Troy Volpatti

Troy Volpatti rushed 181 yards and scored three touchdowns in Bethel Park's 27-7 victory against South Fayette. He is the team's leading rusher with more than 700 yards through the first six weeks of the season.

Brian DeLallo knows why Moon is the talk of the WPIAL’s Class 5A football classification.

The Bethel Park football coach saw with his own eyes.

When the Tigers’ Oct. 10 game against Peters Township was suspended because of an electrical storm two plays into the second half, the contest was picked up the next day. The delay afforded the Black Hawks coaching staff the opportunity to scout their future opponent live.

BP visits Moon at 7 p.m. Oct. 22.

“Moon is ranked No. 1 for a reason,” DeLallo said. “They are a tough, physical team and (coach) Ryan Linn has done a great job of building the program.”

The Tigers center around Ben Bladel.

The 6-0, 225-pound lineman, is a four-year starter, two-year all-conference selection and first-team all-state performer for the Tigers. In Moon’s 29-26 win over the Indians, Bladel had three sacks, two blocked kicks, a forced fumble, touchdown and two-point conversion catch.

“Ben might be the best football player we have seen,” DeLallo said. “He is a beast.”

Blades is surrounded by plenty of other talent like Dylan Sleva, Tyler McGowan, Taite Beachy and Trent Fraley.

“In this conference, every week, you play a great team with dominant players, who are well-coached,” DeLallo said. “Moon is obviously no exception. It will be a huge challenge to go on the road and beat them. But that’s part of football — you embrace those kind of challenges.”

BP rose to the occasion recently for a 27-7 victory over South Fayette. The Oct. 10 game was called with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter after an hour-long weather delay because of lightnin.

Black Hawks running back Troy Volpatti excelled gaining 181 yards rushing and scoring three touchdowns against the Lions.

“It was a true team win,” he said. “We played well on offense, defense and special teams. We took care of the football, minimized penalties and didn’t give up the big plays.

“Our players also competed with the most emotion that I have seen from them to this point. Our level of desire and competition was extremely high from the opening kick.”

The Hawks defense held the Lions in check, limiting quarterback Landon Lutz to 154 yards passing. He was 16 of 28 with six passes going to Nate Deanes for 27 yards.

DeLallo said Joe Thimons, Anthony Celletti, Brayden Del Duca, Toby D’Andrea performed well on the defensive line, allowing linebackers Gavin Moul, Ty Stewart and Aidan Currie to make significant plays.

Jack Kirchner, Cody Geddes, Weston Konopka, Austin Caye, Dinari Clacks, Jack Reilly and Volpatti also made plays for the Black Hawks secondary.

Sam Sciullo, Toby D’Andrea, Logan Pettigrew, Brayden Del Duca and Jake Brown also led the way for the Black Hawks’ offensive line.

Additionally, Bethel Park’s tight ends Currie and Thimons, joined Moul at fullback to open gaps for Volpatti in the running game.

“Our offensive line continues to get better,” DeLallo said. “They also protect our quarterback well.”

Max Blanc completed key passes to Jack Kirchner, who scored BP’s other touchdown. Blanc has thrown for more than 1,000 yards.

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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