McKeesport rolls over Latrobe, but Wildcats clinch playoffs
Friday, October 21, 2022 | 9:48 PM
There was good news and bad news for Latrobe’s football team Friday night.
The bad news came first: The Wildcats were thumped by No. 2 McKeesport, 54-14, in the Class 4A Big Seven Conference finale at Memorial Stadium.
The good news, which softened the blow some: Latrobe is headed to the WPIAL playoffs.
With Connellsville losing to Thomas Jefferson, the Wildcats (5-4, 3-3) are in.
While clinching was not in the traditional fashion, Latrobe is glad to return to the postseason after going 3-7 last year.
Its last playoff trip came in 2019.
The Wildcats do want better showings against high-caliber opponents.
“We’ll move on from this,” Wildcats coach Ron Prady said. “(McKeesport) is big, they’re good, they’re fast. I have seen them a lot, and that might be the best team they have had in 15 years.”
McKeesport (9-0, 5-0) looked like the top team in the classification as it clinched at least a share of the conference title.
The Tigers’ vaunted defense, which had allowed the fewest points in the WPIAL coming in (36), was on its game.
The Tigers’ running game — the flexbone triple-option — also was something to behold again. In last week’s 41-17 win over Gateway, they did not throw a pass.
This week, they threw a few times but probably didn’t need to as they piled up 480 yards and six touchdowns.
“Latrobe is a good team,” McKeesport coach Matt Miller said. “They were within 10 of (Thomas Jefferson) and only lost by three to Laurel Highlands. We’re pleased to get this win against them.”
Tigers standout Bobbie Boyd ran for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and Jahmil Perryman added 90 yards and two scores — all before halftime — as the Tigers cruised and remained perfect.
McKeesport scored on all six first-half possessions, with Boyd scoring on runs of 44 and 6 yards and Perryman reaching the end zone on 21- and 1-yard rushes.
“This game humbles you,” Prady said. “We lost to a much better team. Our kids played hard. We just have to flush this one.”
Larry Gibson added a 28-yard burst, and Perryman tossed a 29-yard strike to DaMier Clark just before the half to make it 42-0.
“With the triple-option, you kind of probe and see what (the other team) is doing,” Miller said. “We have that big-play capability. Our offensive line is very aggressive in what they do.”
Ben Eastman intercepted Wildcats quarterback John Wetzel when Latrobe went for it on fourth-and-4 on its opening possession. The Tigers quickly converted the turnover into points when Perryman scored on a keeper to the left to make it 14-0.
Eastman added a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Latrobe’s first points came in the third when Robby Fulton, who was limited to 31 yards on 10 carries, scored on a 2-yard plunge. That came after Vince Gaskey recovered a fumble.
The Wildcats’ Brady Prohovic took advantage of his time in the backfield, rushing for 45 yards on 10 second-half carries, including a 20-yard touchdown.
“Our defense was upset,” Miller said. “They wanted the shutout. They know we don’t like to give up two scores like that.”
Anthony Boyd, Bobbie’s younger brother, also had a big second half. He ran for 91 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: Latrobe, McKeesport
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