Bethel Park holds off Upper St. Clair @bpsdinfo @BP_BlackHawks @CoachJunko_USC @USCstats @upper_st @USCSchools
Written by: Shane Lux on Saturday, October 26th, 2019
Bethel Park built a 14-0 halftime lead, then had to hold off Upper St. Clair for a dramatic 14-13 victory Friday night.
In a defensive battle, the Black Hawks came up with the big stops when they had to in order to preserve the win.
“If you go back and look at our loss last week, we played well defensively,” said Bethel Park head coach Brian DeLallo. “We’re trying to sell to the kids that our defense can play with anyone in the WPIAL.”
Panthers quarterback Ethan Dahlem scored on a 1-yard sneak with 1:42 to play pulling USC to within a point.
Following an offsides penalty on the Black Hawks, USC decided to go for the lead. Unfortunately for them, Dahlem’s pass was tipped and incomplete.
“Those are tough decisions,” said Upper St. Clair head coach Mike Junko. “We got the penalty that pushed us a little closer. We had a play we liked and thought we had a good chance to take the lead. The other alternative is if we went to overtime, then we’d be calling plays like that again. I don’t regret the decision.”
Fredric Sauer would recover the onside kick for Bethel Park.
“I talked to other coaches around the league, and they all said that their offense wears you down,” said DeLallo. “We got tired too. They ground it down on us, and the game comes down to one play on the 2-point conversion.”
Upper St. Clair would get the ball back with 1:20 to play from their 12-yard line.
The Panthers could only gain one first down. Dahlem would scramble for four yards but had the ball stripped with the Black Hawks recovering at the USC 16-yard line on a 3rd-and-20.
“I’m pleased with the way our defense is playing right now,” said DeLallo. “We have some hard-nosed kids. They’re doing a great job.”
Bethel Park was able to control the line of scrimmage to take a 14-0 lead into the locker room.
Sam McGowan rushed for a game-high 125 yards on 22 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run.
“He’s a great runner. He had tough yards out there tonight,” said DeLallo. “There were no easy yards out there for anyone tonight. He’s a physical runner, and that’s why our kids love blocking for him.”
The Black Hawks extended their lead late in the first half when quarterback Anthony Chiccitt rolled out and found Jehvonn Lewis on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds to play in the first half.
Our https://t.co/tqI29eLvBo & https://t.co/xdMx2Uu6Jf play of the game goes to @bpsdinfo @BP_BlackHawks Jehvonn Lewis who scored on this 32-yard touchdown from Anthony Chiccitt. @WPAFootball @PaFootballNews pic.twitter.com/ngc834ePbX
— Shane Lux (@luxy_aLLin) October 26, 2019
“That was western Pennsylvania high school football,” said DeLallo. “Play solid special teams, great on defense, and grind it out for a 1-point win. These were two evenly matched teams. Our conference is going to make some noise in the playoffs.”
Upper St. Clair finally cracked the scoreboard late in the third quarter when Daniel Harkleroad scored from three yards out.
— Shane Lux (@luxy_aLLin) October 26, 2019
USC was limited to just 76 yards of offense in the first half.
“Our biggest problem in the first half was we had penalties that put us behind the sticks,” said Junko. “We focused on making sure we were assignment sound in the second half. We were able to get some tempo going. They did a great job making us go the length of the fields multiple times.”
Both teams now prepare for the WPIAL 5A playoffs.
Bethel Park now sports a 6-3 record.
“We’re just happy to in the playoffs,” said DeLallo. “This gives us momentum heading into the playoffs. If we had lost here, it would have been three in a row.”
Upper St. Clair drops to 6-4 on the season.
“Our kids are great, and they fight,” said Junko. “You can see it in every game we play. Our kids are going to refocus and be ready to make a deep playoff run hopefully.”
Bethel Park 14 Upper St. Clair 13
Score by Quarters
Bethel Park – 7 7 0 0 – 14
Upper St. Clair – 0 0 7 6 – 13
BP – Sam McGowan 3 yd run, (John Gummo pat), 2:05
BP – Jehvonn Lewis 32 yd pass from Anthony Chiccitt, (Gummo pat), 0:14
USC – Daniel Harkleroad 3 yd run, (Jorge Echeverria pat), 1:27
USC – Ethan Dahlem 1 yd run, (pass failed), 1:42
Rushing: Bethel Park – McGowan 22-125, Lewis 10-52, Troy Volpatti 7-22, Chiccitt 6-19, Team 1-0. Totals: 46-218. USC – Dahlem 28-87, Luke Banbury 2-1, Ethan Hiester 2-2, David Pantelis 2-10, Jack Shearer 1-2, Heath Erdos 1-1, Jaden Keating 1-0, Harkleroad 1-3. Totals:
Passing: Bethel Park – Chiccitt 4-for-8, 49 yards, McGowan 1-for-1, 6 yards. USC – Dahlem 17-for-23, 170 yards, 1 interception.
Receiving: Bethel Park – Jacob Wodarek 1-3, Lewis 1-32, Ben Opie 1-6, Volpatti 1-0, Jack Evans 1-14. USC – Harkleroad 2-44, Hiester 2-18, Brandon Schearer 1-23, Joseph Lackner 1-6, Pantelis 8-54.
Interceptions: Bethel Park – Dominic Esposito.
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