Central Catholic continued upon its dominant start to the season, as the Vikings cruised past Bethel Park 62-46 on Friday night. The Vikings scored 62 points in the first half alone. The Black Hawks mounted a second-half comeback after Central Catholic took out its starters, but the Vikings’ early lead was just too much to overcome.
Central Catholic quarterback and SFU recruit Payton Wehner put on a clinic for the Vikings. The senior signal caller passed for five touchdowns and added two more on his feet.
Central Catholic wasted little time making a statement, as Vikings cornerback and Akron recruit Xxavier Thomas took the opening kickoff for the house to put his team up by six. The Vikings then added to their early lead, capitalizing on a two-point conversion to earn the eight-point lead.
On their very next drive, the Vikings utilized short rushes to push downfield. Wehner even got in on the action, ripping off a solid run to help Central Catholic move within striking distance. Central Catholic wide receiver Jacob Sassic finally found the endzone to put the Vikings up 14-0. The Vikings once again opted to go for a two-point conversion, adding two more points to their growing lead.
With an already dominant lead, the Vikings showed little sign of slowing down. Midway through the first quarter, Wehner connected with Vikings’ wide receiver Vernon Settlers to add to Central Catholic’s growing lead.
But the Black Hawks persisted. Bethel Park finally found an answer to Central Catholic’s dominant start with just over six minutes to go in the first quarter, wide receiver Ryan Petras found the back of the endzone to give the Black Hawks life and reduce the Vikings’ lead by six.
The Vikings responded to Bethel Park’s touchdown with two touchdowns of their own, as Wehner cruised into the endzone for a touchdown rush. Wehner then added another touchdown to his night, as he connected with Cole Sullivan for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Bethel Park still put up a fight, however, as the team fought downfield to reduce the Viking lead by six.
But the Vikings continued fighting as well. With nine minutes remaining in the first half, Wehner connected with Penn State-committed wide receiver Peter Gonzalez for a short touchdown pass. Gonzalez’s efforts gave the Vikings a 42-12 lead with under nine minutes to go in the first half.
Wehner added to his already impressive performance by connecting with Settlers for another touchdown pass, adding seven more to the Vikings’ 49-12 lead. Then, the SFU recruit added another short rushing touchdown to his night.
By the end of the half, the Vikings led 62-20.
Bethel Park opened up the second half with a valiant comeback effort, scoring four touchdowns on their first four drives out of the locker room.
But the Vikings’ halftime lead was just too much to overcome for the Black Hawks. Mercy rule went into effect, running down the clock and allowing Central Catholic to secure the 62-46 win.
Central Catholic will look to improve on its dominant start next week against Mt. Lebanon. Meanwhile, Bethel Park will try to rebound against Canon-McMillian.