Joey Moeller’s OT field goal against Bethel Park will go down in Baldwin football lore

Friday, October 18, 2019 | 5:33 PM

It is a kick that long will be remembered in Baldwin football history.

On Oct. 11, Joey Moeller, a junior placekicker, booted a 22-yard field goal in the second overtime to lift Baldwin to a 31-28 conference win over visiting Bethel Park.

“(Moeller) did an amazing job,” coach Loran Cooley said. “This is his first year playing. He came to me in the spring and said he was interested in kicking. I’m glad he did.”

Baldwin sophomore center Evan Lavelle snapped to junior quarterback Colton Brain. After Brain calmly set the ball down on the stadium turf, Moeller split the uprights to the delight of the home-field crowd.

“I knew all I had to do was my job and make good contact with the ball,” Moeller said. “Hearing the crowd cheer my name gave the situation more pressure than I’d ever experienced before. My nerves were very high before the attempt but would soon go away after the ball went through the uprights.

“Going into the game, we had a competitive mindset due to them being one of our biggest rivals and knowing we had not beat them in many years. I feel like we played a solid game. Our team has been very competitive in all our games, showing that Baldwin is now a team to be reckoned with.”

The Highlanders moved to 4-2 in the Allegheny 8 Conference (5-3 overall) and clinched a WPIAL Class 5A playoff berth thanks to Moeller’s clutch field goal.

“I thought this was a tremendous win for our program and our community,” Cooley said. “I thought our kids fought hard. We are learning how to compete through adverse situations.”

A 15-yard touchdown toss from senior QB Mason Stahl to senior receiver Naseer Penn on a third down in the first OT kept Baldwin in contention for the win.

“We saw something in their defense that we liked,” Cooley said. “We had great protection from our offensive line. Mason made a great throw, and Naseer made a great catch.”

Stahl boosted his season passing totals to 799 yards and seven touchdowns, hitting on 55 of 114 passes. Senior running back Angelo Priore (777) and Stahl (622) combined for 1,399 yards on the ground through eight games.

A pair of linebackers, junior Connor Lavelle and senior Zach Pettit, paced the Highlanders defensively.

Moeller, meanwhile, resumed his double duties in a full athletic schedule this fall. He mans a forward position on the Baldwin boys soccer team, which qualified for the WPIAL playoffs.

“Starting the year knowing I would be playing both sports, it was hard to imagine how time-consuming it would be,” Moeller said. “The season has gone by quickly. Just knowing I have so little time left in high school makes the experience so much more worth it.

“In the end, I am glad with my decision to play both (sports), which has led to great experiences and many friendships.”


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