Red Devils have little problem with Brooke

WELLSBURG – When you’ve got a play that works, why not keep going to it?

That’s exactly what St. Clairsville (2-0) did Friday night at on the brand new turf at refurbished Brooke Memorial Stadium against the shell-shocked Bruins (0-2).

The Red Devils’ senior tandem of quarterback Matt Kinnick and wideout Dan Monteroso played pitch-and-catch on their team’s first two offensive plays, both resulting in long touchdowns (40 and 60 yards) and a quick 14-0 lead.

That jump-started the visitors to a 44-14 shellacking of the hosts before a nice-sized crowd.

“We make fun of ourselves, and all football coaches, because sometimes when a play works so well, you never see a team go back to it,” St. Clairsville head coach and Brooke graduate Brett McLean said. “But tonight we said why not throw it again, and we were fortunate that Dan made the catches.

“He’s a kid that’s a very athletic player, and he made some plays tonight,” McLean said of Monteroso, who has verbally committed to Boston College. “Why not use him?”

After Kinnick, who tossed a career-high six touchdown passes in the contest, found Jay Gossett on a 4-yard scoring strike in the back of the end zone, he connected with Monteroso on scoring plays of 33 and 14 yards.

On the 33-yard six-pointer, Monteroso hauled in a short pass down the right sidelines before making a nifty cutback at the 10 and waltzing into the end zone. The final hookup was a thing of beauty as Monteroso drove hard to the inside of the field before breaking out to a flag pattern. Kinnick delivered the ball on the money.

“Last week, Jaylon (Brown) ran for four touchdowns, so we thought they (Brooke) would be trying to stop the run, so we figured the pass would be open this week,” Kinnick allowed.

“Throwing to Dan … he’s so fast. All I do is throw it out there and he’ll run and catch it.”

Zach Musilli booted the first four PATs, with Hayley Skukan splitting the uprights after the fifth for a 35-0 reading at the half.

All told, Monteroso, also a standout basketball player, grabbed half-a-dozen passes for 180 yards and four TDs. Kinnick finished his career night with a 23-yard connection to J.C. Coleman in the third quarter. Skukan was once again true on the placement, making it 42-0.

Brooke tallied a pair of touchdowns to end the third quarter. Alex Buchmelter found Joe Staffileno in the back of the end zone from 19 yards out, and freshman Justin Loughrie ran nine yards for the other score. Jake Schwertfeger tacked on both point-afters.

St. Clairsville completed the scoring in the final chapter when it blocked a Brooke punt, which then rolled out of the end zone for a safety.

“They beat us in every phase of the game,” remarked first-year Brooke head coach Sean Blumette. “I give their coaching staff credit. They found a play that worked and they stuck with it. In all honesty, schematically, we were fine. We were just outmatched athletically.

“Again, I give their coaching staff all the credit. They got us down and never let off the gas.”

The Red Devils piled up 500 total yards (274 passing, 226 rushing), while yielding just 191. Much of that credit goes to the lines, both offensively and defensively.

“Those guys in the trenches don’t get a whole lot of attention, but they deserve it tonight,” McLean said of his “hogs.

“They are a good solid group of kids up front,” McLean continued. “We’ve got 7 or 8, but we’re working some young kids in there at places. They are definitely the unsung heroes of our team, especially the first two weeks.”

He was referring to Corey Ernest, Joel Giffin, Cole Stephen, Nick VanVoltenburg and Tom Parker across the offensive front. On defense, he cited Gossett and Colby Lindsey at the ends and Ernest and Derek Shunk at the tackles.

Because of their efforts, Kinnick was able to complete 12 of 15 passes for 274 yards. Brown picked up 101 stripes on 10 totes, while Michael Ferns, who has verballed to Michigan, finished with 57 on seven carries.

“We practice each aspect of the game daily,” Mclean said of the balanced offense. “In a chess match, we’ll take whatever the opponent gives us. Last week it was the run. This week it was the pass.”

Next week the Red Devils finally make their home debut as Dayton Jefferson visits for a 6 p.m. kickoff Saturday.

North can be reached at