McKeesport beats Penn-Trafford for program's 600th win
George Smith flopped down on a couch deep inside Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium and muttered two words: “I'm stunned.”
It was easy to understand why the veteran McKeesport coach would feel that way when taking into account what he has witnessed the past few weeks.
• A season-opening victory over Hempfield following a three-year hiatus after 28 years on the job.
• A homecoming thumping of last year's Class AAAA runner-up Woodland Hills the next week
• His 200th career victory at Norwin a week later
• McKeesport's convincing 34-14 Quad East win over visiting Penn-Trafford on Friday that not only snapped a two-game losing streak to the Warriors but made McKeesport only the 11th program in WPIAL history with 600 wins.
And the Tigers are off to their first 4-0 start since 2003.
“The 600 wins, that's big,” Smith said. “That's something to be proud of.”
So was how his team took advantage of nearly every Penn-Trafford mistake.
McKeesport turned a pair of critical Penn-Trafford mistakes — both of which occurred inside their own 20-yard line — into 14 points.
“We self-destructed,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “They were the disciplined team, and we definitely weren't. We had major penalties and major turnovers. Don't take anything away from McKeesport, but we truly self-destructed.”
Penn-Trafford, led by Devin Austin's 116 yards rushing and Timmy Vecchio's 121 yards receiving, was able to control the ball and put up nice yardage against McKeesport's defense. But the Warriors couldn't overcome a couple of self-inflicted wounds.
None was bigger than late in the first half with McKeesport leading, 14-7.
Penn-Trafford pinned McKeesport inside the 10-yard line with a punt. However, a personal foul penalty forced the Warriors to punt again. Josh McElrone couldn't handle the snap, and McKeesport took over at the 15-yard line — a 76-yard difference in field position.
Mikell Moore scored just before halftime to give McKeesport a 21-7 lead at the half.
“That was a big play for us,” Smith said. “We went into the half with some momentum.”
They came out with some, too.
On the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Allen Wright spun away from several defenders and raced 75 yards for a touchdown to push the lead to 27-7.
“Before the half and after the half killed us,” Ruane said. “If it is 14-7 at halftime, I feel pretty good.”
McKeesport racked up 232 yards on the ground led by Wright's 93 and David Queen's 56 yards and two touchdowns.