Valley Independent Player of the Week: Monessen RB Clintell Gillaspie
By Jeff Oliver
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Last year, when Clairton demolished Monessen, 52-7, there was a player in that game who looked like a man playing among boys.
That player was Tyler Boyd, who is now starring at Pitt as a freshman.
When the Greyhounds and Bears met again Friday night, there was another player who was the man among boys.
This time it was Clintell Gillaspie.
Gillaspie ran around and through the normally stingy Clairton defense a night.
By the time the senior running back was finished, he had amassed 160 yards rushing on just 13 carries, including scoring runs of 2 and 91 yards. He also caught three passes for a whopping 154 yards and two more TDs covering 69 and 76 yards.
His big night also capped running for a two-point conversion.
By the time Gillaspie was done rolling up 314 yards of total offense against the Bears, the Greyhounds had come away with a dominating 42-24 win that snapped Clairton's nation's longest 66-game winning streak.
For his efforts, Gillaspie is this week's The Valley Independent Player of the Week.
“I think man among boys is a tremendous assessment of how he looked,” said Monessen coach Andy Pacak of his 6-1, 225-pound star. “The scary thing is that he can do that pretty much any given Friday night. I'd like to say I'm surprised how he played on that stage, but I'm not.”
Gillaspie gave Monessen a 6-0 lead on his short burst in the second quarter and then opened the third quarter by taking a pass from Noah Rullo and running 69 yards to make it 21-0.
After Clairton pulled to within 28-16, Gillaspie ended any thoughts of the streak continuing by catching the 76-yard TD pass and then jaunting 91 yards for Monessen's final score of the night.
“I've said all along that he is a Division I player, but after Friday, I got several calls (Monday) morning from D-I schools about him,” Pacak said.
“Honestly, if any college coach in America doesn't want a player like Clintell, well, that team must be awfully good. Against Clairton, he lined up at tailback, fullback, tight end and in the slot. He can do it all.”
Those garnering honorable mention include:
•Rullo, who hit on seven of 15 passes for 230 yards and three TDs.
•Ringgold's Nico Law, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 250 yards and three TDs in a 60-21 win over Uniontown.
•Ringgold's Alan Pritchett, who scored three TDs on a 15-yard run, 54-yard pass and a 75-yard kickoff return.
•Elizabeth Forward's Matt Bernadowski, who scored four TDs four different ways - 45-yard punt return, 82-yard kickoff return, 10-yard pass reception and 41-yard run - in a 35-13 win over Belle Vernon Area.
•Yough quarterback Tyler Donahue, who threw for 132 yards and a touchdown in a 35-13 loss to Washington.
•California's Demetri Clements, who rushed for 132 yards on 13 carries, including a 25-yard run in the Trojans' 28-14 win over Bishop Canevin.
•Frazier quarterback Charles Manack, who hit just four of four passes, but totaled 105 yards and three TDs in a 48-6 win over West Greene.
•Frazier's Nick Smalich, who rushed for 165 yards on five carries, including a 95-yard TD run.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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