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Friday August 19 2022
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PSR Game of the Week - North Hills 7, Woodland Hills 0

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One miraculous tap in the air. 

That's all that was needed for the North Hills Indians (2-0) to knock off defending WPIAL champion Woodland Hills (0-2).

With just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, back-up quarterback Steve Dutkowski launched a high pass that defelected off of the right hand of tight end Michael Murphy, only to land five yards upfield in the hands of teammate Mark DeVita.

The play resulted in a 61-yard dash to the endzone for DeVita, and was all the scoring necessary to finish off the Wolverines, 7-0, at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek Friday night. 

The Indians shutout of Woodland Hills marks their first since Sept. 5, 2008, against Penn-Trafford.

Tonight marked Dutkowski's first start under center, as starting quarterback Taylor Schmidt is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in a 28-7 win over Perry last Friday.

“This was a great win to have,” said Dutkowski. “A lot of people talk about how tough this stadium is to play in, and it's stuff you dream about to throw a game-winning touchdown in it, and knock off a team like (Woodland Hills). It just felt amazing to me.”

Dutkowski finished the game 5-of-9 with 93 yards through the air.

Defense was the main theme from start to finish for both of these teams, who are notorious for hard-hitting, in-your-face defensive football.

“This was a great defensive battle tonight,” said North Hills head coach Jack McCurry. “Both teams wanted it, both teams had talent on both ends of the field, and it was a game that nobody wanted to lose.”

Twelve punts—-six from each team—-and just 12 first downs and 247 yards total offense from both teams combined told the tale of how this game was truly a defensive battle.

A large part of Woodland Hills' offense was missing tonight, as Wolverine running back and Pitt recruit Lafayette Pitts missed the game due to a knee injury sustained last Saturday in the Wolverines 39-16 loss to Manatee (FL).

Taking the place of Pitts was tailback Jaimire Dutrieulle, who tallied a team-high 60 yards on 9 attempts. Fullback Alfonzo Strozier added 29 yards on five carries.

“It would've been nice to catch (Woodland Hills) with their best player, but you take what you can get,” McCurry said. “They still had plenty of weapons that we had to contain, and I think we did a very good job of that tonight.”

One of those weapons, quarterback and cousin of Lafayette, Jevonte Pitts, was virtually shut down, going 2-of-12 for just 35 yards and an interception, a shovel-pass that was picked by Kevin Corcoran just 22 seconds after the North Hills touchdown, which deflated any momentum left in the Wolverines' offensive unit.

Momentum was something the Indians could not find either on the offensive end of the ball for much of the night. North Hills tallied up just 38 yards on the ground on 33 carries. Their leading rusher was Isaiah Faulk with 52 yards on 17 carries.

Faulk's numbers would have stood up as North Hills' top numbers, had it not been for six sacks forced by the Woodland Hills' defense, including a third down take-down by D-1 recruit Ejuan Price in the second quarter, which knocked the Indians out of field goal range and kept the score deadlocked at zero.

“This was a game you had to earn,” McCurry said. “Our defense did a stand-up job, and just gave us enough time for our offense to get something together. I was extremely proud of the job our boys did tonight on the defensive side of the ball. That's something to build off of.”

North Hills will travel to Pine-Richland in their conference opener next week, while Woodland Hills rounds up their three-game homestand in a conference battle with Plum.


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