Mt. Lebanon too much for Plum
The Plum football team made its second trip to the South Hills in as many weeks Friday, and unfortunately for the Mustangs, they again were unable to put one in the win column in a Quad Central Conference game.
Mt. Lebanon (3-1, 2-0) scored 36 unanswered points in the first half to open a big lead at the break, and the Blue Devils, ranked seventh in the Tribune-Review Quad-A football rankings, went on to score a 49-14 victory.
Plum fell to 0-3, both overall and in conference play.
“I am not questioning my kids one bit,” Plum head coach Frank Sacco said.
“Their effort is there. They are giving it everything they've got, and good things are going to happen for this team, They are playing hard. We were flying to the ball on defense, but we just have to do a little better job on tackling. Week in and week out, we're outmatched size-wise, but the kids aren't backing down, and they are fighting.”
Fireworks on the opening kickoff gave Mt. Lebanon a quick lead, as junior Jake Rolfsen took the ball at his own 25 and raced through the Plum defenders to the end zone. Plum surrendered four special-teams touchdowns against Bethel Park in week one.
The Mustangs, however, were able to answer the quick Blue Devils score.
Plum drove into Mt, Lebanon territory, and on 3rd and 11 from the Blue Devils 35, Mustangs senior quarterback Corey DeLoach launched a pass that senior wideout Tevin Odom hauled in over two defenders in the end zone.
DeLoach had to scoop up a bad snap on the scoring play, set himself and let the pass loose.
Senior Dylan Kondis added the point after, and Plum led 7-6 at the 7:56 mark of the first quarter. It was the Mustangs' first lead of the season.
“We came back and fought,” Sacco said. “We put a nice drive together. Corey had some nice runs, and the offensive line was doing some good things. Corey showed great composure on the touchdown throw, and Tevin made a great catch.”
But Mt. Lebanon responded with a pair of touchdowns to close out the first quarter and added two more over the second 12 minutes to take a 42-7 lead into halftime and put the 35-point mercy rule into effect.
Blue Devils senior quarterback Tyler Roth threw four touchdowns over the first two quarters. He completed 9 of 17 passes in the first half for 180 yards.
Junior 6-foot-2 receiver Troy Apke caught touchdown passes of 43 and 31 yards, while seniors Mark Buda and Dimitri Orfanopoulos caught scoring strikes of 4 and 20 yards, respectively.
“Things really snowballed in a hurry,” Sacco said.
Plum closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter, as sophomore running back Kyle Smecker capped a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. He finished with 10 carries for a team-best 39 yards.
Michael Love is a sports writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5825.