McKeesport scored three touchdowns in the first half, including one in the waning seconds, for a 42-7 victory at Laurel Highlands Friday night in Big Eight Conference play.
The Tigers kept pace with Belle Vernon, improving to 4-0 in the conference and 7-1 overall. McKeesport plays Thomas Jefferson Friday and then closes the regular season against the Leopards on Oct. 29.
The Mustangs slip to 2-3 in the conference and 5-3 overall, and can guarantee a playoff berth with a victory over Trinity (1-3, 2-6).
The Tigers fumbled on their opening drive of the game, but Laurel Highlands was unable to capitalize on the turnover. A short punt gave McKeesport good field position and quarterback Caleb Reist capped the drive on a one-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone.
McKeesport doubled its lead in the second quarter on Bobbie Boyd's 14-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers' lead grew to 21-0 on Jake Miller's 14-yard run and successful two-point pass.
McKeesport again fumbled in Laurel Highlands territory, but the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs. The Tigers made the most of the opportunity when Reist found Dennis Jackson open along the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown pass with under 10 seconds remaining in the half.
Kenneth Thompson's 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter invoked the mercy rule. Miller scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Rodney Gallagher powered in from a yard out in the fourth quarter for the Mustangs' lone touchdown.
Big Eight Conference
McKeesport 7-21-7-7 -- 42
Laurel Highlands 0-0-0-7 -- 7
McK: Caleb Reist 1 run (Milton Campos kick)
McK: Bobbie Boyd 14 run (kick failed)
McK: Jake Miller 14 run (Bobbie Boyd pass from Caleb Reist)
McK: Dennis Jackson 44 pass from Caleb Reist (Milton Campos kick)
McK: Kenneth Thompson 23 run (Milton Campos kick)
LH: Rodney Gallagher 1 run (Harry Radcliffe kick)
LH: Jake Miller 1 run (Milton Campos kick)
Records: McKeesport (4-0, 7-1), Laurel Highlands (2-3, 5-3).