QB Stockett guides McKeesport past Connellsville
Eddie Stockett was technically listed as the McKeesport starting quarterback Friday night, but the senior had a night many of the long list of storied Tigers running backs would have adored.
Stockett ran for 182 yards on 20 carries, while scoring three touchdowns to propel McKeesport (4-2, 4-3) to a 40-27 homecoming victory over visiting Connellsville (2-4, 2-5). The Tigers have won four of their past five games after a shaky start.
“We're getting healthier,” McKeesport coach Jim Ward said. “We're getting some guys back in the lineup and getting better each week. We're not all the way back yet, but we're definitely improving.”
Due to some costly special teams miscues in the first quarter by Connellsville, McKeesport jumped out to a 20-7 first-quarter lead on Stockett scoring runs of 2 and 7 yards, in addition to a 13-yard burst by junior Allen Wright.
“We wanted to come out strong and get some quick scores,” Stockett said. “We were definitely ready to play tonight. We were tough on both sides.”
The Falcons pulled to within a score to start the second quarter when quarterback Jade Maher connected with sophomore receiver Darrell Ross for a 33-yard touchdown.
The Tigers, however, answered back when Stockett scored on a 62-yard run for a 27-14 halftime lead.
“We couldn't tackle the quarterback (Stockett),” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “I thought overall we played well in the other phases. Offensively, we moved the ball, but our special teams play early really put us in a hole.”
The Tigers' triple option attack amassed 335 yards on the ground, while only throwing the ball twice.
“When you a play a team like McKeesport, who is so good at running that system, you have to play assignment football,” McDonald said. “It's very hard to simulate in practice.”
The Falcons were in the midst of cutting further into their deficit to start the second half, but Wright picked off Maher in the end zone and returned it 60 yards. Devon Anderson scored a few minutes later on a 34-yard run to bust open the game.
Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.