Mount Pleasant cruises to victory

Vikings rout Washington, stay perfect

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With first place in the Interstate Conference on the line Friday night, Mount Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner said the Vikings were going to ride their workhorse, senior Tyler Mellors.

Mellors didn't disappoint, running past the Washington defense and into the Vikings record books.

Mellors scored six touchdowns and ran for 216 yards, breaking the school's career rushing mark in the process, in a 47-22 victory for Mount Pleasant (7-0, 7-0) at Washington (6-1, 6-1)

"He's just outstanding," Ruffner said. "What a great back he is. ... He's just a great kid -- a hard worker and humble kid. He's just one of those special backs that you get."

It was Mellors who helped spark the Vikings when they fell behind early. After Mount Pleasant went three-and-out on its first drive, Washington took over on its 41 and drove down the field in nine plays, scoring on a 1-yard keeper by Jonathan Spina to make it 7-0.

But on the Vikings' ensuing possession, Mellors had a 30-yard scamper that set up his 3-yard touchdown run to tie the score.

After Washington failed to pick up a first down on its next possession, Mellors returned a punt 50 yards to put the Vikings in Little Prexies territory. On the next play, Mellors rushed up the middle for 4 yards to become Mount Pleasant's career leader. Mellors entered the game needing 50 yards to break the previous record of 3,350 held by 1970 graduate Bob Gorinski.

"It's big," Mellors said. "It's been what, 44, 45 years, so it's nice. But I can't do it without the people blocking for me."

A few plays later, quarterback Ryan Gumbita found a wide-open Luke Liprando down the seam for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.

Gumbita finished with a season-high 133 yards passing and two touchdowns.

"Ryan had an outstanding game," Ruffner said. "He saw things and he made the throws."

Gumbita did it on the other side of the ball, too. On Washington's next possession, Gumbita, a safety, intercepted Quorteze Levy on an attempted lateral and pass, and returned it to Washington's 27.

"All week, we knew they were going to run some trick stuff," Gumbita said. "So I just kept my depth and I knew once [Levy] got it out there, he was going to throw it deep. He just happened to throw it right to me."

Five plays later, Mellors scored his third touchdown on a 3-yard run to put the Vikings ahead by 14.

Gumbita and Mellors then connected for the backbreaking score. After another Gumbita interception, Gumbita found Mellors for a 12-yard touchdown with 2.6 seconds left in the half to give the Vikings a 27-7 lead.

But 5-foot-8 Mellors was far from done.

He continued to carry the load in the second half. He scored on 3- and 1-yard runs before checking out on the sideline on a defensive series.

"My back, man. I feel like I'm 90 right now," Mellors said.

But with the Vikings ahead, 41-14, and backed up to their 7, Mellors trotted back out. And proceeded to run 93 yards for a touchdown on his 26th and final carry.

"We knew coming into the game we were scared [of Mellors]," Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. "With him, you have to tackle well. He runs hard and he's an exceptional football player. Unfortunately, we didn't tackle as well as we would have liked, but they also won the battle up front and pushed us back all night."

The Little Prexies were without two-way junior lineman Zach Blystone, who is dealing with an eligibility issue.

The loss snapped Washington's 21-game regular-season winning steak. Meanwhile, the victory assures Mount Pleasant at least a share of the Interstate Conference title, it's first since 2009. The Vikings can clinch the outright championship next week with a win against Brownsville.


First Published October 11, 2013 8:11 PM


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