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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Pruitt, Shaker Heights run past Mooney



Published: Sun, September 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Shaker Heights star ran for four touchdowns in a 42-13 win over the Cardinals.

By BOB ROTH

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

SHAKER HEIGHTS -- For a young Cardinal Mooney High team, the past resurfaced Saturday afternoon at Russell H. Rupp Field.

The name was out of the past. It was Gregg Pruitt, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior running back, and the son Gregg Pruitt, the former Oklahoma and Cleveland Browns running back.

In Shaker Raiders' 42-13 victory, the young Pruitt put his stamp on the game from beginning to end.

He took the opening kickoff and broke loose down the right sidelines for a 90-yard score when the contest was only 14 seconds old.

With 5:12 remaining in the game, after Mooney's 18-yard drive stalled at Shaker's 9, Pruitt scored his fourth TD of the afternoon when he set sail on the first play from scrimmage, cutting to the left sidelines and going 91 yards for the score.

Good show: Pruitt added two other touchdowns on runs of 21 and 44 yards, and rushed for 213 yards in 13 carries. Pruitt has run for six touchdowns and 453 yards in the first two games of the season.

Pruitt said of his first score, "We were pumped up and ready to go, and I was able to take it to the house. I saw an opening up the right sideline and hit it at full speed."

And regarding his last score, Pruitt said, "The last score was important because they kept coming at us, and it was the one that broke their backs."

Quick: Pruitt is a shifty runner, and credits that to his quickness.

"I'm quick to my left because I'm left-handed, and with the move to that side I can usually beat people with a step. But I couldn't do anything if I didn't have the blocking I'm getting."

Shaker also has a standout in junior quarterback Nelson Devezin (6-1, 175), who ran for 128 yards in six carries and was 8-for-19 passing for 107 yards, including a 25-yard scoring pas to Michael Bell.

For Mooney (0-2), when things looked darkest, they got a great lift from junior fullback Patsy Malie.

When the Cardinals were down 28-0, and after Jon Zizzo reeled off an 18-yard punt return to the Mooney 32, Malie began to rally the cause.

He cut to the left side and raced down the sidelines 64 yards to the Shaker 4, before Pruitt knocked him out of bounds. Two plays later at 1:55, Kevin Dubose went in from a yard out to put Mooney on the board.

After the ensuing kickoff, Shaker fumbled on the first play at its 37, and Larry Sammartino recovered the ball for Mooney. Two plays later, Malie went 32 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line, and Malie scored two plays later from the 2.

Momentum: So Mooney left the first half with tons of momentum, trailing by only 28-13.

Shaker rebuilt the lead in the third quarter to 35-13 with the help of Jose Fontanez's 1-yard plunge.

Mooney had 256 yards rushing and 12 passing on 1-of-5 by Anthony King.

Malie finished with 184 yards in 27 carries, while Kevin Dubose chipped in with 41 yards in 10 carries.

Lost momentum: Mooney coach P.J. Fecko said: "We lost momentum off the start, but we got it back by halftime. We just weren't able to capitalize on that momentum. Defensively, we had people out of position, and a back like Pruitt will make you pay for that. He has great speed and elusiveness and when he has to be powerful, he is."

Fecko said about Malie, a 5-9, 188-pound fullback: "There's no doubt about Patsy Malie. He is carrying our offense. He hits up left and right and takes people with him."

Lauds blockers: Malie credited his blockers. "Our line, especially our tackles, opened tremendous holes for me. They moved people up front giving me the opportunity to get past the line of scrimmage."




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