Bethel Park might be going to no-huddle offense, but toughness remains

Friday, August 16, 2019 | 3:49 PM

There won’t be a fullback in the backfield, the tight end is optional and running backs might play wide receiver, but Bethel Park’s offense isn’t completely new.

“To the lay person, it will look a lot different,” first-year coach Brian Delallo said. “It’s no huddle. We’re in more spread sets. … That part is different. But if you know scheme and you watch, you’ll see the power, the counter, the iso, the outside zone that were kind of hallmarks of the Jeff Metheny era.”

“Schematically we’re pretty similar, we just kind of put a different package on it.”

Delallo was promoted in March to replace Metheny, who stepped down after 25 seasons. The Black Hawks traditionally featured a power-running offense, and Delallo said he wants to maintain that toughness.

But this overhaul should fit well with the team’s abundance of skill-position talent, he said.

“This year there’s a lot more variety,” said senior quarterback Anthony Chiccitt, a third-year starter. “It’s the same stuff, just different.”

Senior running backs Sean McGowan and Jehvonn Lewis also return, but each could have a somewhat different role this season. The emergence this summer of sophomore tailback Troy Volpatti gave the offense some added flexibility.

With Volpatti in the backfield, McGowan and Lewis will shift to wideout or slot receiver at times.

“(Volpatti) is a newcomer people will notice immediately,” Delallo said. “Him at tailback allows us to move Jehvonn and Sean around. The bulk of our offense will come from those guys.”

McGowan rushed for 794 yards on 113 carries last season. He also caught a team-high 15 passes for 247 yards. Lewis had 605 rushing yards on 74 carries.

Both McGowan and Lewis scored 11 touchdowns.

“The hard thing is there’s one football and a lot of guys to spread it around to,” Delallo said with a laugh. “Keeping guys happy with practice reps and on game night might be a difficult thing.”

Delallo, a former offensive coordinator at Montour, borrowed elements from those Spartans teams. He was there when Montour reached the WPIAL finals in 2017.

“There are a lot of these kids that remind me of that team,” Delallo said. “I even sent these guys cutups of the old Montour offense. I told Jehvonn to watch Brandon Lipford’s highlight tape. That’s you.”

Bethel Park also returns three of the five starting offensive linemen from last season. Coming back are center A.J. Dudowski, right guard Brandon Cole and right tackle Nate Currie. All three are seniors.

“They’re really the stability on our offense,” Delallo said. “Those guys have played a ton of football. All three of them are all-conference caliber players. Keeping them healthy is going to be a big part of our success.”

Austin Cortopassi (6-5, 230) steps in a left tackle.

Cole, Currie and Dudowski also will anchor the defensive front ahead of senior inside linebacker Tyler Thimons, who’s a returning starter. In the secondary, the team brings back four players who started games at cornerback and five who started at safety.

Bethel Park went 6-4 overall last season, 5-2 in the Allegheny Eight and reached the first round of the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs.

“We’ve always had big expectations (for this year),” Chiccitt said. “Our senior class has always been said to be one of the best.”


Coach: Brian DeLallo

2018 record: 6-4, 5-2

All-time record: 456-375-31

Date, Opponent, Time

8.30, at Woodland Hills*, 7

9.6, West Allegheny*, 7:30

9.13, at Shaler, 7

9.20, at Central Catholic+, 7

9.27, Moon*, 7:30

10.4, Chartiers Valley*, 7:30

10.11, at Baldwin*, 7

10.18, Peters Township*, 7:30

10.25, at Upper St. Clair*, 7:30

*Class 5A Allegheny 8 Conference game

+At Wolvarena

Statistical leaders

Passing: Anthony Chiccitt

59-117, 951 yards, 5 TDs

Receiving: Sean McGowan

15-247 yards

Rushing: Luke Surunis*

126-755 yards, 11 TDs


Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .


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