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WPIAL

Bethel Park, Peters Headed in Opposite Directions as Black Hawks Roll, 38-8

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BETHEL PARK, Pa. — Bethel Park and Peters Township are two teams heading in opposite directions as the playoffs approach.

Bethel Park is hot and has ripped off four straight wins, their latest coming Friday in a 38-8 over Peters Township, who is on a four-game skid.

The Blackhawks, who improved to 5-3, and 3-0 in conference play with the win did not take long to establish a lead and did not look back as they went on to dominate the Indians who fell to 4-5, and 0-4 in conference play.

The first drive of the game went just the way that the Blackhawks would have wanted. They got the run going, they had an end-around pick up a first down and quarterback Max Blanc drilled Jack Kirchner in the end zone for a 24-yard strike that gave Bethel Park a 7-0 lead.

Bethel Park was slow on the offense for the next couple of drives, but they found a way to establish field position. A strong punt return by Ryan Petras set up a pass from Blanc to Kirchner again. This set up a short score for Troy Volpatti to extend the lead to 14-0.

The Blackhawks capitalized on the very next drive. The first pass of Peters next possession ended with an interception caused by Austin Caye. Caye picked up yards after the pick and set up a short quarterback sneak by Blanc to extend the lead to 21-0 at halftime.

Bethel Park forced a punt on the first drive of the half, and Petras had another good return. Bethel added a first down on top of that and had the team with a chip shot field goal to open up the second half and extend the lead to 24-0.

Peters Township had a chance to rally, though. They went on a long drive that got all the way down to the five-yard line, but Bethel Park held firm and a pass went incomplete to turn the ball over on downs.

From there, Bethel Park had the ball and control of the game heading into the fourth quarter. Bethel killed some clock, but Peters bounced back with a touchdown drive that ended with Sam Miler hitting Carter Shanafelt, who also had a first-half interception. The duo linked up on the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 24-8, but they were running out of time to tie.

That is when Bethel shut the comeback down. Volpatti ripped off a big run, then Petras gained 20 on a jet sweep. From there, Volpatti finished the ground assault by housing a 33-yard run that made the game 31-8 late in the fourth. There was not enough for Peters to mount a comeback, and the game ended with a scoop and score from Gavin Maul that made it 38-8, which was the final tally.

Bethel Park will put their win streak to the test against a hot Moon Area Football team. Peters will look to end their four-game losing streak next week when they host West Allegheny.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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