If one word can describe Monessen's 20-6 victory over Beth-Center Friday night, gutsy fits the bill.
The Greyhounds' performance was one of the gutsiest I've seen.
Jalen Madison moved from fullback to guard during the game. Brett Crenshaw went from tailback to tackle. Both players gave up size to Beth-Center's defensive front but size doesn't matter when a team with talent wants to win as badly as Monessen did.
Madison and Crenshaw weren't the only ones sacrificing personal statistics to put Monessen atop the Tri-County South Conference. Defensive backs moved the linebacker. Tight ends offered to move further inside the line to help an injury-depleted team dominate the previously unbeaten Bulldogs, 20-6.
Gutsy. Tough. Unselfish. Maybe even improbable considering the circumstances and how thoroughly Monessen dominated the second half, particularly on defense.
Beth-Center averaged 48.8 points coming into the game. Monessen allowed 80 yards.
* Beth-Center's Jeff Tarley practiced throughout the week according to Bulldogs coach Ed Woods but Tarley did not play against Monessen.
* Monessen played like a team in its biggest game of the year, which it was. Beth-Center failed to show similar emotion.
* Borrowing a call from the Bill Belichick school of coaching, Beth-Center went for it on a fourth-and-five from its own 25 with just under six minutes left and only trailing, 12-6. The Greyhounds put the game away a few plays later.
* After covering the Fort Cherry at Brentwood game last week, Brentwood's defense looked vulnerable against run plays through the middle. Chartiers-Houston must have noticed too when watching game tape.
Quarterback Daniel Lis rushed for 207 yards in the Bucs' 21-7 win.
The Bucs are a surprising 5-1 and if they can beat Fort Cherry in the regular season finale (which is anything but a sure thing), C-H will finish second in the Black Hills Conference.
* Due to the success of South Fayette and Seton-La Salle, it's easy to perceive the Century Conference as a pass-happy league, but some of the best runners in the WPIAL call the conference home.
Steel Valley's Delrece Williams went 259 yards and six touchdowns - six TDs! - against Washington.
Seton-La Salle's Kevin Hart is a scoring machine and wears down a defense, much like Williams.
South Fayette's Jeff Davis, who could be a slot receiver in college, celebrated his 18th birthday last night by rushing for 109 yards and totaling 177 yards in a critical win over Keystone Oaks.
Speaking of the Golden Eagles, Matt McCann and Jordan Maddox combined to rush for nearly 300 yards against the Lions.
* Losing to Steel Valley pretty much ends Washington's slim playoff hopes but the Prexies showed some life by giving the Ironmen a good game in a 48-33 loss. Wash High led 27-21 at halftime and 21-7 at one point.
The Prexies' schedule gets easier the final three weeks and it will be interesting to see if some of the younger players can build momentum and confidence heading toward 2011.
* The University of Tennessee has shown interest in Trinity senior Mike Cleveland, an athletic 6-6 multiple-position player who happens to have the strongest kicking leg I've seen on a high school player.
* Nice bounce-back win for Fort Cherry after a heartbreaking overtime loss at Brentwood the previous week.