Bethel Park is off to its best start since 2008 when they played for the state championship, entering this week with a 5-1 record, outscoring their opponents 171-107.
They have been dominant on both sides of the ball. Leading the charge for the Blackhawks is fullback/linebacker Gavin Moul, a Delaware commit who has punished opponents with his bruising running style of offense and his hard-hitting tackling style on defense. Other contributors on offense are running back Austin Caye, and wide receiver Ryan Petras. Petras was used as a running back in Friday night’s win over Penn Hills in the place of an injured Caye. Ty Stewart, Dinari Clacks, Jack Rielly, Jason Nuttridge along with Caye and Moul on defense, held Penn Hills quarterback Julian Dugger in check on Friday night.
The Black hawks are led by fourth-year head coach Brian DeLallo, who has 18 returning starters from last season, where they finished 5-6, and lost in the first round of the WPIAL Playoffs to Woodland Hills after going 0-7 in the 2020 season.
On Friday, Bethel Park will take on the undefeated Upper St. Clair Panthers, who defeated them last year in the last game of the regular season 21-14. DeLallo spoke to PSN about the unique rivalry that they have with Upper St Clair, being on both sides of this rivalry and wanting to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss and having his best team at Bethel Park.
First, he spoke to PSN about his upcoming game against Upper St. Clair and how the rivalry is unique as coaches have played on both sides of the rivalry, and it is more of a community rivalry and their competitive spirit on both sides.
“I’ve been a part of it since 2002, I have been on this side and on the St. Clair side,” DeLallo said. “For a while there, St. Clair has had Bethel’s number, but in the past 15 years, it’s been even, very even it’s been a the-point game, a one-point game, a six-point game. Last year they came in and block our field goal and rank it back for a touchdown when we thought we were going to step into a field goal to win the game”
DeLallo spoke about wanting to atone for that loss because he and his team saw that as a lost opportunity to beat their rivals and how they have been waiting a year for Friday’s game, but he knows it will be a typical Bethel Park Upper St. Clair nip and tuck game.
“We been waiting a year for this,” DeLallo said. “it’s typical, it is always a close game. These are two communities that like playing each other, the kids know each other, the people in the community all know each other it’s a great rivalry.”
Friday’s matchup against Bethel Park a critical matchup for Bethel Park for the Black Hawks will be in a position to win the WPIAL this season. DeLallo spoke on that he has a special group, and this team holds a special place for him because the freshman class when he first became the coach of Bethel Park is now his senior class this season.
“In my four here this is our best squad. We’ve got great senior leadership and really coachable kids. There is not an attitude problem on the team, and you win if you have a great group of people and their talented athletes,” DeLallo said. “We had a talented group my first year, but this group is different. This is the first year that I had as a head coach for all four years, and they are kind of like my babies. They were my first group of freshmen, and they develop, grow and hang out with each other in school, and out of school. They don’t want to let each other down and they have a special bond.”
Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair shapes up to be the Game of the Week for WPIAL Class 5A.