Everytime the McKeesport Tigers (5-1, 3-0) step onto the field, a shutout is expected. 

“This is our first shutout of the season,” senior quarterback Garrett Tarker said. “We all say that we want to get a shutout every week, but we had an idea that we could this week. And we did, so we are all happy about it.”

The Tigers beat the Ringgold Rams (0-6, 0-2) in a WPIAL Class 4A Big Seven Conference showdown Friday in McKeesport, 48-0.

“We had a really good week of practice, so it wasn’t a surprise that we came out and executed well,” McKeesport coach Matt Miller said. “We weren’t really happy with how we finished last week’s game, so to come out here and execute well was big for us.”

No surprise, a big key to the win was a running back with the last name Boyd scoring two touchdowns.

Anthony Boyd, who’s older brother Bobbie graduated last year and is playing at California University of Pennsylvania, has stepped into the lead back role and he is hitting his stride at the right time.

“When you lose Bobbie it was nice to know Anthony was sitting in the shadows ready to come in,” Miller said. “It was nice to have him have a little breakout night.”

Bobbie Boyd, who made the PUP all-star team last year, was an example for his brother, junior Anthony Boyd.

“He taught me everything,” Anthony Boyd said. “So everything he did, I try to take over for him. He’s a real role model to me.”

Added Miller: “We knew that there is something in their bloodline that they know how to run the football. I always have to tell my guys, if he misses a cut or something, don’t coach this kid how to run. These guys know how to run. He’s a lot more dynamic than I ever was, so it’s fun to watch him.”

Anthony Boyd learned a lot from his brother, including how to credit his teammates after a win.

“I love my (offensive) line,” Boyd said. “After this, I’m going to have to get them doughnuts or something. Got to keep feeding your line. I love them.”

The experience of the line will be key for the Tigers. Four of the five linemen are returning starters.

“Coming into the season, we knew (the offensive line) was going to be our strength,” Miller noted. “We knew that was what we were going to lean on until our skill guys got caught up. They have been doing a nice job of creating big spaces for us, and we were able to hit some big holes to make plays.”

The junior back had a big first half, but with the mercy rule in effect heading into the second half, the Tigers were ready to shut down the starters. Boyd finished with 95 yards rushing.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be in,” Boyd said. “I told coach, ‘Let me get one more. I just need one more.’”

Miller obliged, and Boyd broke one for 51 yards, extending the Tigers’ lead and providing the exclamation point on a dominant win. 

“After the touchdown, I was dancing with Donte (Glover, a junior) and (senior Dominique Cochran),” Boyd said. “We planned that before the play. I knew I was going to score because our line is just like that.”

Saul works in sports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at saulbt2009@gmail.com.

Saul Berrios-Thomas

Saul works in sports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at saulbt2009@gmail.com.