Gateway gets past McKeesport
Gateway continued its Quad East dominance on Friday, but McKeesport didn't make it easy.
The Gators, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA by Trib Total Media, overcame an aggressive McKeesport defense en route to a 21-6 win over the Tigers.
The victory gave Gateway (8-1, 8-0) a perfect conference record. The Gators had clinched the conference title with a 42-0 victory at Penn-Trafford last week.
Darin Franklin led the way, rushing for 85 yard and two touchdowns. Quarterback Thomas Woodson, an Arizona recruit, completed 13 of 18 passes for 141 yards.
The win gave Gateway coach Terry Smith his 100th career victory.
“We didn't execute well, we didn't do anything very well,” Smith said. “But to take a (21-6) win here at McKeesport is always still a good victory.”
McKeesport (5-4, 5-3) is playoff-bound as well, and the Tiger defense gave Gateway all it could handle in the regular-season finale. The Tigers held Gateway to 252 yards, and Gateway's 21 points were its lowest since a 14-3 nonconference loss to North Allegheny in Week 6 and its second-lowest output of the season.
“We still lost the football game, so we're not happy by any stretch,” McKeesport coach Jim Ward said. “Our guys left everything out on the field.”
Early in the second quarter, quarterback Eddie Stockett's 45-yard run put the Tigers at the Gateway 13. But the drive stalled and McKeesport turned the ball over on downs.
McKeesport had two costly turnovers in the second half. Down 7-0 in the third quarter, McKeesport threatened to enter the Gateway red zone when Brandon Madjerich ripped the ball away from Mikell Moore.
Then, after taking over on downs at their own 14 late in the third quarter, McKeesport fumbled on its first play of the drive. Andre Martin scored on a 1-yard touchdown run four plays later to give Gateway a 14-0 lead.
Ray Judy is a freelance writer.