McGuffey cruises past South Allegheny
After last week's win at Burgettstown, coach Pat Monroe's South Allegheny Gladiators were looking to gather some steam into the stretch run of the season.
What the Gladiators ran into was a two-headed rushing attack that ambushed them Friday night at McGuffey High School as the Highlanders rolled to a 50-7 win on homecoming night.
Senior running back Patrick Frey rushed 14 times for 217 yards and five scores, and backfield mate James Duchi added 153 yards on 15 carries to lead McGuffey to the Class AA Century Conference win.
“We knew they were going to big and strong up front,” Monroe said. “We didn't have the right scheme or the right plays called. It's my fault. We weren't prepared.”
McGuffey (2-4, 1-4) began the night with an onsides kick that was recovered by Highlanders linebacker Addison Seman near midfield. McGuffey quarterback Nate Whipkey looked to take advantage early by going deep, but Ty Cook intercepted the ball on the Gladiators' 27.
It would be the last highlight of any consequence for the visitors until the outcome was well decided.
After a McGuffey (1-5, 1-5) punt, Frey got the scoring barrage started by racing 40 yards into the end zone midway through the first period. Tyler Harris' point after attempt was no good.
Harris redeemed himself later in the quarter with a 27-yard field goal, extending the host's advantage to 9-0.
Kendrick Reed recovered a pooch kick on the subsequent kickoff for the Highlanders deep in South Allegheny territory. Frey scored from 28 yards two plays later, pushing the McGuffey lead to 16-0.
“That is something we've been working on and it paid off,” Highlander coach Ed Dalton said in reference to the onsides/pooch kicks. “They got guys that can take it the distance and we caught some breaks. Things just went our way tonight.”
Frey accounted for all the scoring in the second and third quarters when he scored touchdowns from 44, 25 and 29 yards out.
“They were just better prepared,” Monroe said. “I take full responsibility for this.”
South Allegheny's score came midway through the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Jonathan Mayrenik lofted a 42-yard rainbow to Jeiron Lewis, who outfought his lone defender and took it into the end zone for a score.
McGuffey running back DJ White ended the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown late in the quarter.
South Allegheny's supposed speed advantage on offense never materialized. The Highlanders harassed Ty Cook into a 3-for-12 passing performance with one interception. DaVonte Johnson led the Glads' running game with 37 yards on seven carries.
Dylan Papson played a strong game for the visitors, making 12 tackles and booming a 59-yard punt midway through the third quarter.
Dave Whipkey is a freelance writer.