Mellors scores 6 TDs as Mt. Pleasant stuns Wash High
Wash High's Chase Caldwell (10) has his punt blocked by Mt. Pleasant's, Ethan Charlesworth (31) in the 2nd quarter.
Washington High School battled a tough Mount Pleasant High school football team Friday night, October 11, 2013 at Wash High Stadium.
Wash High's Quorteze Levy (9) watches as Mount Pleasant's Ryan Ballew (22) has no where to go as Wash High's defense gang tackles him in the 2nd quarter.
Washington High School battled a tough Mount Pleasant High school football team Friday night, October 11, 2013 at Wash High Stadium
Tyler Mellors’ helmet was scuffed. His tightly cropped hair was soaked with sweat. His back was aching, the result of 26 carries against the Washington High School defense.
“I feel like I’m 90 years old,” said Mellors, the 17-year-old standout senior tailback for Mt. Pleasant.
Mellor’s legs, however, had plenty of life in them Friday night.
Mellors turned in one of the best individual performances by an opposing player at Wash High Stadium in many years, rushing for 217 yards on 25 carries and scoring six touchdowns in Mt. Pleasant’s stunning 47-22 victory in a battle of Interstate Conference unbeatens.
After falling behind 7-0, Mt. Pleasant (7-0, 7-0) reeled off 34 unanswered points and cruised to victory that secured the conference championship for the Vikings.
The loss snapped Wash High’s 21-game regular-season winning streak.
Mellors scored on runs of 2, 3, 3, 1, and 92 yards. He also caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Gumbita with two seconds left in the first half to give the Vikings a 27-7 lead.
“Honestly, I didn’t see this coming,” said Mellors, who is listed at 5-8 and 170 pounds.
Neither did Wash High coach Mike Bosnic or Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner.
“I didn’t expect that,” Bosnic said. “They were the more physical team. They were the better team tonight and deserved to win. They played with more emotion than us.”
Ruffner, who received a Gatorade bath on the sideline late in the fourth quarter, agreed that his team won the game by controlling play at the point of attack.
“Everyone probably thought this would be a close game right to the end, but I’m not surprised by the effort of our kids,” Ruffner said. “They came out and played physical football. In high school football, if you win the line of, then you usually win the game.”
Mellors entered the game needing only 50 yards to become Mt. Pleasant’s career rushing leader. Doing most of his damage running behind left tackle Eric Klejka and left guard James Smail, Mellors had 54 yards after his first carry of the second quarter. He now has 3,518 career yards.
“The offensive line did better than I thought it would, and the wide receivers stayed with their blocks,” Mellors said.
Washington (6-1, 6-1) began the scoring after forcing Mt. Pleasant to go three-and-out on the game’s first possession. The Prexies then drove 59 yards in nine plays, effectively mixing runs with wide receiver screens in what was their best drive of the night. Quarterback Jonathan Spina capped the drive with a one-yard sneak and booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.
The remainder of the first half was dominated by Mt. Pleasant. The Vikings answered Wash High’s score only 87 seconds later. Mt. Pleasant drove 71 yards in five plays with Mellors scoring on a two-yard run off left end. Mellors set up the score with a 30-yard run to the Wash High 26.
The game got away from Wash High in the second quarter. Following a Prexies punt, Mt. Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita connected with Luke Liprando for a 17-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-nine play, giving the Vikings the lead for good at 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Before the first half would end, Wash High had a punt blocked following a bad snap and threw two interceptions, both snatched by Gumbita from his free safety position. The Vikings turned the miscues into 13 points. Gumbita’s first interception, which came off a double pass by Wash High, led to a three-yard TD run by Mellors and a 21-7 lead.
“That first interception was completely my fault,” Bosnic said. “It was a bad call. It changed the momentum of the game.”
Gumbita’s second interception, which came with only 20 seconds left in the first half, set up Mt. Pleasant at the Wash High 39. A 27-yard pass to Brett Fess set up Gumbita’s nine-yard toss to Mellors in the right flat that put the Vikings up 27-7.
Mellors capped his big night with the 92-yard jaunt on his final carry. After running off left guard, Mellors cut back across the field and outran the secondary down the right sideline to make the score 47-14 with 11 minutes left.
“We were scared of him,” Bosnic said. “We had to tackle well, because he’s an excellent football player.”
Wash High scored a pair of second-half touchdowns on a 44-yard run by fullback Arthur Long in the third quarter and as two-yard run Spina in the fourth quarter.
The Prexies, who were averaging 313.2 rushing yards per game, were held to 161.
Bosnic said the Prexies might have been distracted by the situation this week with lineman Zach Blystone, who received a preliminary injunction Oct. 4 allowing him to play after being found ineligible by the PIAA following his transfer from Charleroi. The Wash High School Board voted Friday afternoon not to allow Blystone to play until his eligibility status is finalized.
“It might have been a distraction, but what it came down is (Mt. Pleasant) was better,” Bosnic said. “If there were distractions, they still outcoached and outplayed us.”