Converted tailback Tatrn stars in debut at QB in Burrell victory

Saturday, August 26, 2017 | 12:15 AM

Burrell welcomed home an old quarterback named Seth on Friday night, and a first-year signal-caller by the same name announced his arrival.

Senior Seth Tatrn, a transplanted tailback, made his first start at quarterback count, accounting for five touchdowns as Burrell beat Springdale, 39-12, in a Week Zero nonconference game at Buccaneer Stadium.

“It felt pretty good to get that first one under my belt, but I can't let that affect anything else,” Tatrn said. “I have the whole season ahead of me. It's definitely a lot different, but I played quarterback before back in eighth grade, so it's the same stuff.”

Tatrn passed for 238 yards and four touchdowns and added another score on the ground.

At times, he did it with flare, such as on a 2-yard jump pass touchdown to Lukas Kastelic right before halftime. More than that, he was efficient, leading the Bucs (1-0) to six scoring drives in the final three quarters.

“I thought Seth played a great game,” Burrell coach Dave Bellinotti said. “I thought our offensive line did a great job. We've got a lot of things we need to work on, but for a Week (Zero), with the rivalry and what was going on around the game, I'm very pleased.”

Springdale was playing its first game under new coach Seth Napierkowski, a former three-year starter and all-conference quarterback for Burrell.

But Tatrn, replacing three-year starter Max Garda and coming back after missing time last season with an injury, spoiled his predecessor's homecoming.

“At the end of the day, it's about paying attention to details, both offensively and defensively, for the players and coaches,” Napierkowski said. “We got a lesson in how to play football, and we're going to learn from this and get better. I saw a couple good things, but there were way more things that we need to correct.”

Tatrn spread completions to five receivers. Seth Fischbauch led the way with six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown, Alex Bellinotti added four catches for 78 yards and two scores and Dom Zottola had three catches for 88 yards.

Junior Logan Bitar added 138 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Bucs, who are looking to bounce back from a 3-7 season.

“We have a lot of talent on the field, and we've just got to keep coming,” Tatrn said.

Springdale, which lost several significant contributors from its WPIAL Class A quarterfinal team, finished with 161 total yards. Quarterback Josh Jones threw for 59 yards, and Scott Landis rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but the period ended with Burrell driving inside Springdale's 10-yard line. Two plays into the second, Tatrn found Fischbach for a 5-yard touchdown on fourth down.

Another fourth-down completion helped Burrell widen its lead on the next possession, as a 42-yard catch-and-run from Tatrn to Zottola put the Bucs deep inside Springdale territory again. Tatrn fumbled a goal-line snap but recovered and pushed his way into the end zone for a 1-yard score and a 12-0 advantage.

“At first, everybody gets a little beginning-of-the-game jitters, but we came in here, kept calm, kept our composure and kept competing,” Tatrn said.

Springdale answered by driving 65 yards for its first score. Josh Jones' 33-yard completion to Devin Wilks got the Dynamos moving, and Scott Landis' hard running put them in scoring range. Josh Harmon took a sweep 5 yards for the touchdown, extending the ball over the goal line with his outstretched right arm as he was tackled.

But Burrell scored key touchdowns right before and after halftime. For the first, Tatrn threw a jump pass to Kastelic for a 2-yard score with 3.4 seconds left in the first half. The second, which came after Springdale muffed the second-half kickoff, came on a 2-yard strike to Bellinotti.

“That was the turning point of the game right there,” Napierkowski said. “If we can go into halftime down 12-6 … who knows what happens? But as it was, it didn't happen, and we just have to live with the consequences of our mistakes.”

Springdale cut it to 25-12 on Landis' 2-yard run, but Bellinotti's 64-yard catch-and-run score and Bitar's 11-yard touchdown run put it away.

“We've got to learn from our mistakes, try not to make the same mistakes twice and above and beyond that, it's all about want-to,” Napierkowski said.

Said Dave Bellinotti: “As a coaching staff, we felt very good going into this week because of the practices we've had. These kids, every time we've challenged them, they've responded. That's all you can really ask. We left them with the theme of do your best, try your hardest, do your job.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, or via Twitter .

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