Play­ing through pain, McGaughey pi­lots Wi­dener

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Terry Toohey ttoohey@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Ter­ryToohey on Twit­ter

CH­ESTER » By early in the third quar­ter, Sean McGaughey’s day was done. It was not his choice.

The sopho­more quar­ter­back from Wi­dener suf­fered what he called a sep­a­ra­tion in his right (throw­ing) shoul­der less than five min­utes into the se­cond half of the Pride’s 34-21 vic­tory over Mis­eri­cor­dia Satur­day af­ter­noon at Quick Sta­dium.

The full ex­tent of the in­jury will not be known un­til McGaughey un­der­goes a com­plete ex­am­i­na­tion Mon­day.

Amaz­ingly, though, McGaughey threw two passes after he was in­jured on a late hit by Mis­eri­cor­dia de­fen­sive tackle Thomas An­der­son, in­clud­ing his se­cond TD of the game, a 35-yard strike to Mon­trell Hicks-Tay­lor that gave the Pride (21, 2-0 MAC) a 21-0 lead from which the Cougars would never recover.

“The adren­a­line was pump­ing enough to throw that last ball to Mon­trell,” McGaughey said.

Wi­dener coach Mike Kelly was not sur­prised McGaughey was able to throw two passes after he was hurt. Kelly also was con­cerned for McGaughey’s wel­fare.

“He’s a tough kid and a smart kid,” Kelly said. “As soon as he let the ball go, he reached for (his shoul­der). As soon as I called for the ex­tra point I yelled right at the ath­letic trainer (A.J. Duffy III), ‘Get to Sean right now.’”

The TD pass capped a big day for the Mary­land na­tive. He com­pleted 17 of 23 passes for 314 yards, 25 yards shy of his ca­reer-best, and two touch­downs, both to Hicks-Tay­lor. The pair teamed up on a 74-yard pass play in the se­cond quar­ter to give Wi­dener a 14-0 lead at the break.

Hicks-Tay­lor had a ca­reer day. The se­nior wide re­ceiver caught eight passes for 196 yards and the two TDs. Hicks-Tay­lor came into the game with nine re­cep­tions for 153 yards and one touch­down in the first two games of the sea­son.

“I have a good guy who chal­lenges me ev­ery day in prac­tice,” Hicks-Tay­lor said. “I’m talk­ing about (de­fen­sive back) Jor­dan Powell. Go­ing against him in prac­tice makes me that much bet­ter when it’s time to come out on the field for the game.”

McGaughey and Hicks-Tay­lor have de­vel­oped quite a bond in the nine games they have played to­gether. Hicks-Tay­lor has be­come McGaughey’s go-to guy, and he usu­ally comes through.

“The dude’s fast,” McGaughey said of Hicks-Tay­lor. “It’s nice to have a guy like that who can stretch the field. Our guys in the slot, like James Gille­spie, are good, too. It’s hard to D-up on Mon­trell and ev­ery­one else we have.”

“We do have a great con­nec­tion,” Hicks-Tay­lor said. “We know what the other is do­ing.”

The ques­tion is will that McGaughey-to-Hicks-Tay­lor con­nec­tion be avail­able when the Pride trav­els to Read­ing next Satur­day for a MAC show­down with un­de­feated Al­bright (3-0, 2-0) at Shirk Sta­dium. The Lions are re­ceiv­ing votes in the D3­foot­ top 25.

Kelly hopes McGaughey can go, but if not, Kelly knows he has a more than ca­pa­ble backup in Gra­ham Jes­persen. The sopho­more filled in nicely after McGaughey left the game. He com­pleted 5 of 7 passes for 54 yards and car­ried the ball six times for 68 yards, which in­cluded an im­pres­sive 34-yard touch­down in the fourth quar­ter to close out the scor­ing for the Pride.

“We’ve al­ways had great con­fi­dence in him,” Kelly said of Jes­persen. “Last year when we got thin in the re­ceiver corps with in­juries, we moved him to re­ceiver as a true fresh­man, so he has a per­spec­tive now that’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. He’s seen the routes and things from both an­gles. We knew that we had a good player there and we’re for­tu­nate that we have two guys that can step in and make plays.”

The Pride also ran the ball for a sea­son-high 220 yards to give Wi­dener 588 to­tal yards, but it was not a per­fect day for the of­fense. The Pride had the ball in­side the Mis­eri­cor­dia five-yard line twice in the first half and came away with no points. Kicker Michael Raczak had an ex­tra point and a 28-yard field goal at­tempt blocked.

The de­fense strug­gled in the fourth quar­ter. The Cougars scored all of their points and had 195 of their 423 to­tal yards in the fi­nal frame.

“We’re still Kelly said. a work in progress,”

Wi­dener wide re­ceiver Mon­trell Hicks-Tay­lor, pic­tured in a game against Rowan last year, ac­counted for two touch­downs and 196 re­ceiv­ing yards Satur­day in the Pride’s 34-21 win over Mis­eri­cor­dia.

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