Devin Beattie’s 6-TD game leads Burrell past Imani Christian

Friday, September 30, 2022 | 10:55 PM

Burrell improved to 5-1 Friday by defeating Imani Christian, 41-30, at UPMC Graham Field.

The key to success for the Bucs was running the football, and they ran the option on all but one play. They finished with 386 yards of total offense, all on the ground.

Devin Beattie led the charge, punching in six touchdowns while rushing for 298 yards on 33 carries. Beattie’s six touchdowns tied Burrell’s school record, set by Cole Bush in 2012.

“Devin Beattie was an animal today,” Burrell coach Shawn Liotta said. “I told him that he got the Al Bundy game plus one. He was from Polk High, had five touchdowns. Now Burrell has six. He had the six-pack.”

Beattie attributes his success to Burrell’s blocking.

“Blocking was perfect,” Beattie said. “I had holes all night. It’s all you can ask for.”

Beattie ran for more than 600 yards in five games heading into the contest. His success only continued as the Bucs got things going early. On their first possession, Beattie ran 65 yards for a touchdown. Ryan Croushore made the extra point.

The Saints responded quickly when freshman David Davis ran 30 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, keeping the Buccaneers on top, 7-6.

Beattie struck again, this time on a 52-yard touchdown run. A Croushore extra point made it 14-6.

Imani Christian’s offense scored back-to-back touchdowns to start the second quarter.

Davis notched another touchdown on a 1-yard run. After a turnover on downs for Burrell, the Saints found the end zone when Dayshaun Burnett hit Isaiah Arrington on a 36-yard pass, making it 18-14.

Burrell mustered more points on the ground when Beattie ran 35 yards for a touchdown. The Bucs controlled the rest of the quarter and scored another touchdown on another Beattie run for 4 yards. Burrell led 27-18 at the half.

The Bucs received to begin the second half and had a nearly eight-minute drive that resulted in Beattie’s fifth touchdown run. Burrell then ran a play-action pass on the two-point conversion and Chase Fenner connected with Beattie, making it 35-18 after 21 unanswered points.

Imani Christian’s Chevon Allen then had a 78-yard kick return to the 2-yard line. After a holding penalty, Burnett found Allen for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The conversion failed, making it 35-24 Burrell.

After turning the ball over on downs on their previous possession, the Bucs extended their lead on a 4-yard touchdown run for Beattie. This was shortly after Imani Christian turned it over on downs in their own territory late in the fourth quarter. After missing the conversion, Burrell led 41-24.

The Saints weren’t finished as Burnett found Arrington for a 71-yard pass that put them at the Burrell 10-yard line. Davis tallied his third touchdown of the game, running it for 10 yards.

Burrell recovered the onside kick and ran the clock out.

Imani Christian coach LaRoi Johnson has a young team, but he was glad to see the team’s effort and ability to hit big plays.

“I’m proud about how we played,” Johnson said. “We’re a young team, and we’re still building every single day. It’s just about getting better every single game and that’s what we’re doing. Just came a little short today, but I’m proud about our effort.”

“Our offensive line, our tight ends all just blocked their butts off, just physical football,” Liotta said. “They know we’re running the football, and there’s no mistake about it. We threw one pass tonight. We know what we’re doing, and they know what we’re doing, and they have to stop it. Our kids are physical, and they get off the football and the backs run hard. If we’re doing that, we’re going to be a tough team to beat for anybody.”

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