Gateway is hoping to build on Connellsville victory
With 6:06 remaining in the second quarter of Friday's Quad East contest between Gateway and Connellsville, the Gators held a slim 15-8 advantage and had just given up a rushing touchdown to Falcons tailback Dylan Knopsnider.
Then, as fast as one can say Pete Antimarino, Gateway was in control.
A 74-yard kickoff return from senior Montae Nicholson and touchdown passes from senior quarterback Jimmy Moore to senior wideouts Delvon Randall and Ricky Rogers put Gateway ahead 35-8 with 2:12 to go until halftime.
The 41-22 victory over Connellsville put Gateway at 2-0 overall and in Quad East play and set up Friday's showdown with Kiski Area at Antimarino Stadium.
The Cavaliers also are 2-0 in Quad East play. They pounded Connellsville, 53-20, in week one, and shut out Altoona, 20-0, at home last week.
“The kids came in (against Connellsville) wanting to put the Latrobe game behind them,” Militzer said. “We did some good things (Friday), but we still have some work to do. The kids are not satisfied.”
Moore finished 18 of 31 for 225 yards and four touchdowns in his second varsity start. He has 425 yards and five touchdowns in two games overall.
“Jimmy Moore really grew up (Friday),” Militzer said.
“He was a little nervous (against Latrobe). He came in tonight and played lights out. The line did a nice job of giving him time. The receivers were making play after play, and that gave Jimmy confidence. We took what (Connellsville) gave us, and Jimmy made the nice reads.”
Rogers enters the matchup with Kiski Area with a team-leading 11 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns, while Randall has nine grabs for 142 yards and two scores.
Senior running back Zaihe Regus has complimented the passing attack and is averaging almost 60 yards on the ground in two games so far.
He tallied a touchdown in week one against Latrobe.
Gateway's defense gave up 141 rushing yards to Connellsville in the first half, but it forced six turnovers, including takeaways on the Falcons' first four possessions of the second half.
“The defense played aggressive, but it was too much hit and miss,” Militzer said.
“We made some big plays, but we also gave up quite a few yards. Connellsville was still able to hit some plays on us. We have to improve on that. We can't have that against a team like Kiski. But when you force six turnovers, you can't be too upset.”
Kiski Area's defense was stingy and opportunistic against Altoona, as it converted three Mountain Lions turnovers into scores.
Senior Joe Brungo, a Division I prospect, did the job on both sides of the ball for the Cavaliers.
The safety intercepted two Altoona passes, and, at receiver, he hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Chad Kuhn in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
Also getting Division I looks has been senior tight end and linebacker Shane Kuhn and senior kicker Adam Mitcheson.
Mitcheson booted field goals of 33 and 38 yards as Kiski Area led Altoona, 6-0, at halftime.
Sophomore Lincoln Clayton emerged last year for the Cavaliers, and he led the team in rushing with 579 yards and four touchdowns on 120 carries.
Gateway won last year's meeting, 55-14, as the teams were reunited in the same conference.
The Gators also played the Cavaliers in a conference series that ended in 2007.
Gateway outscored Kiski Area, 167-20, in four victories from 2004 to 2007.
Kickoff Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.