Gateway holds off McKeesport advances to Heinz Field Championship
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, November 11th, 2017
Yet another Gateway vs McKeesport game came down to the final minutes. Gateway once again got the win, and will play at Heinz Field next Saturday.
McKeesport had a successful first drive but it went bad. On a great play call McKeesport had a Wide Reciever wide open but the pass was incomplete.
Much of the first quarter was a defensive struggle that featured a few turnovers. Gateway went 3 and out and punted it back to McKeesport and they also went 3 and out. The game was scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
On one drive in the second quarter Gateway got inside McKeesport’s 20. The drive went bad on a fumble and McKeesport recovered.
After 2 runs by McKeesport they fumbled it right back to Gateway giving the ball to them at just about midfield. Gateway capitalized on that mistake when Brady Walker connected with Courtney Jackson for a 29 yard touchdown. The score at half was 7-0 Gateway.
The third quarter got off to a wild start! Gateway marched down the field on the opening drive. At McKeesport’s 43, Walker found Derrick Davis down to the 17. The next play Walker found Jeremiah Josephs for a 17 yard touchdown with 11:03 in the third.
Down 14-0, McKeesport desperately needed to get something going. They did just that when John Harper ran it into the end zone for a 5 yard touchdown.
On the kickoff McKeesport tried a surprise onside kick and it was a successful one recovering the ball at the Gateway 49. On the first play John Harper was off to the races again for a 49 yard touchdown. That tied the score at 14 with 9:10 in the third.
Late in the third quarter Gateway regained the lead. Walker had a few big runs that drive and it was finished off by him on a 3 yard touchdown run. The score at the end of 3 was 20-14 Gateway.
On the following drive, McKeesport put together a solid drive, they were in Gateway territory at the 40. Carlinos Acie broke a big run down to the 9 yard line. 2 plays later Layton Jordan scored a 5 yard touchdown to make 21-20 McKeesport.
Gateway went 3 and out the next drive. McKeesport got into Gateway territory again but they ended up turning the ball over on downs.
Gateway started at their own 37 yard line. The first play Brady Walker busted a big run into McKeesport territory at the 44. Derrick Davis picked up another first down to the 21. 2 plays later he scored from 18 yards out, giving Gateway a 28-21 lead with 2:15 left.
McKeesport was in a fourth and long situation. A pass was complete it would’ve been short, but another lateral just like last year to Layton Jordan and suddenly McKeesport was at the Gateway 28. On the final play a ball was knocked down in the end zone which gave Gateway a 28-21 win.
Brady Walker again had a solid game who went 20 of 30 for 246 yards. After the game I asked Brady after the game what is it like to advance to Heinz Field and get revenge on McKeesport after the heartbreaker last year and he said, “We played McKeesport last year at this place and we came back to the same place and we just beat them this time it’s a great feeling and it will be awesome going down to Heinz and get that experience to play in a big stadium.”
I also asked Coach Hale after the heartbreaker last year what it was like to win a get back to Heinz Field who said, “It’s amazing the coaches, the players put in a lot of work throughout the weeks to prepare for it, you know every game every Friday, and this is huge and think they’ve earned this one you know beyond beyond and they got what they deserved tonight.”
I asked him his thoughts on a rematch with Penn Trafford next week and he replied, “they’re definitely going to come play, they’re well coached and we’re well coached, it’s going to be a tough battle and it’ll be a good one to watch and hopefully we can come up with that win.”
Jeremiah Josephs and Derrick Davis both also had big games. Josephs had 10 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Davis had 7 catches for 90 yards, and 53 yards rushing on 7 carries, and scored the game winning touchdown to send Gateway back to Heinz to face Penn Trafford in a rematch.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball