Latrobe bounces back with impressive win over Mt. Pleasant

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Friday, September 17, 2021 | 10:45 PM


Latrobe achieved what it was looking for Friday against Mt. Pleasant.

The Wildcats got back into the win column with an impressive 35-0 victory, and they did it convincingly.

Latrobe (2-2) dominated the game in all phases and took advantage of an opponent that was missing its starting quarterback.

The Wildcats set the tone on their first possession by taking the opening kickoff and, in nine plays, drove 53 yards for a touchdown with junior quarterback Corey Boerio scoring on a 4-yard run. The Wildcats offensive line pushed the Vikings defense around in setting the tone.

Latrobe also was playing a backup quarterbacks in Boerio and Brayden Reott, who are replacing starter Bobby Fetter after he was injured against Norwin two weeks ago.

With quarterback Tyler Reese out, Mt. Pleasant coach Jason Fazekas turned to freshman Cole Chatfield. But the Latrobe defense stood tall and shut down the Vikings’ running game.

Fazekas said he hopes Reese will be able to return for the Interstate Conference opener Sept. 25 against Southmoreland.

“That’s the plan,” Fazekas said about Reese’s return. “There’s not much to say about this. Latrobe is a very good, well-coached team. They deserved this win.”

Mt. Pleasant (2-2) didn’t get a first down until late in the third quarter, and it didn’t reach Latrobe territory until late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were held to 58 total yards.

“It’s tough to replace a quarterback,” Latrobe coach Jason Marucco said. “I know what they’re going through.”

Latrobe made it 14-0 on its second possession when Dominic Flenniken scored on a 6-yard run.

The Wildcats defense got into the act on Mt. Pleasant’s next possession. Chase Sickenberger sacked Chatfield, who fumbled, and Marco Mongelluzzo scooped up the loose ball and raced 33 yards for the score to make it 21-0.

“I was real happy with the mindset of this football team coming off the last two weeks,” Marucco said. “We didn’t waver in preparation this week, and we certainly didn’t waver when this football game started tonight.

“We talked about two words: playing fast and finishing. I thought we did that tonight.”

Latrobe running back Drake Clayton scored two touchdowns in the second quarter: a 22-yard screen pass from Boerio and a 2-yard run to make it 35-0. He finished with 58 yards rushing.

The entire second half was played under the mercy rule, a running clock with a lead of 35 points or more.

The Wildcats also welcomed the return of Erick Landry, who missed the past two games. His return allowed Marucco to juggle the offensive line.

“Anytime you control the line of scrimmage, things are going to work out,” Marucco said. “I thought it happened on the first drive offensively, and we picked up some momentum defensively.”

Clayton added: “I thought the line blocked very well. We were excited the get Erick back. We knew we wanted to come out and make a statement coming off the loss last week, and that’s what we did,”

Clayton said the win will give the team more confidence for future games.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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