Powerful Greyhounds roll over Crusaders, 40-6
That's just one of the words used to describe Clintell Gillaspie's Friday night.
Monessen's senior running back touched the ball seven times on offense during the Greyhounds' 40-6 win over Bishop Canevin (2-4,1-4.)
Four of those touches went for Monessen (4-1, 4-1) touchdowns.
Gillaspie's night was over fairly early as he only carried the ball once in the second half, and that was good for a 44-yard touchdown.
“Honestly, I've never seen anyone since I've been here with the speed and power that he has,” Monessen coach Andy Pacak said. “The closest, I'd say would be Mick (Williams). He's a special player. He was just a big man running over people.”
For the game, Gillaspie finished with 141 yards on his seven carries. On his third touchdown run of the night, a 43-yarder late in the second quarter, he literally shoved the Crusaders' Ryan Sago to the ground and body-checked defensive back Austin Scott on his way to the end zone.
“We knew that they've had a ton of injuries, so it was nice to come out of this game healthy and get our younger guys some playing time,” Pacak said.
An 11-yard touchdown by Gillaspie opened the scoring for the Greyhounds at the 7:19 mark of the first quarter. It was a two-play, 46-second drive that was set up by Gillaspie's fumble recovery at the Crusaders' 17-yard line.
Less than five minutes later, Gillaspie scored again from 16 yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Canevin's Hason Woodson fumbled the return and Monessen's Javon Carlock recovered. After a Noah Rullo quarterback keeper, Justice Rawlins scored on a 3-yard run.
The Greyhounds, who played without injured kicker Luke Doptis, were forced to go for two-point conversions on each touchdown and were not stopped. They led 24-0 at the end of the first quarter and 32-0 at the half.
“We're not a team that's out to embarrass anyone,” Pacak said. “We probably could have put up a lot more points, but that's not what we're looking to do.”
Monessen's defense held the Crusaders in check most of the night, not allowing a score until late in the fourth quarter. The Greyhounds only gave up 46 yards on the ground and allowed 82 through the air, most of which came late in the third and fourth quarters.
Canevin quarterback Reed Relosky finished 13 of 18 for 82 yards. Only three of those passes were longer than 10 yards.
Gillaspie's 44-yarder capped off Monessen's scoring.
The Crusaders got on the board with just over two minutes left, when Relosky found diminuitive receiver Kellan Gustine from 12 yards out. Gustine is listed as only 5-foot, 100 pounds on the Canevin roster. He finished with three catches for 34 yards.
Pacak said he was glad to see his team come out and avoid a letdown after ending Clairton's 66-game winning streak last week.
“I wanted us to come out intense early, which we did,” Pacak said. “That was the goal all week. We didn't want to overlook anyone. We need to keep doing that the rest of the way.”
Monessen hosts Serra Catholic (1-5) next week. The Eagles' only win was a forfeit over now-defunct Imani Christian.
With Fort Cherry's 36-28 loss to Clairton on Friday night, the Greyhounds can still win at least a piece of the conference championship.
“We have to keep working and keep scoring points,” Pacak said. “That's the battle we're in now. We put ourselves in that position. We have to stay focused every week and take care of our own business.
“Whether we win it or come in at a tie for the conference ... the only people playing is us. We have to keep our hand on the wheel and keep going. Keep your eye on the prize. It is what it is.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.