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McKeesport runs past Kiski Area in Big East Conference

| Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, 12:18 a.m.

On many occasions during Kiski Area's 48-14 loss to No. 4 McKeesport, the Cavaliers were in the right place at the right time. Oftentimes, the Cavaliers had defenders surrounding Tigers' ball carriers, or even made contact with the rushers in the backfield.

However, preparedness and a stout game plan only went so far for Kiski Area (1-6, 1-4) as the triple-headed rushing attack of Layton Jordan, Carlinos Acie and John Harper for McKeesport (5-1, 5-1) combined for 464 yards and six rushing touchdowns en route to a Class 5A Big East Conference victory.

“They're a very good football team. You can't simulate their speed. The way we started the game, I was very impressed with our kids. We were able to get into their backfield, but that just shows how good that team is,” Kiski Area coach Sam Albert said.

“I thought our kids played until the end, and we're proud of them for that. They're just a good football team. They made adjustments to us, and they hit us in our gaps.”

Jordan finished with 213 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Acie wasn't far behind with eight carries for 150 yards. At quarterback, Harper racked up 101 yards and three scores on eight runs.

While the Cavaliers were able to limit McKeesport's triple-option offense in spurts, the visiting Tigers eventually wore the home team down on their way to a 34-7 halftime lead.

“That's just the offense. It's predicated on being a triple threat, so we have three guys, and if you take one away, another one is going to be opened up,” McKeesport coach Matt Miller said. “So far, they've been unselfish. Harper is making the right reads, and we've been able to make some good plays.”

McKeesport started to drive Kiski Area back in the trenches in the second quarter, both on offense and defense. The improved play on both sides of the line is what has Miller believing the team is cresting at the right moment of the season.

“They've gotten so much better since Week 1. We've been leaning on our line more and more, and they've just gotten so much better,” he said. “They're confident now and it's happening at a good time. They're peaking at the right time.”

Quarterback Ryne Wallace performed well for Kiski Area, completing 8 of his 13 passes for 113 yards. Running back Ross Greece rushed for 27 yards and a score and hauled in one pass for 46 yards. The team's other back, Drew DiNunzio-Biss, accrued 67 total yards.

The Cavaliers' second touchdown was scored in the final moments of the game when junior quarterback Ethan Guircio found sophomore Mason Bennett for a 7-yard score.

“On offense and defense, we don't start more then two or three seniors. Those seniors are doing a great job of leading us. They don't quit,” Albert said.

“Again, that's all you can do. Our kids went at them the right way. They're just bigger, faster and stronger then us right now. We just have to work hard and get to that point.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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