MERCER – Splash plays may becoming synomous with the Sharpsville football team.
The Blue Devils had five scoring runs of 36 yards or longer in the 49-14 rout of Mercer Friday evening in Region 1-A action in the County Seat.
“I was shocked,” veteran Sharpsville coach Paul Piccirilli said. “What we do have is a lot good backs, who are fast. When they’re in the open, they can take it to the house.”
Sharpsville (2-0, 4-0) scored on totes of 36, 64, 50, 9, 76, 3 and 60 yards, while posting 386 yards on the ground.
“The linemen did great blocking,” Blue Devils running back George Keck said. “They made some big holes for me, Tyler Wansack, Tyrin Peavy and Nick Henwood. There were some nice sized holes. There were others where we needed to make one cut and we were gone. We can squeeze through little holes, too.”
Keck took full advantage of the holes provided to him, needing just 5 carries to accumulate 161 yards and 4 scores. He also pulled in two passes for 24 yards.
“The kid runs hard,” Mercer coach Pat McClearn said. “I’d love to have him in my backfield. When you have kids like that, you have a chance. He’s a good kid. He plays hard. That’s what high school football is all about. When you a get a back like him open in the secondary, he’s tough to bring down.”
The Sharpsville senior was tackled just once on the evening and scored on runs of 36, 50, 9 and 60 yards.
“I owe it all to my linemen,” Keck said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. They made nice holes. They give us a little crease and we’re gone. That’s all that matters.”
The Devils got on the board on just their third offensive play and went up 14-0 Tyler Wansack ‘s 64-yard burst on their fourth play from scrimmage. Keck scored from 50 yards out to put Sharpsville up 21-0 after the first quarter.
Sharpsville tacked on a 9-yard scamper from Keck and a 76-yard jaunt from Tyrin Peavy in the second stanza to take a 34-0 cushion into the lockerroom.
“They’re very impressive up front and they have backs that run hard,” McClearn said. “I was very impressed with Keck. We saw him on film, so we knew he was going to be good coming in. They didn’t have (Greg) Popatak. He was injured. That’s a credit to the skill kids they have. They just popped the next kid in and didn’t miss a beat.”
The Blue Devils invoked the mercy rule when Nick Henwood opened the second half scoring with a 3-yard run just 2:30 into the third quarter.
Mercer (0-3, 1-3) sandwiched touchdown passes from Logan Clarke to Levi Bequeath (7 yards) and Austin Hall (25 yards) around a Keck 60-yard touchdown run to close the scoring.
“It was a very frustrating night,” McClearn said. “Sharpsville is a very good football team. I think we were overmatched a couple times.”
The Mustangs played without the services of their two top receivers – T.J. Peters and Brayton Edwards – but got a stellar performance from Hall, who pulled in 14 Clarke passes for 212 yards.
“We had to have some different guys step up and contribute,” McClearn said. “We were missing one of our receivers because of a suspension and Brayton went down early in the first quarter. It’s tough, but we put the next guy in there and expect them to make plays. They battled and that’s all we can ask out of them.”
Notes: Mercer senior receiver Brayton Edwards left the game during the Mustangs’ first possession with an injured right shoulder and didn’t return. McClearn was uncertain of his status for Mercer’s Week 5 showdown with Franklin. … Peavy also crossed the 100-yard mark with 112 yards on 6 totes, while Wansack chipped in 82 yards on 3 carries. … Clarke completed 27-of-38 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. … Logan Eckles had an interception for Sharpsville, while Miles Bowser recovered a fumble.
SHARPSVLE 21 14 14 0 49
MERCER 0 0 7 7 14
S — G. Keck, 36 run (run failed)
S — Wansack, 64 run (Peavy catch)
S — G. Keck, 50 run (N. Henwood kick)
S — G. Keck, 9 run (N. Henwood kick)
S — Peavy, 76 run (kick failed)
S — N. Henwood, 3 run (N. Henwood kick)
M — Bequeath, 7 pass from Clarke (Cameron kick)
S — G. Keck, 60 run (N. Henwood kick)
M — Hall, 25 pass from Clarke (Cameron kick)
15 First downs 6
386 Rushing yards 84
38 Passing yards 283
5-3-0 Att-comp-int 38-27-1
424 Total yards 367
1-0 Fumbles-lost 1-1
6-50 Penalties-yards lost 7-50
Rushing: SHARPSVILLE — G. Keck 5-161, Peavy 6-112, Wansack 3-82, Ragster 3-17, N. Henwood 2-9, Tedrow 3-5, Besser 2-0, Rogan-Laird 1-0, Fyffe 1-0; MERCER — Wegrzynek 14-45, Clarke 8-30, Jo. Robertson 2-9.
Passing: SHARPSVILLE — L. Henwood 5-3-0-38; MERCER — Clarke 38-27-1-283.
Receiving: SHARPSVILLE — G. Keck 2-24, Eckles 1-14; ; MERCER — Hall 14-212, Bequeath 5-39, Amon 3-12, Je. Robertson 2-13, Wegrzynek 2-9, Jo. Robertson 1-0.