Rawlins does it all in Monessen's Greyhounds win, 35-28
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With Chavas Rawlins throwing and running for big plays, the Monessen offense looked like a well-oiled machine in the first half of Friday's game at Brentwood.
But when that machine broke down in the second half, the Greyhounds turned to the other two phases of the game in order to gain a big win.
Monessen returned an interception for a touchdown and added a punt return for a score to grab a 35-28 win against Class A No. 4 Brentwood in a Black Hills Conference game.
After Brentwood (1-1, 1-1) knotted the score at 21-21 a little more than three minutes into the third quarter, Rawlins' pass was intercepted by the Spartans' Bill Madeja. With the momentum fully swinging in Brentwood's favor, Monessen (2-0, 2-0) used a pair of impact plays to take control.
On the ensuing possession, Monessen's Brandon Lenhart intercepted Chris Shortley's pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. Then, on the second play of the fourth quarter, Javon Brown scored on an 85-yard punt return to put the Greyhounds in front, 35-21.
"We can't give up two giant plays like that," said Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel. "Those were killers."
Monessen picked off three passes in the second half to go along with the punt return for a score and a blocked punt. Brentwood had a chance to tie the score in the closing minutes, taking possession at the Monessen 35-yard line with 2:38 left. However, the Monessen defense stiffened and Brentwood committed some costly penalties. The drive came to an end when Shortley's pass to Michael Andrews fell incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the Monessen 11.
"We struggled on offense in the second half, but there are three phases in this game, and we picked it up in the other two," Monessen coach Andy Pacak said.
In the first half, Rawlins, a senior and West Virginia recruit, completed 5 of 8 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns and added 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground. But in the second half, Rawlins went 1 of 9 for 11 yards, as the Greyhounds amassed only 7 yards of offense and no first downs.
Tensions flared at a boys basketball between the schools in February. In that game, also played at Brentwood, Monessen supporters said their team -- made up of mostly black players -- was on the receiving end of racial taunts. Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch attended the game as part of "Sportsmanship, Dignity and Respect Day," as did the mayors of Brentwood and Monessen and WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley.
Junior running back Justin Vickless had a huge game for Brentwood, rushing for 197 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.
Rawlins threw touchdowns of 79 and 87 yards to Clintell Gillaspie in the first half.
First Published September 8, 2012 12:02 am