MONROEVILLE: Kiski Area’s Corey Smith, Greg Hutcherson and Mike Rairigh are long-time friends.
The trio stayed in touch by dialing long distance often as the Cavaliers sailed past Gateway, 30-7, in a Quad South Conference game Friday night at Gateway Stadium.
With Smith pushing the buttons at quarterback, wide receivers Hutcherson and Rairigh combined for eight catches, 205 yards and four touchdowns.
Hutcherson’s 73-yard catch-in-stride and run along the right sideline late in the first quarter put Kiski Area ahead for good.
‘We have a lot of athletes on this team,’ said Rairigh, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior. ‘Me, Corey and Greg have been playing basketball together since fourth grade. We grew up together.’
That shows in how well they play together.
Kiski Area improved to 2-1 in the Quad South and 3-2 overall. The victory marked the first time the up-and-down Cavaliers won two consecutive games as well as an away contest this season.
Gateway, which made the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs the last two seasons, stumbled to 0-5.
Having a quick-strike offense has boosted the confidence of Kiski Area’s offensive players.
‘You know who it really helpsâ¢ The offensive linemen,’ Kiski Area coach Dave Grimm said. ‘Pass blocking is much harder than run blocking. That picks those guys up, I know.’
Kiski Area also moved the ball well on the ground.
Senior tailback Willie Brown rushed 23 times for 99 yards. Brown gained most of his yardage in the second half as the Cavaliers ate time off the clock.
The Cavaliers dominated time of possession in the third period. They took the opening kickoff and held the ball for about eight minutes.
‘That’s what we talked about in the locker room during halftime,’ Grimm said. ‘We said, ‘Button your chin straps, we’re going to run the ball.”
The Kiski Area defense performed well after surrendering a game-opening, three-play touchdown drive. Defensive back Matt Wilson grabbed two interceptions. Lineman Kyle Graham had a pickoff and long stumbling-bumbling return negated by a roughing the passer penalty.
The final score could have been more lop-sided. Kicker Robert Hartle hit a 26-yard field in the second quarter, but he missed a 35-yard attempt.
Rushing: KA: Chris McKillop 5-25, Willie Brown 23-99, Nate Laero 5-14, Corey Smith 2-10, Greg Hutcherson 1-2, Scott McKillop 1-4. G: Mortty Ivy III 5-24-1, Ernest Bonner 13-61, Mike Walton 1-(-5), Eric Wofford 1-(-7), Ben McCormack 2-16. Passing: KA: Corey Smith 12-21-1-221-4. G: Mortty Ivy III 9-31-2-114-0. Receiving: KA: Mike Rairigh 5-98-2, Greg Hutcherson 3-107-2, Robert Plowman 2-(-3), Frank Goessling 2-19. G: Chris Hoover 1-21, Ben McCormack 1-14, Kevin Manley 3-18, Ernest Bonner 2-41, Sean Laird 2-20.