Bentworth caps season with win at Riverview
In a day when both teams were plagued with soggy field conditions in the second half, three big first-half plays by Bentworth proved to be the difference.
Sophomore Shawn Dziak threw touchdown passes of 75, 56 and 35 yards as the Bearcats downed Riverview, 21-6, in a nonconference game in Oakmont.
It was the season finale for both teams as Bentworth ended 4-6, and Riverview finished 2-7.
Dziak threw for 257 yards, giving him 1,483 yards this season. His favorite target, senior Ben Peternel, who opened the weekend sixth in WPIAL receiving, capped his career with four catches for 118 yards.
Peternel had 49 catches for 942 yards this season.
“It's always nice to get a win,” said Bearcats coach Ron Skiles. “Our season was a little bit long. We played a lot of young players, a lot of mistakes out there.”
Riverview had the lead briefly.
A muffed punt gave the Raiders possession at the Bentworth 49-yard line, and Riverview drove in from there, with Devon Binz scoring on a 5-yard run. The 2-point conversion pass attempt failed, and the Raiders held a 6-0 lead with 4 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
But the lead would last a mere 60 seconds as Dziak hooked up with Peternel on a 75-yard pass play on third-and-5.
Riordan Tush caught second-quarter passes of 56 and 35 yards to give the Bearcats a 21-6 halftime lead.
The final scoring pass came with just 23 seconds left in the second quarter.
“We throw the ball a lot,” Skiles said. “Even though he's a sophomore, he's got a lot of repetitions in terms of practice and so forth.”
As a chilling rain came down harder in the second half at Riverside Park, both teams had offensive problems.
“We came out and started off well. We took the lead,” Raiders coach Matt Bonislawski said. “They had a couple big plays that hurt, then it started raining, and it made for a stalemate in the second half. It's hard to do anything out there when it was slippery and wet.”
Riverview only mustered 59 yards on the day, failing to take advantage of six Bentworth turnovers. Riverview had five turnovers.
The Raiders had just 18 players dressed because of a combination of injuries and illnesses.
“We've had two years in a row of injuries to key players,” Bonislawski said. “Having multiple injuries and low numbers to begin with, it's tough but it is what it is. We can't make excuses.”
Riverview loses just two seniors — Christian Tamburro and Bill Conley. If turnout numbers improve, the Raiders could improve.
Meanwhile, Skiles believes Bentworth, a member of the Class 2A Century Conference the last two seasons, is in line to drop to Class A with the upcoming PIAA reclassification.
George Guido is a freelance writer.