Monessen's 'Brown out' rocks Chartiers-Houston
At first, it appeared as if Monessen was in trouble.
First, a fired-up Chartiers-Houston team stuffed the Greyhounds on their opening drive.
Then the Buccaneers easily marched 65 yards down the field on 10 plays — capped by a 1-yard Spencer Turling touchdown run — and the senior night crowd started thinking upset.
But it was a bit premature.
It took the Buccaneers two-and-a-half quarters to equal the offensive yardage of that first drive, and Monessen's big-play threats did their job as the Greyhounds turned a close game into a 38-7 Black Hills Conference victory.
“The kids stepped up on defense,” Monessen head coach Andy Pacak said. “We made some little adjustments, but for the most part the kids just stepped up on defense and controlled the game.”
The Monessen (8-1, 7-1) defense was a constant presence in the Bucs' backfield, pressuring the quarterback and stopping Turling in the end zone for a second quarter safety that put the Greyhounds up to stay.
Javon Brown opened the scoring for the Greyhounds barely a minute after they fell behind, racing 53 yards up the middle for the first of his three touchdowns.
“I was getting a little bit upset with our line blocking because we kept getting caught from the backside,” Monessen head coach Andy Pacak said. “If you want to be a championship team, you need to pay attention every game and not just when you feel like it.”
Pacak's complaint stems from a running game that was largely workmanlike on the night. Brown and fellow running back Quintell Gillaspie both came into the game averaging more than 10 yards per carry, but neither came close to that mark. Brown finished with 75 yards on 12 carries, while Gillaspie racked up 50 yards on 15 carries.
Give some credit to the C-H defense, who continually stacked eight men in the box to contain the Greyhounds' backfield. But the success they had stopping the run allowed Pacak to put the ball in the hands of quarterback Noah Rullo.
“Noah has been doing well,” Pacak said. “We are a matchup problem for people. We have Irvin (Green) and Lavelle (Rush) as receivers but if we go spread we can also split out Quintell (Gillaspie) and Javon (Brown) to really create problems. We just have so many weapons; it's a nice problem to have.”
Rullo finished 8 for 13 on the night for 187 yards and an eight-yard touchdown pass to Gillaspie. Gillaspie put up an additional 112 yards on four receptions.
Noah eclipsed the 1,000-yard passing plateau during the game.
Irvin Green returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and returned an interception inside the C-H 10 to set up Brown's third rushing touchdown of the game, a five-yarder to close out the scoring.
Brown also had a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and completed a pass to Kayne Jackson for a two-point conversion.
“It wasn't pretty at the beginning, but it's always nice to win,” Pacak said. “We have to keep going, though, keep working.”
Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.