Mt. Lebanon delivers complete performance, shuts out Bethel Park

Friday, August 27, 2021 | 11:52 PM

It didn’t take the Mt. Lebanon offense long to get on track in 2021.

And the defense did its job, too, during a season-opening 28-0 win Friday night at Bethel Park in a nonconference game.

After holding Bethel Park to a three and out on the opening first series, Mt. Lebanon scored its first play from scrimmage. After a 10-yard punt set up the Blue Devils at the Black Hawks 37-yard line, senior quarterback Joey Daniels found Mike Beiersdorf on a post pattern for a touchdown to give Mt. Lebanon a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

“There were some things we saw that we thought we could take advantage of,” Mt. Lebanon coach Bob Palko said. “We got the defense we wanted, and we executed, especially after the defense stopped them, it was nice.”

The Blue Devils upped their lead to 14-0 later in the first quarter. Senior Eli Heidenreich, who had a touchdown pass called back on a holding penalty in the drive, took a Wildcat snap and rambled 16 yards into the end zone.

Bethel Park’s best chance in the first half came after Cody Geddes intercepted Daniels and returned it to the Mt. Lebanon 25, but the Blue Devils forced a fumble to end the threat.

Mt. Lebanon added two more scores in the third quarter. Heidenreich caught a screen pass from Daniels and raced 37 yards for a 21-0 lead.

“(Heidenreich’s) a guy that we got to get the ball to,” Palko said. “He makes plays for us, that’s no secret. We have a couple of those guys, and as time goes by, people will get to see that we have a lot of playmakers.”

Jack Smith rounded out the scoring with a 7-yard run with 5 minutes, 38 seconds to go in the third quarter.

The only thing left for Mt. Lebanon to accomplish was to post the shutout, and the Blue Devils stopped Bethel Park on a fourth-and-1 halfway through the fourth quarter to help secure it. The Mt. Lebanon defensive front seven was one of the differences in the game, according to Palko.

“They have some good running backs, but I thought our defensive line played well and our outside linebackers played very well (Jack Smith and Tommy Boehner), and we got some nice play from our two young inside linebackers as well,” Palko said.

Daniels was 8 of 15 passing for 137-yards and two touchdowns, with Beiersdorf and Heidenreich each catching two passes for the Blue Devils (1-0).

Max Blanc completed 12 of 23 passes for 145 yards for (0-1) Bethel Park (0-1). Tight end Aidan Currie had four receptions for 60 yards.

The win for Mt. Lebanon was the 600th in school history, and the Blue Devils return home next week to host Class 5A neighbor Upper St. Clair. Bethel Park continues its nonconference play at Baldwin next Friday.

Watch an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

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