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Jahmil Perryman’s Option Attack Powering McKeesport to WPIAL Semifinal



KITTANNING, Pa. — The McKeesport Tigers arrived at Armstrong on Friday night expecting to play in a highly contested playoff matchup, but the game turned out to be quite lopsided. The Tigers dominated the Riverhawks by the score of 41-21, with the victory coming as a result of a great effort by Tiger’s quarterback Jahmil Perryman and a bit of outside luck. The Tigers defense had the weather on their side throughout the game which helped them shut down Armstrong’s high-powered passing attack that averaged over 40 points per game.

The Tigers run a triple-option offense that proves to be effective and very tough for other teams to stop, averaging roughly 34.5 points per game. With the rain being a factor, the style of offense was perfect for the conditions. The McKeesport defense is playing historically well this season, allowing 6.4 points per game. The rain only helped as Penn-commit Cadin Olsen struggled to find consistency for the Riverhawks.

In the game, the Tigers fumbled the ball 12 times including on seven straight plays at one point. Miraculously, the Tigers scored on three separate plays that began with a fumbled snap.

Perryman, McKeesport’s option quarterback, ran all over the Riverhawks defense as he racked up 252 yards on 31 carries in addition to his four rushing touchdowns. That included two touchdowns where Perryman disappeared into a group of Riverhawks only to pop through and take it into the endzone. On defense, Perryman made huge plays all game, snagging two interceptions almost taking one to the house.

As much as the rain hindered Armstrong’s game plan, it altered the Tiger’s plans as well. The Tiger’s fumbling issue was a result of the ball becoming slippery. Perryman talked to PSN about playing in the rain and how it played a role in many of the fumbles.

“This game was really fun and I love playing in the rain,” Perryman said. “I just hate the fact that the ball gets slippery.”

Perryman is a key leader of the team, offensively and defensively, allowing the rest of the team to play off his energy and it tends to open up the field for his teammates. As the Riverhawks were keen on stopping Perryman, it allowed Bobbie Boyd to add a 112-yard performance of his own. As Perryman spoke to PSN after the game, Boyd ran past yelling “He is the greatest, he is the greatest,” in regard to the big-time performance.

The Tigers have put together a strong resume heading into a playoff rematch with Aliquippa. They now boast an 11-1 record with quality wins over teams such as Gateway and Penn Trafford, with both being playoff teams this year in Class-5A. In these games, the Tiger’s two-headed monster of Jahmil Perryman and Bobbie Boyd rushed all over the opposition as the defense helped shut it down on the other side like usual.

The Tigers fell to Aliquippa in the WPIAL playoffs a year ago and have a chance at revenge next week.

A week out from that game, Perryman looks to avoid handing out bulletin board material. When asked about the rematch, Perryman quickly said, “I don’t got [any words] about that.” If McKeesport wants a chance to get revenge for last season Perryman will need to show up and show out once again.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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