When looking back on the 2019 football season, the Peters Township Indians will reflect on how special their 30-7 victory against Bethel Park Oct. 18 was and not just because it put the team in a position to clinch its second straight Allegheny Conference championship this Friday at Baldwin (4-2, 5-4).
It’s because the Indians (5-1, 8-1) dominated the Hawks (4-2, 5-3) in every aspect of the game with significant contributions from players who will likely go down in Peters Township history.
“If we didn’t have those guys, we wouldn’t be that special,” Indians head coach T.J. Plack said. “We just have some guys who are lightning with the ball in their hands.”
Ryan Magiske dominated the rushing attack, rambling for 113 yards and two scores that staked the Indians to a 14-0 lead. The senior rushed for a five-yard touchdown and hauled in an 18-yard scoring strike from Logan Pfeuffer, who finished with 62 yards passing.
Josh Casilli broke the Hawks. Thirteen seconds after BP had slashed the lead in half on Anthony Chiccitt’s one-yard touchdown plunge, the Penn recruit returned the kickoff 90 yards to widen PT’s margin to 21-7.
Immediately after intermission, PT’s defense flexed its muscles, picking up a safety when the Hawks were flagged for holding in the end zone. Then Casilli rushed for his second score of the game.
Andrew Massucci converted all four extra points. Donovan McMillon blocked a punt that helped set up PT’s initial score and Adrian Williams had an interception.
“Before the game, I told a television reporter or radio announcer that the three keys to the game for us would be: continue to play relentless defense, consistently move the ball on offense, win special teams. We did all three of those for four quarters,” Plack said.
For two straight seasons, Plack noted the Indians have been strong defensively. This season, they have allowed only 80 points. Against the Hawks, the PT defense surrendered just 137 total yards of offense, 96 coming through the air.
“Defense played lights out,” Plack said. “We have been phenomenal. Our guys do things a little unorthodox.”
Plack said Peters Township uses five defensive backs that play like linebackers.
“If you take a look at stats, it’s hard for teams to run on us,” he said. “When they have to throw the ball, we have guys that can cover. We are real fortunate.”
The Indians are also fortunate to be in a position to clinch a consecutive conference championship considering the competitiveness of the league.
“At the beginning of the year, I told (Baldwin head coach Loran Cooley) ‘we are going to meet you for the title at the end of the season.’ I did not lie to that man,” Plack told his players following the game. “So Friday, let’s go win the conference championship.”
Bethel Park goes into the Panthers Den to face rival Upper St. Clair (4-2, 6-3) in an attempt to stop a two-game slide. Before falling to the Indians, the Hawks dropped a double-overtime decision to the Highlanders.
USC dominates CV
Quarterback Ethan Dahlem guided the Panthers to a 51-18 victory against Chartiers Valley (0-6, 2-7).
The junior completed 4 of 5 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. He also led the rushing attack with 97 yards.
Jaden Keating added 89 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Ethan Hiester had 71 yards on nine carriers and a score and Jalen Mortimer gained all of his 67 yards on a touchdown run.
David Pantelis caught a 33-yard scoring strike and finished with four receptions for 74 yards. Ryan Junko hauled in a four-yard touchdown catch from Heath Erdos, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 39 yards.
Brandon Shearer led the defense with eight solo and two assisted tackles.
For the Colts, who close out the season hosting Woodland Hills Oct. 25, Jack Rdzanowksi kicked a 28-yard field goal, Giffin Beattie tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Sean Banas and Gavin Owens connected with Lamont Payne for a 23-yard score.
Lebo thumps NorwinMt. Lebanon crushed Norwin, 45-16, to improve to 4-2 in the Quad County Conference and 5-3 overall. The Blue Devils close out league play hosting Central Catholic (6-1, 8-1) before commencing playoff action.
Joey Daniels led the passing attack, completing 7 of 13 passes for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Sam Lasota (53 yards) and Evan Jones (30 yards).
Mason Ventrone and Visawn Pennix dominated the ground game, rushing for 146 and 110 yards, respectively. Each rushed for short scores of one and four yards.
Drew Vaughn rambled for a pair of touchdowns, measuring 16 and nine yards.
Casey Sorsdal converted all six of his extra-point attempts as well as a 26-yard field goal.
Sam Rolfsen led Lebo with seven solo and two assisted tackles. He recorded one of Lebo’s four sacks and had two tackles for losses. Jones, J.B. Nelson and Ryan Martin had the other sacks. Jones and Nelson also had two tackles for loss.
SF tackles Montour
After routing Ambridge, 61-6, South Fayette began preparing for its Northwest Eight Conference finale against Montour Oct. 25.
Against the Bridgers, Christian Brandi and Drew Franklin each rushed for two touchdowns, while Shay Aitken and Zack Blank also reached the end zone for scores.
Nolan Lutz returned an interception for a 32-yard touchdown and also hooked up with Joey Audia for a 13-yard scoring strike. Naman Alamada also tossed a touchdown of seven yards to Ryan McGuire.