Bethel Park starts fast in win over McKeesport
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 11:06 p.m.
McKeesport experienced two of its most excruciating losses in the waning moments of its past two playoff games against Bethel Park.
The Tigers didn't have to worry about that in Friday's WPIAL Class AAAA first-round matchup between the eighth and ninth seeds at Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium.
Bethel Park took care of the outcome right away.
The Black Hawks scored touchdowns on four of their first five drives, held McKeesport's offense in check and went on for a 31-20 victory.
Bethel Park (7-3) will take on top-seeded and undefeated North Allegheny (10-0) — a 42-14 winner over Altoona — in the quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined.
“The kids really deserve this,” Bethel Park coach Jeff Metheny said. “They have worked hard. After we lost to Woodland Hills, we really rode them and they responded. Athletics are all about how you respond.”
It was the fifth consecutive playoff loss for McKeesport (5-5) and fourth consecutive year the Tigers were eliminated in the first round — three of which came under the direction of Jim Ward.
“We have played great football the last six weeks, and to come out here and not play like we were capable stings a lot,” Ward said.
Freshman quarterback Levi Metheny had a lot to do with that.
He threw for 138 yards, rushed for 73 more and added touchdowns of 1 and 45 yards. Zach Enick rushed 18 times for 145 yards, and John Mascaro added two short touchdown runs.
McKeesport got 188 yards passing for Eddie Stockett, but the Tigers were held to 76 yards rushing.
“Our defense played extremely well,” Jeff Metheny said. “We came ready to play. Our kids played awful well early. We ran the ball well and had some big, explosive plays, and that is something we haven't had.”
Bethel Park limited McKeesport to 77 yards in the decisive first half.
“They are a much bigger football team than us,” Ward said. “One of the things I was concerned about was their size. And what we were worried about is what really hurt us in the first half.”
Bethel Park pushed around the smaller McKeesport defense, and Enick helped that out by breaking numerous tackles that resulted in big plays.
“We missed a lot of tackles,” Ward said. “We tackled so well the past six or seven weeks that it was disappointing to see.”
Bethel Park wasted no time setting the tone for the game.
The Black Hawks marched 66 yards on its opening drive to take a quick 7-0 lead. Enick ripped off a 33-yard run that set up Mascaro's 5-yard run four minutes into the game.
Bethel Park got on the board again early in the second quarter on yet another tackle-breaking, 29-yard run by Enick. Six plays later, Metheny snuck in from 1 yard on a third down to extend Bethel Park's lead to 14-0.
The Black Hawks didn't let up.
Metheny ran 45 yards for a touchdown following a Stockett fumble to make it 21-0. Bethel Park went up, 28-0, right before the half when a Metheny-to-Enick 51-yard screen pass to the 1-yard line set up Mascaro's second touchdown.
“Pretty much most of our wins were when we were behind at the half,” Ward said. “We have started slow, but you can't do that in the playoffs, and especially against a team like Bethel Park.”
McKeesport added a Stockett touchdown run to open the second half before adding two late scores — a Hodari Christian 1-yard run and a Kevin Allen 5-yard reception from Stockett.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gateway football to join AAA ranks
- South Fayette hope for better result than 2010 PIAA Class AA final
- Central Catholic looks for knock out against District 3 champion in PIAA semifinals
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals
- Friday’s PIAA semifinal football games postponed
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic sees a little of itself in Old Forge