3rd-ranked Belle Vernon too much for Greensburg Salem

Friday, October 7, 2022 | 11:04 PM

Jake Gedekoh is old school.

He listens to classic rock. He tells it like it is. He likes to get his uniform dirty.

“I love to run the football,” the Belle Vernon junior said. “I love the contact.”

Infused by the play of Gedekoh and standout Quinton Martin, third-ranked Belle Vernon coasted to its third straight victory Friday night, 51-7 over short-handed Greensburg Salem at Offutt Field.

Gedekoh scored three touchdowns, two rushing and another on a pick-6, and also blocked a punt — all in the first half — for the Leopards (4-2, 2-0) in the Class 3A Interstate Conference victory.

He rushed for 60 yards on five carries against the Golden Lions (3-4, 0-2), who played without standout quarterback and leading rusher Cody Rubrecht, who has an ankle injury.

Greensburg Salem has lost three in a row.

Martin, the coveted junior prospect, ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns to set up a mercy-ruled second half.

“The thing about Q and Gedekoh is they make up such a complementary backfield,” Leopards coach Matt Humbert said. “They work so well together. Gedekoh has played well for us. He had two touchdowns against TJ and two against Laurel Highlands. He came in and did what he did last year. I wouldn’t say he is unsung.”

Belle Vernon built a 44-7 lead by halftime, scoring 44 straight points after the Golden Lions opened with a surprise pick-6 by Kai Brunot on the Leopards’ first pass attempt.

Brunot took his interception back 54 yards.

The misfire was like smelling salts to the Leopards, who made sure the Golden Lions’ fun was fleeting.

“It woke us up,” Martin said. “It was an eye-opener. It reminded us that we can’t take any team for granted.”

Laux rebounded to throw a 16-yard touchdown to Evan Pohlot, the Leopards recorded a safety, and suddenly they were on their way to a rout.

With Rubrecht out, the Golden Lions struggled to move the ball and could not slow the big-play Leopards.

“Kudos to (Greensburg Salem),” Humbert said. “Their safeties played really well. It was a chess match early. Braden just responds. He didn’t let it bother him.”

Laux was 6 of 9 for 90 yards.

Rubrecht, who was replaced by sophomore Peyton Chismar, also plays defensive back and punts.

Rubrecht came in with 806 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, and he has passed for 785 yards and four scores.

“You don’t want to say one guy is our team, but Cody does so much for us,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said. “I am proud of the way we came out. We made (Belle Vernon) earn some things. To be a good football team, you need all your pieces.”

Humbert was surprised to see Rubrecht in street clothes but said his team’s gameplan did not change.

“Didn’t change a thing,” Humbert said.

Belle Vernon took a 9-7 lead on a safety when the Golden Lions’ snap from their 9 went out of the back of the end zone. Gedekoh then scored on runs of 33 and 15 yards, and Martin ran in from 35 yards for his first score to make it 30-7 late in the second quarter.

Gedekoh’s blocked punt set up his second TD run.

“Martin is tremendous, but Gedekoh is just a really good football player,” Keefer said.

Gedekoh’s 12-yard pick-6 was followed by a Martin highlight run. He bounced outside, shook a few defenders with a slight zig-zag and finished off the 32-yard score.

“I didn’t give up,” Martin said. “I was determined to get into the end zone.”

Sophomore Anthony Crews added a 42-yard touchdown run in the third for Belle Vernon, which outgained the Golden Lions, 375-97.

Junior Willie Schwerha connected on all seven of his extra points.

“I thought we dominated on the defensive line,” Humbert said. “We have a very mature defense.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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