Troy Volpatti

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Troy Volpatti leads the rushing attack as Bethel Park enters the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs this week.

A 30-0 loss to Moon solidified one thing for the Bethel Park football team.

“After that game,” said BP head coach Brian DeLallo, “Moon is the team to beat.”

The Allegheny Six Conference champion Tigers are ranked first in the district and No. 3 in the state as the WPIAL Class 5A football playoffs commence.

Moon won its only WPIAL title in 1998.

BP, which won its only WPIAL championship in 2008, plans to bounce back from the Moon defeat. The Hawks hope to be contenders in this year’s playoffs.

“We are a resilient bunch,” DeLallo said. “We have come back from losses before. I am confident this team will regroup and be ready to go.”

When the Black Hawks take care of the football and avoid mistakes, they are prepared to compete against all teams in the playoffs.

The Black Hawks are led by Youngstown State recruit Max Blanc and tailback Troy Volpatti. Blanc has passed for more than 1,200 yards while Volpatti is closing in on the 1,000-yard rushing mark.

Against Moon, BP turned the ball over twice on kick returns. The Black Hawks also played poorly in third-down situations on both offense and defense. In fact, BP managed just 58 yards of total offense while the Tigers rolled up 304 yards rushing alone.

“We know we can play with anybody in 5A,” DeLallo said. “Our focus, as coaches and players, needs to be centered on continuing to improve and eliminating mistakes.”

DeLallo is not concerned about BP’s fortitude. The Hawks demonstrated plenty this season, especially in the lopsided loss to Moon.

“I felt like our kids played hard until the end. We didn’t quit, even when things got out of hand,” DeLallo said. “We can build on that.”

Peters Township, meanwhile, builds on its reputation. The Indians were two-time WPIAL runners-up the last two seasons.

The Indians solidified its hold on a playoff slot with a 30-7 win against West Allegheny. They needed a win Oct. 29 against South Fayette to seal the spot.

PT’s game against South Fayette did not end in time to be included in this edition.

PT is led by Sam Miller, Richie Woods and Jacob Macosko on offense.

Miller completed 15 of 26 passes for 156 yards an scores of 13 yards to Luke Petrarca and 28 yards to Macosko against West Allegheny.

Macosko pulled in seven receptions for 106 yards.

Woods rushed for 101 yards while Ethan Kirsch carried the pigskin across the goal line for two short touchdowns.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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