Hounds set for wide-open attack
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Andy Pacak thought long and hard when asked if there was an opponent his Monessen Greyhounds had faced this season that reminded him of Neshannock, tonight's foe in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal contest.
“They play a wide-open, deceptive spread offense,” Pacak said. “With the exception of Carlynton, pretty much every team we played this year used some version of the spread.
“(Neshannock's) is high-octane, for sure. They are pretty impressive. They run it hurry up and have a good quarterback with good receivers and a good running back.”
OK, but do the Lancers remind Pacak of anyone in particular?
“Well, maybe they seem a little like Springdale, but their quarterback can throw the ball a lot better,” Pacak said. “Like Springdale, they like to get you to go for the fake.”
Monessen (9-1) and Neshannock (9-1) meet at 7:30 p.m. at Chartiers-Houston.
Pacak said one of the things he has been stressing in practice is for his defense to “stay home.”
“We have to hold our positions and make the play,” he said. “(Neshannock) wants you to chase the fakes. We can't do that. If we do what we are supposed to do, we will be fine.”
The Greyhounds' defense has been playing well since a 52-7 thrashing at the hands of Clairton in the fourth week of the season.
“The thing for us is we can't give up the big play,” Pacak said of his defense. “We've done a good job, for the most part, of avoiding that since the Clairton game.”
Offensively, the Greyhounds will need to control the football against the Lancers.
“A ball-control offense is often your best defense,” he said. “If we keep the ball and eventually score, then they can't have it.”
And while the veteran Monessen coach does not want to get into a shootout with the Lancers, who average 40.9 ppg, he was quick to add, “You know, we have a weapon or two on offense, too.”
Chavas Rawlins is the trigger man for Monessen's explosive offense. He has thrown for 1,253 yards and 12 TDs and is the team's leading rusher with 546 yards. He has scored 16 TDs in a variety of ways.
Rawlins has a stable of talented players to get the ball to, including receivers Clintell Gillaspie (21 receptions, 507 yards, 24.1 average per catch.) Irvin Green, who caught three passes for 73 yards and a score in last week's 48-19 win over Apollo-Ridge, and Javon Brown, who has eight TDs on the season. Another target is his brother, Justice Rawlins, who hasn't put up big numbers this season as a receiver/running back, but has caught big passes in key situations.
Gillaspie has also rushed for 530 yards, averaging nearly 8 yards per carry.
“I've never worried about our offense,” Pacak said. “We have the ability to score from anywhere and there isn't one player a team can key on.”
Pacak said his players are excited to play the game. He added that his team has been feeling disrespected with its No. 5 seed.
“I think they've been a little angry since the pairings were announced and it showed (against Apollo-Ridge),” Pacak said. “They thought they would get a better seed. They feel like they have something to prove.”
PREGAME TIDBITS: The Greyhounds will play without linebacker/running back Keith Davis, who won't be at the game. He will be replaced on defense by freshman Demond Jordan ... Pacak said two Greyhounds who were injured last week, juniors Brown and Kayne Jackson, will play against Neshannock ... The winner will meet the winner of the Clairton-Brentwood game in the semifinals.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- WPIAL, coaches are still looking to schedule Week 9 rivalry games
- Skiles has Bentworth headed in right direction
- The Leader eager for Kittanning finale
- Leader Times Q&A: Redbank Valley’s Wyatt Hetrick
- West Mifflin hoping to spoil TJ’s perfect season
- BVA hopes to keep momentum
- Longtime rivals Kittanning, Ford City set for final act
- Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top Week 9 matchups
- Greensburg Tribune-Review Q&A: Indiana’s Jake Zilinskas
- Ford City, Kittanning matchup to be part of SI.com’s ‘Underdogs’
- Birdie sad to see rivalry go