Monessen Greyhounds rout Serra Catholic, 50-20
The Monessen Greyhounds (5-1, 5-1) jumped out to a quick 20-0 lead in the first quarter, and never looked back as they spoiled homecoming for the Serra Catholic Eagles (0-6, 0-6), 50-20.
Giving up 52.4 points per game this season, Serra had the task of keeping a red-hot Monessen offense off the field after a 28-21 win against Bishop Canevin last week.
“We wanted to try to control the ball and the clock this week”, said Serra Catholic coach Jamie Eckels. “That's a tough team, and we knew we would have to execute to have a chance in this one.”
Holding the high-powered Monessen offense to seven plays in the first half should have fit into those keys for success. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it came at the expense of their special teams.
After WVU commit Chavas Rawlins capped off an opening 70-yard drive for Monessen with an 11-yard touchdown pass to his brother, Justice Rawlins, the special teams stole the show.
RJ Small recovered an errant long snap in the end zone on the Eagles first offensive drive. On the ensuing drive Kayne Jackson blocked the Serra punt attempt and returned it 31 yards for the score.
“We played very well tonight on special teams”, said Monessen coach Andy Pacak. “We were hustling to the ball, and we were able to take advantage of some young mistakes.”
Down 20 points, the Eagles also were eager to take advantage of a mistake. Chavas Rawlins fumbled a snap on the Monessen 1-yard line, and Serra running back Za'Lamir Meador punched it in for their first points of the game.
Monessen came right back on their next play with a 51-yard touchdown run by Javon Brown. The Greyhounds left the throttle down forcing a three-and-out that led to their third special teams touchdown of the night on 69-yard punt return by Chavas Rawlins.
Under a running clock in the second half, Serra quarterback Zac Quattrone managed to run for more than 80 yards and two touchdowns against the Monessen second team.
“We have one senior and three juniors playing on this team. When they were matched against the younger guys on the Monessen squad in the second half they performed well,” said Eckels. “We are young and have to continue to get experience and get better each week. That's our goal right now. Get better each week.”
The test doesn't get any easier next week in the Black Hills Conference as they face Fort Cherry.
Monessen will take on Imani Christian Academy.
“Imani is beating up everybody they face,” Pacak said after the game. “It's a tough, tough conference, and we are going to have to go back and work harder than ever to make sure we come out on top again next week.”
Jonathan Cyprowski is •a freelance writer.