AVELLA — West Greene was coming off an emotional Tri-County South victory over California last week and has a rivalry clash against Carmichaels looming next week.
Friday night at Avella seemed like a classic trap game but Pioneers coach Brian Hanson wasn’t about to let his team have a letdown against the winless Eagles.
“Last year they beat us on our home field,” Hanson pointed out. “We didn’t want our guys overlooking these guys tonight.”
West Greene did take care of the task at hand. The Pioneers got touchdowns from six different players in rolling to a 48-0 victory over the Eagles (0-2, 0-5).
The Pioneers jumped out to a 35-0 lead in the first half to invoke the mercy rule early.
Hanson, who watched the Pioneers win their third straight game after an 0-2 start, feels his players are starting to grasp the team concept.
“These last three weeks I think we’ve done a better job of understanding our identity, doing little things right at practice and saying to ourselves no one’s bigger than the team,” Hanson said. “It might be one guy who gets the ball 20 times or we might spread it around like we did tonight.”
Wes Whipkey had a hand in all of the Pioneers’ four touchdowns in the first quarter. He had a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Lucey, hit Hunter Hamilton for a 25-yard score and found Nathan Orndoff open for a 37-yard touchdown. Whipkey, who also scored on a 1-yard run, completed 8 of 10 passes for 158 yards.
“It’s good to have Wes out here because he’s the guy that drives the bus,” said Hanson of his quarterback who missed West Greene’s second game, a 27-0 loss to Burgettstown, due to injury. “For us to get the best out of our team we need Wes in there. When we lost to Burgettstown it was a very difficult game on the offensive side without him.”
The Pioneers’ Colin Brady raced 24 yards for the lone touchdown in the second quarter. Corey Wise scored on a 21-yard run in the third quarter, and Billy Whitlatch had a 6-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Wise had 32 yards rushing on just three carries and caught four passes for 54 yards. Brady led West Greene with 70 yards rushing on only four attempts.
“I think we just really needed to get our passing game going,” Wise said. “Our running game has been pretty good the past couple games.
“It all starts with the line. Without them we can’t go anywhere.”
West Greene kicker Kevin Thompson was good on 6 of 7 extra points.
Hanson was pleased to see his defense pitch a shutout against the Eagles.
“It was good because they do run a tricky scheme,” Hanson said. “The defense did a pretty good job of containing them. I’m pleased with the effort.”
The win sets up a showdown between West Greene (2-0, 3-2) and Carmichaels at Kennedy Field next Friday. The Mikes, Pioneers and Monessen are all tied for first place in the TCS.
“They know us and we know them,” Wise said of Carmichaels. “We’ve just got to go at them.”
“It’s a big rivalry, the eastern side of Greene County versus the western side of Greene County,” Hanson said. “We expect a packed house. It’s going to be two really good football teams going at it. It’s going to be fun to see.”
(Westley Burchianti contributed to this story.)