planned, but the Indians are back on track with a win over North Hills.
Dugger is a tall, athletic quarterback at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, a multi-sport athlete who also stars on the basketball court and competes in track & field, and he’s taken strides as a quarterback — not just an athlete — over the last few months.
He started working with former WPIAL star and NFL quarterback Mike McMahon earlier this year, and it’s shown with his on-field results. Dugger was impressive at a Pitt camp in June, was one of the top performers at the 2Tenths Top 150 camp in July and eventually pledged himself to Pitt at the very end of July.
“I think I impressed people with my footwork and the fact that we were winning and didn’t get stopped the entire camp,” Dugger told PSN in June. “During the camp, I had a very high completion percentage. I was doing a good job of throwing the ball on time and throwing to where my receivers were supposed to be and not waiting for them to get to a spot. I was throwing with anticipation.
“I went to this camp with the goal of showcasing to all the coaches there my talent and showing everyone how I really can throw the ball. I also went there with the goal of winning, which I knew would bring me attention.”
As the starting quarterback at Penn Hills in 2022, Dugger completed 73-of-130 pass attempts (56%) for 1,137 yards with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also added 476 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns on 61 carries. And he’s on pace to put up even stronger numbers this season.
Penn Hills has reached the midway point of its season, sitting at 4-1 and ranked second among the WPIAL Class-5A Northeast conference, and Dugger’s play going forward will determine just how high the Indians can climb this season.
After a strong start to his senior season, Dugger — even as he faces tough matchups — should continue to showcase a live arm and elite rushing ability that makes him stand out in the WPIAL.
Dugger’s next game is a home matchup against Bethel Park High on Friday, Sept. 29, and the Pitt coaching staff will surely be paying close attention.