Monessen sees another season end with a playoff loss to Springdale
HARRISON CITY — Springdale still has Monessen’s number.
Friday night the Dynamos ended the Greyhounds’ season for the fifth time in seven years with a convincing 30-6 victory in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals at Penn Trafford’s Warrior Stadium.
Unlike last year when Springdale pulled out a 21-14 victory with 34 seconds remaining, the outcome was decided early.
Springdale (10-1) jumped to a 16-0 lead in the opening 12 minutes and was never really threatened by Monessen (9-2).
One of the WPIAL’s top running teams, Springdale piled up 325 yards on the ground against a Monessen defense that was allowing an average of 62 yards a game.
“I was surprised we moved the ball so well against them,” said Springdale’s 74-year-old coach Chuck Wagner. “Our kids were ready right off the bat. We were the aggressor immediately.”
After Trae Cook gave Monessen good field position by returning the opening kickoff 23 yards to the Monessen 48, the tone of the game may have been set on the Greyhounds’ first scrimmage play when Brandon Bruske intercepted a Brady Kunsa pass and returned it 17 yards to the Monessen 41.
Nine plays and four minutes later, Springdale quarterback Joe Killian went over from the one for a touchdown. Following a Monessen offside penalty on the extra point, Bill Arch ran over the two-pointer and the Dynamos never looked back.
The next time Springdale got the ball, the Dynamos marched 58 yards in 10 plays with Sean Dugan going the last three with five seconds left in the first period and following another Monessen offside penalty, Arch ran over his second two-pointer.
Cook broke a 57-yard touchdown run with 8:31 to go in the first half, but Killian intercepted Kunsa’s pass on the two-pointer.
Any hopes of a Monessen comeback ended when the Dynamos drove 73 yards in 10 plays with Arch going over from the four with 4:56 left in the half. Matt Weber kicked the extra point for a commanding 23-6 halftime cushion.
In the first half, Springdale rushed for 227 yards and limited Monessen to 95 total offense yards — including Cook’s long run — and two first downs.
Arch, who gained 93 yards in last year’s win at Monessen, outgained the Greyhounds with 140 yards on 11 carries.
Chris Liberto and Killian followed with 74 and 67 yards, respectively.
Monessen coach Andy Pacak was impressed with the Dynamos.
“They were extremely good,” he said. “After watching them on film, we didn’t account for their overall speed. They were much faster in person.”
“We thought we could get outside on them, but they came right after us,” added Pacak.
“It was a good solid Springdale game,” said Wagner. “Our kids are tough and play so well as a team.”
Up next for Springdale is unbeaten and defending WPIAL Class A champion Clairton. The Bears have routed every team they have faced.
Pacak, however, thinks the Dynamos will be a good test.
“I really think they can give Clairton a game,” he said.
LEFTOVERS: Killian ran seven yards for the lone second half touchdown after a 14-yard Kunsa punt put the Dynamos on the Monessen 15 on their first possession … Cook finished with a team-high 70 yards and had 63 of the team’s 82 first half rushing yards … Arch had 129 rushing yards at halftime … Kunsa was three of 12 for nine yards and finished the season with 1,133 yards in the air … Monessen was outgained 331-129 and had only five first downs … Monessen’s Tyler Young intercepted a pass at the end of the first half.