Sto-Rox forces 7 turnovers, lets Josh Jenkins shine in victory over Western Beaver

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Friday, October 16, 2020 | 11:19 PM


Sto-Rox’s Josh Jenkins is a little like Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints, says coach LaRoi Johnson. Or, if you want an old-school reference closer to McKees Rocks, he suggests Kordell Stewart.

Either way, his point is the same: Jenkins does a little bit of everything.

The sophomore quarterback/wide receiver played a part in five touchdowns Friday night — rushing, passing and receiving — as Sto-Rox defeated Western Beaver, 50-14, to force a tie atop the Three Rivers standings.

Jenkins threw for three touchdowns (13, 37 and 12 yards), rushed for a score (3 yards) and caught another (11 yards).

“He can do so many different things,” Johnson said. “I try to tell people that kid’s got some special talent.”

So, too, does Sto-Rox’s defense.

The Vikings took the ball from Western Beaver seven times with five interceptions and two forced fumbles, giving Jenkins and his offense many chances to shine. The Vikings started possessions in Western Beaver territory seven times and had four touchdown drives of 40 yards or less.

The shortest was a one-play, 7-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter.

Western Beaver was undefeated entering Friday’s game but was held to 45 yards from scrimmage in the first half as Sto-Rox built a 30-7 halftime lead. The Golden Beavers were the team with the big-play defense in the first five weeks, but Sto-Rox stole their game plan Friday night.

“They flipped the script on us, no doubt,” Western Beaver coach Ryan Matsook said. “Our hat’s off to them. They were far and away the better team tonight. Far and away.”

Both teams remain in contention for the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs and a conference title. Western Beaver (5-1, 3-1) hosts Carlynton in Week 7. Sto-Rox (5-1, 3-1) visits Brentwood.

“They came out with a lot of emotion tonight,” Matsook said. “… We’re a program kind of in its infancy. These are the first bright lights that we’ve been under in terms of a big-game atmosphere. We were a little wide-eyed.”

Sto-Rox owns a well-earned reputation for quarterbacks with eye-popping numbers, but the Vikings’ defense played its part again Friday. Junior lineman Zyhaire Young had one of Sto-Rox’s five interceptions and recovered a fumble. Drevon Miller-Ross, Will Fuller, Jaymont Green-Miller and Diego Ellis had the four other interceptions.

“I get that people see the offensive numbers, but we’ve always had a top defense,” Johnson said. “Our offense has been good, but our defense has always carried the load.”

The newest offense star could be the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Jenkins. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Green-Miller on a 13-yard touchdown pass, threw a 37-yarder to Miller-Ross and added a 13-yarder to Duquesne recruit Diontae Givens.

“I’m excited,” Jenkins said of a five-touchdown night that matched his jersey number, “but I know next week we’ve got to come back and work for the playoffs.”

The roster lists Jenkins as a quarterback, tight end and defensive end. He prefers “athlete.”

“I told people at the beginning of the year that Josh Jenkins is an outstanding player and he was going to be used a lot like Taysom Hill and Kordell Stewart,” Johnson said. “He’s going to play a lot of different positions and we’re going to put him in a lot of different places because he has a unique skill set.”

Johnson has that luxury because Sto-Rox has two capable quarterbacks.

Jenkins rotates with junior Austin Jones, who led Sto-Rox in rushing Friday with 72 yards on 11 carries. Jones rushed for a 4-yard touchdown and threw the 11-yarder to Jenkins.

“They both bring a skill set that’s dynamic,” Johnson said. “Being young guys in their first year starting, I think they almost play off each other a little bit. It helps them work together. They’re just unselfish with each other.”

Sto-Rox never trailed after claiming an 8-0 lead in the middle of the first quarter on Zay Davis’ 7-yard touchdown run.

Western Beaver answered early in the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown catch by Dakkari Bradford to pull within a point. Sophomore quarterback Xander Lefebvre and Bradford connected again in the third quarter on a 16-yard touchdown for Western Beaver’s other points.

Sto-Rox scored 22 consecutive points entering halftime to lead 30-7. Jenkins had his 3-yard touchdown run and added two touchdown passes in the second quarter. Jenkins ’ 11-yard touchdown catch pushed Sto-Rox’s lead to 37-7 midway through the third.

“Josh will do whatever we ask him to, whatever we need him to do,” Johnson said. “He’s the epitome of unselfishness.”

Watch an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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