McKeesport downs Gateway to capture Quad East title
The most electric offense at Antimarino Stadium wasn't the one using a four-wide formation dotted with Division 1 recruits.
Instead, it was the one that ran 53 times.
McKeesport's option offense scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions in Thursday night's 49-12 victory over Quad East host Gateway. The win earned No. 3 McKeesport (9-0, 8-0) its first conference title since 2010. No. 6 Gateway (7-2, 6-2) had wanted a share.
McKeesport quarterback David Queen rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in the Tigers' flexbone attack. His 39-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter brought a running clock with 6 minutes left. The senior also had touchdown runs of 1 and 7 yards, and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass. He had runs of 48 and 45 yards that didn't reach the end zone.
“He did very good,” McKeesport coach George Smith said, “but I had to yell at him once.”
The coach's only complaint?
“I wanted him to run more,” Smith said. “They were hitting the fullback, so it was up to him to pull (the handoff) out and run the ball.”
Queen adjusted, and McKeesport rushed for 407 yards. McKeesport fullback Mikell Moore had 95 yards on 14 carries and scored twice on runs of 1 and 7 yards. Allen Wright also had a 7-yard touchdown run.
“It was an old-fashion butt whoopin',” Gateway coach Donnie Militzer said. “We prepared for (the flexbone), but they took it to us.”
Gateway quarterback Jimmy Moore completed his first nine passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Delvon Randall caught a 15-yard touchdown and Anthony Davis had a 19-yarder, both in the second quarter. McKeesport's lead was only 21-12 after Davis' score 6:14 before halftime.
But McKeesport adjusted its coverage of underneath routes, and Moore completed just four of his final 18 attempts. He finished 13 of 27 for 200 yards.
The loss was the second in a row for Gateway, which entered the season with title aspirations.
“We have to dig deep and see how they want this season to end,” Militzer said. “We still have everything they want in front of us, and that's what's important.”
Randall, a Temple recruit, caught eight passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. He broke Gateway's single-season receptions record with a 15-yard catch in the third quarter. Corey Brown had 42 in 2008. Randall has 43.
But the Gators never led.
A first-quarter touchdown pass from Queen to Carlos Hudson and a 1-yard touchdown run by Queen gave McKeesport a 14-0 lead. The Tigers scored on four of their first five possessions and led at halftime, 28-12.
“I didn't expect the offense to really do all of that,” Smith said. “We really worked on defense (this week); how to contain Gateway's speed.”