NORTH STRABANE, Pa. — In a rain-soaked WPIAL Class-5A semifinal matchup on Upper St. Clair imposed their will in the running game and allowed only first down in the second half as they advanced to the Class-5A WPIAL Championship as they defeated Bethel Park 17-7 on Friday night as they avenged their 27-14 loss to Bethel Park from last month.
Both teams were trying to establish themselves on the ground as the first sixteen plays of the games were called running lays but both teams held serve on the running game in the first quarter and the quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
Upper St. Clair stuck first when Jamaal Brown scored the first touchdown of the game on a 27-yard run on a double-reverse at the beginning of the second quarter.
Bethel Park answered back when Tanner Pfeuffer scored on a one-yard run on a drive that took seventeen plays, 70-yards, and took eight minutes off the clock. This drive was halted by Pfeuffer putting the ball into the hands of an Upper St. Clair defender on two occasions.
The game was tied at seven at halftime.
In the first half, Upper St. Clair rushed for 97 compared to 90 yards rushing for Bethel Park.
Upper St. Clair forced a Bethel Park punt and on the second play of their first drive of the second half Ethan Hellman with a 36-yard pass to Cody Marn to put the Panthers up 14-7.
Bethel Park failed to capitalize on a Hellman interception by going three and out in the third quarter.
Upper St. Clair led Bethel Park 14-7 at the end of the third quarter.
On a drive that overlapped the third and fourth quarters, Upper St. Clair went on a drive that bled eight minutes off the clock and got the ball to the two-yard line. Bennett Henderson Kicked a 22-yard field goal to put Upper St. Clair up 17-7. On the drive, Brown accounted for 80 rushing yards.
Upper St. Clair will go on to play in the WPIAL Class-5A Championship game next Saturday at Norwin High School.