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McKenzie, Prexies shellack Charleroi

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi's 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees, left back, Fran Celaschi, Mike Matyas, Martin Matyas, Bill Wagner and Shirley Jolley for John Hostetler. Left front Lou Rawls, Deb Fallenstein and Dick Kujawski on Friday, September 13,2013 at the Charleroi High School Stadium.

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Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Charleroi honored its Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Friday night, but it was Washington's Shai McKenzie who gave a hall of fame performance as the Prexies blitzed Charleroi, 66-10, in the Interstate Conference.

McKenzie, one of the top-ranked running backs in the country, didn't take long to get going as he raced 64 yards untouched to pay dirt to give the Prexies (3-0, 3-0) a quick 6-0 lead on the first play of the game a mere 21 seconds into the contest.

After a Charleroi punt, the Prexies went right back to a toss right play to McKenzie, and he went 90 yards to make the score 12-0.

McKenzie rushed for 166 yards and three scores on only six carries before suffering an apparent knee injury on a cutback.

“We knew (McKenzie) would get his but we didn't expect their fullback (Malik Wells) to go over 100 yards,” Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins said. “I just hope (McKenzie) is all right.”

Trailing 13-0, Charleroi got on the board on its next possession.

The Cougars went 86 yards on 11 plays and Sean Cole kicked a 21-yard field goal to cut the Washington lead to 13-3.

“We moved the ball well (on that drive),” Jenkins said. “We just had to get a stop.”

McKenzie added his last touchdown, a 19-yard jaunt, on Washington's next possession and the Prexies led 20-3 after one quarter.

It got no better for the Cougars in the second quarter as Washington outscored the hosts 33-0 in the second quarter to take a 53-3 lead at the half.

Down 60-3, Charleroi finally got in the end zone with 2:25 left in the third quarter as Brennan Matthews ran a quarterback keeper from one yard out.

Jenkins, despite the one-sided nature of the outcome, said it is up to him to keep the team improving and moving forward.

“We knew that we had a tough stretch to start the season and next week will be no different at Mt. Pleasant,” he said. “We have to do a better job of facing adversity.

“It seems that as soon as things get tough, guys want to fold and we can't do that. We are seeing improvement and it is my job to keep the guys focused.”

Both teams plug on next week in Interstate Conference play as Charleroi is at Mt. Pleasant while Washington hosts Yough.

GAME NOTES: Washington rushed for 260 yards on 30 carries … Charleroi had 15 first downs while Washington had 14 … Greg Arnold led Charleroi with 63 yards on 13 carries.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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