MCKEESPORT Pa. — McKeesport came into Friday night’s playoff game against Mars with a chip on their shoulder, as the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season the week prior against Thomas Jefferson. The Tigers took their frustration out on the Fightin’ Planets and put the game away by the end of the second quarter with a commanding 36-0 lead.
“We had a tough loss last week, so our mindset was like we got to bounce back,” McKeesport running back Bobbie Boyd Jr. said. “This can’t be our last game, so we just motivated ourselves. We practiced hard, watched film and we came ready to play ball.”
McKeesport quarterback Jahmil Perryman and Boyd went up and down the field with ease. Perryman had two 50-plus yard touchdown runs and threw a 75-yard touchdown, while Boyd had several explosive runs. Mars just simply didn’t have an answer for the Tigers’ triple option attack.
“They played into our cards,” Perryman said about the 75-yard touchdown pass to Caiden Holtzman. “They tried to shut down the run. Came back and hit them with a play-action pass. It was there, it was great. Everything was in motion. It kept flowing and flowing.”
Very few teams in high school football still run the triple option offense, which is an advantage for McKeesport, as it makes it tough for teams to prepare for.
“That’s what makes it very hard for other teams, because you really don’t see it a lot,” Perryman said about the triple option. “And our team is real explosive. If it’s not me, it’s Bobbie. If it’s not Bobbie, it’s Larry (Gibson). If it’s not either of those two or me, then we go to the passing game. We have a lot of weapons.”
With playing quarterback in a triple option offense, Perryman has all three of the United States Military schools looking at him — Air Force, Army and Navy. The Naval Academy has been running the triple option for decades. Perryman has also received interest from Austin Peay, Sacred Heart and Division II schools Gannon and Slippery Rock.
“It’s been slow lately, but I hope it picks up soon,” Perryman said about the recruiting process.
Perryman said he’s being recruited to play either quarterback or defensive back, but he prefers offense right now.
“I’m getting my feel back for running the ball, so right now, as we speak, I’m liking offense way more, but I know how to play defense,” Perryman said.
Boyd has offers from Akron, Robert Morris and Duquesne, but he hasn’t received any interest from Power 5 schools because coaches are worried about his size. Boyd is 5-foot-8, 175 pounds.
“It’s going great, but I haven’t really talked to anymore coaches,” Boyd said. “It’s mainly just because of my size, but I’m only controlling what I can control, so like on the field and school and stuff.”
Boyd said Akron reached out to him before Friday night’s game to wish him luck. He also enjoyed speaking with the coaches at Duquesne.
“I’m really just focused on this season right now. After the season, I’ll start talking about committing and were I’m gonna go,” Boyd said.
McKeesport will face Armstrong in the second round of the WPIAL Class-4A playoffs.
“I mean, we just can’t sleep on them,” Boyd said. “We beat Armstrong two years ago. Our mindset can’t be like we beat them two years ago. We have to come in and give them the respect that they deserve, and we’re going to see how the game turns out.”