Mt. Pleasant uses big second half to oust Valley
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Valley and Mt. Pleasant might share the same county, but the Westmoreland football teams showed that they are further apart on the field.
Class AA No. 4 seed Mt. Pleasant amassed 448 rushing yards — 231 by speedy fullback Tyler Mellors — and cruised past No. 13 Valley, 48-14, on Friday night in a first-round playoff game at Mt. Pleasant.
“I think we kind of refocused at halftime, and then we poured it on,” said Mellors, who scored touchdowns on runs of 1, 4, 14 and 15 yards. The Vikings scored 27 points in the second half after allowing Valley to stay close early.
“In our offense, you have to be patient,” Mellors said. “Our lineman will do their jobs. You just wait for an opening then hit it.”
Mt. Pleasant (10-0) advances to play Beaver, which cruised past Shady Side Academy. The Allegheny Conference went 0-4 in the first round and is 1-11 in the playoffs the past three years.
Much like in the opening round last season against Burrell, Mt. Pleasant was machine-like in its ground game, churning out big chunks of yardage between tackles and to the outside.
Valley coach Chad Walsh thought the difference-maker came early in the third quarter when Mt. Pleasant used an 11-play drive and took substantial time off the clock to take a 35-14 lead.
“They took the whole quarter,” Walsh said. “That was huge. Mellors is a great back. He picked us apart.”
Valley benefitted from the return of senior quarterback Ty Matthews, who missed the last 21⁄2 games with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.
Matthews completed 6 of 10 passes in the first half, including four to sophomore Tyson Hill, who also intercepted two passes.
Matthews finished 9 of 19 for 113 yards and two interceptions. Hill caught six for 86 yards.
Trailing 13-0, Valley scored twice to take a 14-13 advantage. Matthews found Hill on the far sideline for a 36-yard gain to set up a 9-yard score by Devin Houser with 4:50 to go in the second quarter.
Following Hill's interception, Matthews hit a leaping D'Aundre Johnson at the Mt. Pleasant 2-yard line. Johnson went up and made a one-handed grab, and Houser scored on the next play to put Valley up by one.
But Mt. Pleasant kept it on the ground, rushing seven straight times on its next drive.
The seventh carry resulted in a 4-yard touchdown by Mellors, who also caught the 2-point pass from Ryan Gumbita for a 21-14 Mt. Pleasant lead.
Mt. Pleasant also got two touchdown runs from Ryan Ballew, who rushed for 87 yards.
Devin Houser ran for 81 yards for Valley.
“Mt. Pleasant is a good team. They executed well. But we're better than the score showed,” Walsh said. “I am proud of our kids. They kept playing until the end.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Leader Times Q&A: Redbank Valley’s Wyatt Hetrick
- The Leader eager for Kittanning finale
- WPIAL, coaches are still looking to schedule Week 9 rivalry games
- West Mifflin hoping to spoil TJ’s perfect season
- Skiles has Bentworth headed in right direction
- Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top Week 9 matchups
- Heavyweights West Allegheny, Central Valley meet in test for Parkway
- Longtime rivals Kittanning, Ford City set for final act
- Ford City, Kittanning matchup to be part of SI.com’s ‘Underdogs’
- Connellsville focuses on nailing down playoff berth
- Birdie sad to see rivalry go