Share This Page

Running backs to be showcased in Interstate Conference matchup

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 11:24 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita runs versus Jeannette during their October 5, 2012 contest at McKee Stadium in Jeannette. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Yough's Mike Reuss (10) comes up with a big defensive play and stops Mt. Pleasant's Tim Hostetler (16) from reaching the end zone during the first half of Mt. Pleasant's contest against Yough at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant on Friday September 28, 2012. Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant's Ryan Ballew (left) battles with Yough's Ben D'Amico for possession of the loose football which was picked up by Mt. Pleasant's Joey Paul (not pictured) and taken to the end zone early in the first half during Mt. Pleasant's contest against Yough at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant on Friday September 28, 2012. Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant's Taylor Allison (33) is stopped in the first half of Mt. Pleasant's contest against Yough at Viking Stadium in Mt. Pleasant on Friday September 28, 2012. Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Washington running back Shai McKenzie runs the ball during a game at GCC on Friday, August 31, 2012. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Mt. Pleasant Area High School’s Tyler Mellors dives into the end zone for the first touchdown around Greensburg Central Catholic High School Corey Marshall at GCC September 7, 2012. gtr-MtPGCC-01-090812

Washington, not so fast!

It is coach Mike Bosnic's stern message this week in advance of the Little Prexies' Class AA Interstate Conference game Friday at Mt. Pleasant.

“Their style is hard to defend,” Bosnic said. “You have to be very disciplined when you play them. You can't be overly aggressive. They have a lot of misdirection. You have to stress over and over not to be so aggressive in terms of what you usually do. It's a contradiction.”

No. 3 Washington (6-0, 6-0) risks its unbeaten record at Mt. Pleasant (5-1, 5-1), which lost for the first time last Friday to No. 4 Jeannette (5-1, 5-1) in double overtime, 28-27.

Friday's game will feature a pair of exciting rushing attacks.

Washington is led by junior Shai McKenzie, who rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries in a 53-0 rout of winless Brownsville (0-6, 0-5). Mt. Pleasant will counter with senior Tyler Mellors, who gained 154 yards on 29 carries but was stopped short of the end zone on a two-point conversion try in double overtime of the loss to Jeannette.

Both players are among the leading rushers in the WPIAL — McKenzie has 1,026 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Mellors has gained 966 yards and scored 16 times.

The game also is a rematch of the WPIAL playoff contest between the teams in 2011. Washington beat Mt. Pleasant, 30-14, at home in a first-round game.

“Our kids saw them last year, and they had a chance to see us,” Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner said. “We know how talented they are.”

Washington's return to the Interstate Conference has built the rivalry base. Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette and Mt. Pleasant generally have been the main players.

Washington leads the conference this year, though.

“At this point of the year, everybody has established their identity,” Ruffner said. “Our kids deserve to be mentioned in this. But we've got to go out and perform on the field. I think we should be fine because we're still playing for a conference championship.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dmackall@tribweb.com or 412-380-5617.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.