Jeannette wins seventh straight against Greensburg Central Catholic

Friday, October 23, 2020 | 11:28 PM

Jeannette’s dominance of this past decade and in the series against Greensburg Central Catholic continued Friday.

The Jayhawks won their seventh consecutive game and ninth of the last 10 in the series and improved to 21-8-1 with a 55-0 rout at Centurion Stadium in the WPIAL Class A Eastern Conference battle. It was the Jayhawks’ sixth consecutive win of the season.

If Jeannette (6-1, 6-1) was looking for style points to impress the WPIAL football committee, it made a statement.

Senior Roberto Smith Jr. rushed for 115 yards on 10 carries, scored four touchdowns, threw a touchdown passes and blocked a punt, all in the first half for Jayhawks.

“Our game plan was to come in a run the ball, and we did that from the first play of the game,” Smith Jr. said. “We were able to run the ball, and the line definitely improved from last week. They were getting on their blocks and moving downfield.”

And while Jeannette’s offense played well, the defense was better, limiting GCC to 18 yards rushing and 23 passing.

Jeannette’s defensive front sacked Greensburg Central Catholic quarterback David Altimore five times and stopped the Centurions on fourth-and-one twice.

“When they snapped the ball, all our guys got after them,” Smith Jr. said. “We made tackles and made plays as a defense.”

Jeannette coach Roy Hall added, “Our defense was awesome. We have a lot of playmakers, and they played real well. That’s what I’m proud of the most.”

After Jeannette stopped GCC (2-5) on its first series, it took Smith one play to put the Jayhawks up 6-0. He darted through the GCC defense on a 45-yard run.

“We’re bigger than they are, but their quickness won out,” GCC coach Brett Colbert said. “I feel they played their best game of the season. They always play their best against us. We couldn’t get anything going against them.”

Greensburg Central Catholic had a chance to tie the score by stopping Jeannette on a fake punt at the Jeannette 39. But the Jeannette defense forced a punt.

Jeannette took over and marched 84 yards to grab a 12-0 lead. Smith capped the 11-play drive by scoring from the 4.

Things unraveled for Greensburg Central Catholic on special teams. First, punter Dean Crissman fielded a low snap, and his knee touched down at the GCC 15. Smith scored four plays later from the 1 to make it 18-0.

Jeannette made it 26-0 when Smith blocked a Crissman punt and Emilio Huerta rumbled 32 yards.

“Roberto was awesome,” Hall said. “Not only is he great player, he’s a good leader on the field and in the classroom.”

Smith scored on a 20-yard run, and then, on the final play of the first half, Smith hit James Sanders on a 42-yard touchdown pass.

“We were able to shut them down,” Hall said. “They were big and strong, but I’ll lake our speed any day.”

It wasn’t a great passing day for freshman Brad Birch. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 119 yards and no touchdowns. Smith, who rushed for 115, completed 2 of 3 passes for 48 yards.

Jeannette will await word from the WPIAL to see if it will host a playoff game.

Hall thinks his team did enough to impress the committee, and he’s hoping for a good seed and two home playoff games.

He’ll find out at 7 p.m. Saturday when the pairings get released.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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