DORMONT, Pa. – Bethel Park (2-0) knocked off defending PIAA Class 6A champions Mount Lebanon, 27-24, in overtime on Friday night. The Blue Devils are now 0-2 on the season.
Dayton recruit Austin Caye had a standout performance for the Blackhawks, compiling 151 yards rushing on 36 carries (4.1 average) and three touchdowns. Delaware commit Gavin Moul also had a great game at inside linebacker, as he was a handful for Mount Lebanon’s offensive line to block throughout the night.
Mount Lebanon had a promising opening drive, but it was hindered after a big tackle for loss by Moul and an errant snap that put the Blue Devils in a third-and-long situation. David Shield’s pass attempt on third down fell incomplete, which set up a 38-yard field goal attempt by Bernard McAuley that went wide left.
On the third play of the drive, William Hartung picked off Bethel Park’s quarterback Tanner Pfeuffer and returned it to the Blackhawks’ 10-yard line. A few plays later, Grayson Dee plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown to put Mount Lebanon up 7-0.
Midway through the second quarter, Nathan Sala broke off a 75-yard touchdown to give Mount Lebanon a 14-0 advantage. Three plays prior, Bethel Park turned the ball over on downs after Austin Caye got stuffed on fourth-and-2 from Mount Lebanon’s 20-yard line.
After giving up a long touchdown run, Bethel Park marched down the field and got on the scoreboard after a 5-yard touchdown run by Caye to cut Mount Lebanon’s lead to 14-7 with 3:10 remaining in the first half.
Bethel Park got a quick defensive stop and was set up with great field position at Mount Lebanon’s 45-yard line following a punt. The Blackhawks failed to capitalize, however, and ended up punting. Mount Lebanon went into halftime with a 14-7 lead after taking a knee on their 15-yard line.
On Bethel Park’s opening drive of the second half, Mount Lebanon’s Cole Markel picked off Pfeuffer’s ill-advised pass to set the Blue Devils up at the Blackhawks’ 38-yard line. Mount Lebanon gave the ball back a few plays later, as Ryan Petras picked off Shields and returned it to Mount Lebanon’s 48-yard line. Pfeuffer then completed a 33-yard pass to Dinari Clacks, who dove for the reception. Caye capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14 with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Mount Lebanon got into Bethel Park territory and went for it on fourth down, but cornerback Jack Reilly came up with a huge pass breakup on a deep pass from Shields to Garrett Pavlick. The Blackhawks took over at their 48-yard line.