Jeannette outlasts Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner didn't hesitate after running back Tyler Mellors scored on the first play in double overtime.
Ruffner decided to go for broke and win it. But Jeannette's defense, which was gashed by Mellors in the second half for three touchdowns, stepped up.
Mellors was stopped short of the goal line, and No. 4 Jeannette (5-1, 5-1) celebrated a hard-fought 28-27 victory in the WPIAL Class AA Interstate Conference. It was the first loss of the season for No. 7 Mt. Pleasant (5-1, 5-1).
“We had a good play called,” Ruffner said. “We liked the play and so did the players. We felt it was the right call. Jeannette stepped up for the one play that mattered at the end of the game.
“We probably shouldn't have gotten that game into overtime the way we turned the ball over. To have three turnovers in a big game like this, we were pleased to get it to that point.”
Mt. Pleasant turned the ball over three times, and Jeannette capitalized on the first two to grab a 14-0 lead. Shavonta Craft, who intercepted a Ryan Gumbita pass at the Mt. Pleasant 37-yard line, scored on a 21-yard run to give Jeannette a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Late in the second, Mt. Pleasant was driving, but Jeannette safety/quarterback Seth Miller recovered a fumble at the Jayhawks' 15.
The Jayhawks, behind Miller, marched 85 yards for a score to grab a 14-0 lead. Miller, who completed four passes during the drive, capped it off with a 14-yard run.
“Wow. We were bending and bending, but we never broke,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. “We found a way to win. They were running the ball down our throat, and our defense came up big.
“We were still suffering a change over from last week's tough loss at Washington. Everyone, even the coaches, was down.”
Hall said he probably would have done the same if he was in Ruffner's shoes.
Mt. Pleasant was a different team in the second half. It put together two long scoring drives to tie the score at 14-14 on touchdown runs of 7 and 4 runs. Mellors rushed for 154 yards on 29 carries.
“We had momentum in the first half until we turned the ball over,” Ruffner said. “We knew we were getting the ball to start the second half. We played good football in the second half.”
Both teams missed field goals. Miller missed a 33-yarder in the first quarter, and John Anys missed a 32-yard late in the fourth quarter.
In the first overtime, Gumbita scored on a 6-yard run to give Mt. Pleasant a 21-14 lead. Craft tied it for Jeannette, scoring on a 10-yard run.
Jeannette got it first to begin the second overtime, and Miller, who completed 15 of 29 passes for 178 yards, hit Jordan Edmunds on a 10-yard strike to make it 28-21.
Mellors scored on the next play setting up the deciding play.
“We called Clairton, and we shot the gaps,” Jeannette linebacker Brandon Krautz said. “We have a never say die attitude. We play for each other because we're a family, and we play for the name on our jersey. This was a great win.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-826-5095.