McKeesport still perfect after victory over Latrobe
George Smith's eyes darted from side to side while he scanned the McKeesport locker room as his team prepared to return home following its 25-0 victory over Latrobe on Friday night, keeping the fourth-ranked Tigers' unbeaten record intact.
It was a tougher-than-expected trip to Latrobe for Smith's Tigers (6-0, 5-0), who remained a half-game behind No. 3 Gateway for the top spot in the WPIAL Quad East Conference.
McKeesport's Reginald Smith returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, and the Tigers overcame the loss of senior quarterback David Queen to beat Latrobe (1-5, 0-5).
Smith's TD was the only scoring in the game until the third quarter.
“They did a great job defending us,” George Smith said. “We were in a daze early. We were like a deer in headlights.”
What made matters even more uncomfortable for Smith's crew was the loss of Queen, who sustained a sprained right knee in the third quarter and didn't return.
“I'm good right now,” Queen said. “It just got twisted underneath someone when I got hit.”
TyWann Smith replaced Queen at quarterback and ignited three second-half scoring drives after McKeesport's option offense struggled to advance the football against a fired-up Latrobe defense.
“We played pretty good defense most of the night. We just couldn't get things going offensively,” Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said. “They do what they do, and you have to stay disciplined. We did a great job, but we're not playing horseshoes.”
TyWann Smith scored on a pair of touchdown runs for McKeesport, including a 14-yarder in the third quarter just two plays after Queen was injured.
Mikell Moore scored on a 2-yard run, and TyWann Smith added a 6-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for McKeesport, whose defense stopped Latrobe three times in the red zone, including twice on the Wildcats' first two possessions.
“We just can't put two halves together, and McKeesport knows how to win,” Reitz said.
Latrobe senior quarterback Logan Carns, who threw for 110 yards on 7-of-13 passing, also was helped off the field in the third quarter after fracturing the pinky finger on his right (throwing) hand.
The victory was the 203rd of George Smith's coaching career, tying him with former Thomas Jefferson coach Baptiste J. “Bap” Manzini for 19th place on the WPIAL's all-time list.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.