Mr. Everything

Cintron lifts Blue Devils to rivalry rout

Tribune Chronicle / Marc Weems McDonald's Alex Cintron (31) follows his blocking and returns a Mineral Ridge punt for big yardage during the second quarter of their 48-6 win over rival Mineral Ridge.

McDONALD — Junior running back Alex Cintron ran wild as the McDonald Blue Devils crushed Mineral Ridge, 48-6, Friday night.

Cintron did it all for McDonald. The area’s leading rusher coming into the game (1,089 yards), Cintron added to his total with 14 carries for an impressive 162 yards and three touchdowns.

Cintron also threw a TD pass on a trick play and caught a ball for 11 yards. He and the rest of his teammates were excited after the victory.

“I love them all. I love all my teammates. If we improve every game, we can be the greatest team ever,” Cintron said.

McDonald’s offensive line opened up the holes all night long for their vaunted running attack. The Blue Devils ran the ball 33 times for 264 yards. Junior fullback Josh Celli chipped in with 14 carries for 75 yards and a score.

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple Dakota Edwards (17) of Mineral Ridge leaps over McDonald defender Alex Cintron (31) during the Blue Devils’ 48-6 win over the Rams Friday night at Mineral Ridge.

Celli is also having a nice season, entering the game with 792 yards.

“Our offensive line is great. I love being part of this team,” Celli said.

After a scoreless first quarter, McDonald unleashed a ferocious onslaught in the second, scoring 28 points in the quarter. Celli got it started with a 4-yard TD run. After a big punt return by Cintron, he powered his way in for a 21-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-0.

Next, Cameron Tucker scored the first of his two touchdowns to make it 21-0. The final score of the quarter came on a beautifully designed halfback option pass. Cintron got the ball on the handoff, ran to the outside, and threw a perfect 11-yard pass to Tyrese Johnson for the touchdown. After an interception by Zach Gray, McDonald took a knee to take it to the half, 28-0.

” We took momentum and then we ran with it,” McDonald coach Dan Williams said. “The halfback pass was a big play for us. He (Cintron) kind of played cat and mouse with the corner,” he said.

McDonald’s defense was every bit as good as its offense. They held a good Ram rushing attack to 150 yards on the ground, and 166 total yards of offense.

“Today our defense played really well. We stopped the run,” Williams said.

“They stopped what we thought we could do against them and from there it just went downhill,” Mineral Ridge coach Steve Wyllie said. “I’m kind of awestruck. They’re a lot better than I thought they were.”

Decosta Baptiste led Mineral Ridge with 16 carries for 80 yards.

McDonald got the ball to start the second half and marched right down the field. Cintron capped off the drive with a 12-yard TD run. With the score 35-0, the mercy rule went into effect. After a turnover on downs, by the Rams, McDonald got the ball on Mineral Ridge’s 34 yard line. Two plays later it was another 21 yard touchdown run for Cintron.

Quarterback Dakota Edwards scored the Rams’ only touchdown on a 3-yard run with 39 seconds remaining in the game. Edwards finished the night passing 2 of 5 for 16 yards.

“It was an emotional game. They’re a rival. Our running backs are really good,” Williams said.

The win moves McDonald to 6-1 and 4-0 in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference with their homecoming game against Sebring next week.

“Every week is a playoff week. We still have two of our goals out there, winning a league championship, and earning a playoff berth,” Williams said.

The loss drops Mineral Ridge to 4-3, 2-2 on the year. Next week the Rams travel to Springfield Local.