Quick strike Greyhounds blast Trojans
If anyone knows the talent level of the Monessen Greyhounds, it's Bo Teets.
After all, he coached there the last seven seasons before taking over at California Area.
And after watching the quick-strike Greyhounds (1-0, 1-0) pummel the Trojans, 40-0, in a Black Hills Conference opener at California Stadium, Teets said nothing he saw surprised him.
“That's who they are,” Teets said of the Greyhounds. “They can score at any time from anywhere and that is what we preached in practice all week. We had to stay in our areas, but they just have so much talent and speed over there.”
The Greyhounds' dynamic duo of running backs Clintell Gillaspie and Javon Brown put on a show, combining for 310 yards rushing on 20 carries with three touchdowns. Brown also caught a 51-yard TD pass, and Gillaspie threw a 13-yard score to Justice Rawlins.
The Greyhounds showed their big-play capabilities in the first half as they scored three times. The shortest score covered 51 yards when Noah Rullo hit Brown with a short pass and Brown raced the distance to make it 6-0 with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Gillaspie broke free up the middle and raced 85 yards to make it 12-0 with 4:26 left.
With 1:07 left before halftime, Brown broke free and scampered 88 yards to make it 20-0 at halftime.
“That last score really took the wind out of us,” Teets said. “Before that, if we go into halftime 12-0, it's still a game. But that third score took a lot out of us.”
In the second half, the Greyhounds scored three touchdowns in a span of 3:33.
First, on a fourth-and-goal from the Cal 13, Gillaspie took a pitch and hit Rawlins for six points to make it 28-0 after the two-point conversion.
After Lavelle Rush picked off pass from California (0-1, 0-1) quarterback Austin Hunter on the next play, Gillaspie scampered 47 yards to make it 34-0.
Reserve running back Demond Jordan closed the scoring when he darted 31 yards with 7:55 to play to kick in the mercy rule at 40-0.
“We have the kind of kids who can open up a game pretty quick,” said Monessen coach Andy Pacak. “I thought after a sluggish start, we turned it on pretty good in the first half. For a first game, I thought we did OK.”
While the Greyhounds were churning up 393 yards, their defense was limiting the Trojans to 142 yards with 34 coming on a run by Hunter and 40 more coming on a pass from Hunter to Zajicek.
“I know they came out on the short end of a bad score, but Bo has his team going in the right direction,” Pacak said afterward of his former assistant. “I say that because in the fourth quarter, even though they were way behind, you could see that their kids didn't quit.
“That's a tribute to Bo and his staff and their players. As the season goes on, they will be fine.”
NOTES: Jordan ended the night with 91 yards on just three carries as Monessen rolled up 331 yards on the ground ... Rullo hit on two of four passes for 66 yards ... James Bongiorno led California in rushing with 36 yards on five carries while Zajicek caught two passes for 47 yards.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.