Spirits were high on Friday night as Canon-Mac played host to the visiting North Allegheny Tigers in the first WPIAL conference game of the season. The 6A foes battled all night, with the Tigers proving victorious by a score of 35-21.
In the first quarter, Junior quarterback Logan Kushner brought the North Allegheny offense to the opposing 41-yard line, where he and junior wideout Khiryn Boyd connected on a 28-yard strike deep into Big Mac territory. Two plays later, senior back Andrew Gavlik rumbled in from 10 yards out to give North Allegheny the early 7-0 lead.
A three-and-out on the next Canon-Mac drive marked by multiple penalties led to the first punt for the Big Macs. North Allegheny junior Evan Lyon returned the boot all the way down to the Big Mac’s 1-yard line. The Big Macs stood their ground for the first 3 downs before Gavlik took the fourth-down handoff into the endzone.
The score would remain 14-0 until the second quarter when another Canon-Mac three-and-out gave the Tigers the ball at their own 32-yard-line. Kushner then found Boyd on three successive completions, with the last for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked, making it 20-0 North Allegheny. North Allegheny scored again to climb to a 27-0 lead.
After two quick scores from Canon-Mac, the stadium could feel the momentum shift. The crowd was back into it and the Canon student section was louder than ever.
The Tigers continued to give the game away. The Big Macs recovered a North Allegheny fumble on the ensuing kickoff. On the next play from scrimmage, Austyn Winkleblech found himself all alone in the seam yet again and glided into the endzone with a 32-yard-score, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 6 with 4:09 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Despite the Canon-Mac comeback building, the North Allegheny Tigers were able to hold onto their lead in the fourth quarter, scoring again and making it 35-21 to close out the game.
The Tigers will look to keep their momentum going against McDowell this weekend.