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Beth-Center gets revenge, downs Frazier

| Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 10:57 p.m.
Christine Pocratsky | for the Tribune-Review
Frazier's Ethan Weiser (left) tries to avoid a tackle by Beth-Center's Tommy Strauss on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, in Perryopolis.
Christine Pocratsky | For the Tribune-Review
Frazier's Ethan Weiser (10) tackles Beth-Center's Jason Stay on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, in Perryopolis.
Christine Pocratsky | for the Tribune-Review
Beth-Center's Tommy Strauss (85) tackles Frazier's Nicholas Smalich on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, in Perryopolis.
Frazier's Nicholas Smalich (14) gains yardage against Avella's Walter Kopko during Friday nights game at Frazier.

Frazier was hoping history would repeat itself when it met undefeated Beth-Center.

After knocking off the Bulldogs by seven points at its stadium last year, it made sure Frazier wasn't going to do the same at Commodore Stadium.

Beth-Center staked a claim to the Tri-County South Conference title and moved to 7-0 overall and in conference play Friday with a 39-28 victory.

The Commodores jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind quarterback Charlie Manack, who found Nathan Zurich for a 44-yard touchdown and later hit Dakota Hixson for an 11-yard score in the first seven minutes.

“I don't really know what happened; our foot kind of went off the gas,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said.

Beth-Center answered with 3:25 left in the first when Anthony Welsh raced in from 10 yards to make it 14-7. After holding Frazier on a fourth-and-13 from the Bulldogs' 26-yard line, Beth-Center marched 78 yards in 15 plays over the next seven minutes. The drive was capped by Jason Stay's 1-yard touchdown run.

“We knew we had to run it effectively because we had to keep their offense off the field,” Bulldogs coach Ed Woods said. “Manack is dangerous when he's on the field, so we wanted to keep them on the sidelines.”

The Commodores (5-2, 5-2) aided the Bulldogs with a bad snap on a punt, which traveled out of the end zone for a safety.

Frazier's kick coverage allowed Beth-Center's Nico Brown to return the ensuing free kick 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs' a 23-14 halftime lead.

Brown, whose grandfather died Thursday, returned the opening kickoff of the second half 86 yards for a touchdown.

“We knew there was some extra emotion out there for Nico,” Woods said. “The whole team wanted to play with a little extra tonight.”

Manack and the Commodores bounced back when he hooked up with Hixson again, this time from 26 yards out. The Commodores' defense responded with a stand on their 3-yard line, holding the Bulldogs on fourth down. But after they took over, Manack was sacked for another safety.

Beth-Center responded with a 54-yard, eight-play drive that ended with Welsh bursting in for a 3-yard touchdown with 8:31 left in the game.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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