MHS snuffs out Dragons; record is 5-0
Kevin Stewart 30, Valley Falls 0.
The McLouth senior didn't single-handily defeat Delaware Valley League foe Valley Falls on Friday, but the running back did play a key role in McLouth's road victory.
Stewart scored five touchdowns -- including one for 61 yards and another for 54 -- as the Bulldogs improved to 5-0 and ensured their first winning season since 1998. That team finished 6-3 under former coach Gerard Aligo.
On Friday, McLouth struck early, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and three more in the second for a 40-0 halftime lead. McLouth scored 12 more points in the third and finished with a 52-0 victory and the team's second shutout of the season.
"I thought our linebackers did a great job of containing the option," MHS coach Harry Hester said. "You don't see that as much as you used to in high school football. Everybody took care of their responsibilities.
"Obviously, we're happy with the shutout and kind of surprised by the final score."
Hester applauded his linebackers, but also was pleased with how the defensive line handled a thick Valley Falls offensive line.
"They have a big offensive line and we thought that would present us with some challenges, but the kids did a great job of shutting them down," Hester said.
Stewart's five touchdowns gave him 19 for the season with four regular-season games left. In addition, Stewart has 995 rushing yards on the season. He soon could eclipse last year's total of 1,167.
Last Friday, Stewart had 257 yards on 13 carries.
But, as Hester said, Stewart's success wouldn't have been possible without proper blocking up front.
"I thought our line played exceptionally well this week," Hester said. "People have had trouble running against Valley Falls."
Wide receiver Andrew Booth hauled in two touchdown catches from quarterback Jimmy Steffey, one of which went for 57 yards.
Steffey scored McLouth's final touchdown, an eight-yard run.
McLouth remained in a two-way tie for first place in the Delaware Valley League with Pleasant Ridge. Both teams are 5-0 overall and 5-0 in the DVL.
The teams have had similar success scoring points.
Pleasant Ridge has scored 283 points and allowed 12; McLouth has scored 223 and allowed 20.
The two teams are scheduled to square off Oct. 21 in Easton in a game that likely will decide a DVL champion and district champion.
"Pleasant Ridge is the champs and they're going to be champs before somebody knocks them off," Hester said, referring to the defending DVL champions. "I tell our kids not to compare scores of what they're doing to what we're doing. It's two completely different games."
Hester, like any coach, isn't concerned about a game two weeks down the road.
The third-year coach, instead, is looking at Friday's opponent -- Troy.
Hester said he expects Troy will be McLouth's toughest opponent so far this season.
The Trojans are dangerous, Hester said, because they're playoff-tested after making their way to the postseason last fall.
"They have three weeks of experience we didn't because of the playoffs," Hester said.
As the Bulldogs prepare for the Trojans, players also will be in the middle of homecoming festivities. Hester looks for his club to look past the hoopla and focus on the game.
"They fly around and hit," Hester said of Troy. "They're definitely the best team we've faced so far."
Troy enters the game at 2-3. Kickoff at the Bulldog Sports Complex is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
McLouth 52, Valley Falls 0
Score by quarters
McLouth 20 20 12 0 -- 52
Valley Falls 0 0 0 0 -- 0
How they scored
MHS -- Kevin Stewart 1 run (kick failed)
MHS -- Stewart 61 run (run failed)
MHS -- Andrew Booth 17 pass from Jimmy Steffey (Trevor Keling run)
MHS -- Stewart 7 run (Joel Gill kick)
MHS -- Booth 57 pas from Steffey (kick failed)
MHS -- Stewart 54 run (Gill kick)
MHS -- Stewart 37 run (kick failed)
MHS -- Steffey 8 run (kick failed)