ShareThis Page

Connellsville football team pushes forward versus rugged Gateway

| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 1:11 a.m.
Dylan Knopsnider (21) and the Falcons will look for a bounce-back effort in a Week 2 showdown against host Gateway on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.
Tribune Review
Dylan Knopsnider (21) and the Falcons will look for a bounce-back effort in a Week 2 showdown against host Gateway on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

Connellsville football coach Dave McDonald correctly points out that mental toughness is a critical part to success in sports. The Falcons will have an opportunity to show how mentally strong they are when they travel to Gateway on Friday for their second Quad East clash of the young season.

For the Falcons, the season couldn't have started on more of a downer. Expecting big things, Connellsville produced a clunker in a 53-20 home loss to Kiski Area in Week 1.

“I think the kids were stunned,” McDonald said. “They expected so much more. We let a lot of people down, and that hurts.”

But the Falcons are trying to put the loss to Kiski Area in perspective, and then possibly take away some positives from the disappointing setback.

“Watching the film of the Kiski game was good for us because they saw that the mistakes that were made were correctable mistakes,” McDonald said.

“It wasn't that we didn't match up. It wasn't that we were out-athleted. We just didn't execute like we did in our scrimmages. Is Kiski a good team? Yes. But we just didn't perform the way we are capable of performing.”

McDonald and his team know that nothing can be done to change last week's result, but plenty can be accomplished to impact this week's game.

“The one thing we talked about is being mentally tougher,” McDonald said. “Instead of dwelling on the past, let's use it as fuel and fire and not make the same mistakes again.”

The Falcons may be catching the Gators at a good time. Gateway is coming off a 22-20 victory over Latrobe, but the Gators turned the ball over five times and committed 17 penalties. Still, there's no denying Gateway's talent.

Gateway features a strong receiving group in Montae Nicholson, Delvon Randall, Anthony Davis and Ricky Rogers. All are Division I recruits. Jimmy Moore is the starting quarterback.

“They are loaded with Division I athletes and are very skilled,” McDonald said. “They have the makings of all the hype that people talk about.”

For the Falcons, not paying attention to that hype will be key. Connellsville will look to improve on both sides of the ball.

The Falcons will try to build on a solid passing effort by senior Jade Maher, who found Caleb Pittsment and Darrell Ross on touchdown passes in last week's loss.

“They're excited to get back out and play again,” McDonald said. “But we can't shoot ourselves in the foot. Our process is to clean up the errors. We want to execute at a higher level, then look at the scoreboard and see where we stand.”

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.