Ball-hawking secondary leads Monessen to rout of Bentworth

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Friday, September 27, 2019 | 10:14 PM


Monessen’s defense compiled six takeaways and the offense rode the arm and legs of quarterback Isaiah Beltram on the way to a 60-3 victory over Bentworth on Friday night in Tri-County South Conference.

The Greyhounds (2-4, 2-2) moved to third place in the conference with three conference games left.

“Last week we saw that we had some firepower against a good team in West Greene,” Monessen coach Mike Blainfield said. “Even though it was a loss, we gained a lot of confidence. We are very young and every week we are learning how to win. That game carried into tonight’s performance.”

Beltram went 7 for 16 for 157 passing yards, ran for 64 yards and accounted for five touchdowns.

“Isaiah is just a dynamic player,” Blainfield said. “He is tough to tackle in space and is a very diverse player, too. He can throw, run and catch the ball. When we give him the ball, usually good things happen for our offense.”

Monessen was also able to slow down the Bearcats (1-5, 1-3) on offense and collected four interceptions, two of which were returned for scores in the first half.

Monessen, which led West Greene at halftime last week before falling 49-24, started off fast and put up 16 points in the first quarter with a pair of touchdowns passes from Beltram to Marquell Smith (12) and Antwon Tucker (9).

Sandwiched between Beltram’s 20-yard rushing Td was a pair of defensive touchdowns. Jalen Brice secured a 12-yard interception return, followed by a 45-yard pick-6 from Carleton Jones.

“We always stress turnovers every week,” Blainfield said. “Our kids understood our zone, and we tried to bait their quarterback into some throws. We were very aggressive in the secondary tonight.”

Monessen capped off the scoring in the first half in the final seconds when Beltram found Darius Stevenson for a 63-yard scoring pass. The Greyhounds led 46-0 at halftime.

Beltram found Stevenson early in the third quarter for a 5-yard scoring toss, and Brice added a 1-yard TD run early in the fourth.

The Bearcats, who host Avella on Friday, avoided the shutout in the final minute with a 35-yard field goal by Trevor Richardson.

“We missed on some early passes, and we couldn’t execute,” Bentworth coach JJ Knabb said. “We wanted to spread them out and attack them vertically. We just missed on the passes. We didn’t play our best tonight. We have to regroup. There are some winnable games ahead and we have to come together as a team.”

Trent Cavanaugh totaled 101 yards of offense for Bentworth, and Owen Petrisek rushed for 40 yards. Shawn Dziak, who missed the second half due to an injury, surpassed 3,000 career passing yards after a 43-yard completion to Cavanaugh in the middle of the second quarter.

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