Gateway runs away to impressive victory

Paul Schofield
| Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009

The Gateway football team showed no mercy Friday night at Warrior Stadium and they showed Penn-Trafford why they are ranked No. 1 by the Tribune-Review in Class AAAA.

Gateway was close to unstoppable, rolling to an easy 51-14 victory over Penn-Trafford (1-3, 1-1) in a Quad South Conference battle.

Gateway (4-0, 2-0) struck quickly and often in the first half. It led, 24-0, after one quarter, and 45-7 at halftime.

North Carolina recruit Brendon Felder showed why he's one of the top players in the WPIAL. He returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown and then added an 88-yard punt return later in the first quarter.

"We gave them too many opportunities and they capitalized on them," Penn-Trafford coach T.J. Wiley said. "You can't give a team like that many chances to utilize their speed. They are very good and they make all the plays."

Quarterback Rob Kalkstein completed 9 of 12 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He should have had a third, but wide receiver Stephen Vranka fumbled going into the end zone after a 48-yard reception. Vranka, however, recovered the ball for a touchdown.

"This is the fastest team I've coached," Gateway coach Terry Smith said. "The kickoff return was big and Stephen's fumble recovery was big. Little plays like that can be big momentum chargers.

"We challenged the players this week. Penn-Trafford is a tricky team and it has nice good athletes. But the big plays took it out of them."

Kalkstein tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Dayonne Nunley in a 21-point second quarter. Nunley also scored on a 13-yard run in the second quarter.

He ended the first half by driving Gateway 61 yards in 17.2 seconds when he connected with Vranka for 33 yards and then for 29 yards and a score on the final play of the half.

Vranka finished with three catches for 109 yards.

The score and quick drive came after Penn-Trafford quarterback Zach Emerick tossed a 6-yard scoring strike to Matt Hyland.

Emerick tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Austin with 1:11 left. Emerick completed 10 of 18 passes for 94 yards.

"We go as Robbie goes," Smith said. "He's making all the correct reads and he's getting to ball into the playmakers hands."

Kalkstein said his job is really easy because he has so many good players.

"I just have to make sure I don't overthrow them," Kalkstein said. "I try not to miss them. The offense came together (last night) and the offensive line blocked really well."

Penn-Trafford travels to winless Connellsville (0-4, 0-2) next week.

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