The Funding Zone

Upper St. Clair Stuns Bethel 17-7 in Slippery Semifinal Showdown (Gallery Included)

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| November 12, 2022


Upper St. Clair grinds out 17-7 WPIAL Semifinal win in revenge match.

The rain fell and fell at Canon Mac, but the precipitation from tropical storm nicole wasn’t the only thing falling on Friday night. For the Bethel Park Blackhawks, the other shoe dropped. The Blackhawks were stonewalled by a dominant Panthers defense in the second half, getting knocked out of the playoffs by the team they had beaten at home just four weeks before.

The Blackhawks biggest loss of the night came on the first drive of the game. After forcing a three and out from the Panthers, Bethel’s top performer, Austin Caye, would leave the game with a leg injury. He would not return.

The first quarter went scoreless, as both teams felt each other out in drives stalling at midfield. Upper St. Clair looked to build some momentum with a pass to Ty Lagoni flipped the field for the Panthers. With just over 10 minutes left in the half, Aidan Besselman scampered 27 yards to put the Panthers on the board first.

Hampered by the loss of their biggest star, the Blackhawks put together an impressive drive as a response in the second. Sucking up eight minutes of clock, Tanner Pfeuffer and Gavin Moul strung together a long drive that ended in the endzone and tied the game up at 7 going into the half.

In the second half, Upper St. Clair turned on the jets on both sides of the ball. After a quick defensive stop, Cody Marn made his moves. After a short pass to the outside, Marn faked out two Bethel defenders and outran the rest for a 64 yard score that put the Panthers on top.

In the early fourth, the Panthers would make their lead two scores with a Bennett Henderson field goal. Bethel had no answers on offense, and the Panthers coasted to a 17-7 semifinal win.

What’s Next: The Panthers will take Pine-Richland in the 5A WPIAL championship at Noon next Saturday.


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