Mt. Pleasant routs Charleroi
Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner has been looking for his team to get on the board early in games.
Consider it done.
The Vikings struck early and often Friday, scoring three times in the first five plays of their 74-7 win over visiting Charleroi.
“We talked about getting some quick scores,” Ruffner said. “We did a good job tonight, but there are still a lot of things we need to work on.”
Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins took responsibility, but his captains also took ownership of the team's effort.
“They may be the best team we have faced, but it is about us, too, and we have to correct mistakes,” Jenkins said. “I am going to take the blame. I am responsible for this program, and the way these guys play is a reflection of me, and I am not going to pass the buck.
“I will not make excuses. I have to do a better job. Bo has a good program, and they don't make mistakes.”
The three early Vikings touchdowns came on a 51-yard run by Ryan Ballew, a 39-yard run by Tyler Mellors and a 29-yard pass from Ryan Gumbita to Trevor Salopek.
Mellors added two more scoring runs — 6 yards and 1 yard — behind the powerful Vikings offensive line led by Eric Klejka by the end of the first quarter, and the hosts led 26-0.
In first quarter, the Vikings (4-0, 4-0) outgained Charleroi (0-4, 0-4) 202-0.
Mellors returned a punt 57 yards to open the second quarter Friday.
Brett Fess added a touchdown to make it 46-0 before Charleroi got on the board with 1:06 left in the half when Dakota Moorer returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards.
Sean Cole's extra point made the score 46-7, but Mt. Pleasant scored on its first offensive play on a 65-yard run by Ethan Charlesworth that gave the hosts a 53-7 halftime lead.
Jake Adamrovich scored three second-half touchdowns for Mt. Pleasant and finished with 100 yards on seven carries.
The Vikings, who have outscored their opponents 164-23, prepare to enter the tough part of their schedule. Charleroi has its rough stretch complete.
“The only team we are worried about is our next opponent, and that is Yough,” Ruffner said.
“We need to regroup and put in the effort needed,” Jenkins said. “Everyone needs to step up to the challenge — myself, the coaches, and the players.
“We need to get things going for next week.”
NOTES: The Vikings rushed for 456 yards and had 511 yards of total offense. Charleroi had 69 yards. ... Charleroi fumbled seven times but lost only one … Mt. Pleasant had 17 first downs to Charleroi's six.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.