Bethel Park passes test at Woodland Hills

Saturday, August 31, 2019 | 12:03 AM

When Brian Delallo took over as head coach for Jeff Metheny at Bethel Park, he realized he was going to be thrown into the fire immediately with a tough road test against Woodland Hills at the Wolvarena.

Delallo and the Black Hawks passed the test.

Behind a potent rushing attack, Bethel Park (1-0, 1-0) came back from a two-point halftime deficit to defeat Woodland Hills, 29-16, in Allegheny 8 Conference play on Friday night.

“To get a win here is special,” Delallo said. “It’s hard to win here. Any win here is big. It feels really good to be the first one with this group of kids.

“They are a special group of kids with 25 seniors. There was no other group I would’ve done it with. It was a blast.”

The Black Hawks were led by a dynamic duo in the backfield, senior running backs Jehvonn Lewis and Sean McGowan.

Lewis finished with 114 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown in the second quarter. McGowan, who got most of his yards from the wildcat formation, finished with 90 yards rushing on 15 carries.

As a team, the Black Hawks had 305 yards rushing on 49 carries.

“We have some really talented players on offense and there is only one football. (The Wild Hawk formation) is a way for those guys to get some touches so we have some balance on the offense and it’s not just Troy (Volpatti) out of our regular offense,” Delallo said.

With a 22-16 lead in the fourth quarter, the Black Hawks went on a drive that ate up almost eight minutes to ice the game on the road.

McGowan made several big plays on the drive, none bigger than when he ran for 8 yards to convert a fourth down to get inside the Wolverines’ 30-yard line with over four minutes remaining in the game.

The Black Hawks scored shortly thereafter on a 6-yard run by senior fullback Jack Evans with 1 minute, 33 seconds remaining in the game.

“Everyone in the stadium knows we aren’t throwing the ball. We are running the ball and they have to stop us,” Delallo said. “When you convert first downs and get it in the end zone to ice the game, that tells you a lot about your team. We’re pretty excited about the toughness of our group.”

Evans was the Black Hawk goal line back as he finished with three rushing touchdowns on seven carries for 31 yards.

On their opening drive, the Black Hawks drove down the field and took the early 7-0 lead after an Evans 2-yard run.

The Wolverines (0-2, 0-1) responded with their own touchdown when senior running back Antoine Meredith ran it in from a yard out to take an 8-7 lead after one quarter. On the drive, Woodland Hills converted a fake punt to get into Black Hawk territory.

The first half continued to be back and forth as Bethel Park retook the lead, 14-8, after a 36-yard run by Lewis.

Four minutes later in the second, the Wolverines marched 64 yards to take a 16-14 lead after a 7-yard run by senior running back William Clark.

The Wolverines looked to have all the momentum headlining into halftime, especially after blocking a Black Hawk field in the final seconds. However, Woodland Hills wouldn’t see the end zone the rest of the night.

“I think both teams played a hard fought game. I think for the most part, both teams played very well in the first half but we ran out of gas in the second half,” Woodland Hills coach Tim Bostard said.

On the first drive of the second half, the Wolverines lost senior quarterback Rodney Stubbs for the rest of the night. Stubbs will enter concussion protocol and will be re-evaluated this week.

Senior Jeffrey Williams took over for Stubbs but didn’t fare well against the Black Hawks defense, which held the Wolverines to 142 yards of total offense.

“Bethel did a good job of switching up their defense and bringing some blitzes in the second half to keep us off guard. I give credit to coach,” Bostard said.

Evans scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard run to give the Black Hawks a 22-16 lead in the third quarter.

Woodland Hills lost, 44-20 last week to Calvert Hall, Md., but will look to get in the win column against 2-0 Peters Township next week at home. Bethel Park will have its home-opener against 1-0 West Allegheny.

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