Majocha, Davis shine as No. 1 Gateway routs rival Plum

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Saturday, September 8, 2018 | 12:27 AM


The Gateway football team kept rolling Friday night at Plum’s Mustangs Stadium.

The Gators, No. 1 in the TribHSSN WPIAL 5A rankings and No. 2 in the state, got three touchdown passes from Brendan Majocha and three scoring runs from Derrick Davis in a 55-0 Big East Conference victory.

“We talked a lot this week about getting better and getting better,” said Gateway coach Don Holl, whose squad improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

The Gators also topped conference rival Penn-Trafford in a Week 1 rematch of last year’s WPIAL title game at Heinz Field.

“We felt we didn’t do enough things well last week and were fortunate to get the win against a good (Penn-Trafford) team,” Holl said. “We had a lot of work to do, and I think the guys bought in like they’ve been doing all along. I was still disappointed with a little sloppiness tonight, but we also did a number of things right.”

Gateway scored twice in the first quarter and added three scores in the second to take a 35-0 lead into halftime.

With the margin at 35 points, the mercy rule’s running clock took affect at the start of the third quarter.

Plum, which entered the game missing three starting linebackers because of injury, lost running back/defensive back James Schropp and wideout/defensive back Nic Sluka to injuries in the first half. Despite being shorthanded, coach Matt Morgan said he appreciated the effort of his players.

“At one point, we had six or seven backups in there on defense,” Morgan said. “When you’re playing one of the top teams in the state, it’s a challenge even if you are healthy. Gateway is up there for a reason. They just make plays.”

Gateway jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as Majocha connected with Ethan Frenchik and Courtney Jackson on touchdowns of 23 and 85 yards, respectively.

Majocha found Jackson for a 2-yard passing score early in the second, and then Davis added touchdown runs of 10 and 47 yards to complete the first-half scoring for the Gators.

Plum had its chances in the first half as it found itself in Gateway territory three times. But a punt from the Gators’ 38 in the first quarter, a turnover on downs at Gateway 40 later in the first and an interception by Jackson near the goal line late in the second quarter snuffed out Mustangs opportunities.

Davis, who finished with 123 yards on 13 carries, added a third rushing TD, this time for 28 yards, early in the third quarter.

Chamor Price capped the Gateway scoring with second-half runs of 48 and 6 yards.

Majocha finished the game an efficient 9 of 10 passing for 240 yards. Jackson caught three passes in all for 121 yards.

William Guzzi led Plum with 40 yards on 16 carries. Schropp had 30 rushing yards on seven attempts before leaving the game early in the second quarter.

“We’re 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference, but we’re still in this thing,” Morgan said. “We just have to get a little finer tuned for the rest of the season. We have to come out next week with better results.”

Gateway returns home next week to take on conference foe Latrobe, while Plum travels to face Connellsville in conference action.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-388-5825, mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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