Phillis’ big day keeps Burgettstown perfect in win over Serra Catholic

Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 11:02 PM

Burgettstown wasn’t perfect Saturday, but it remains undefeated.

The Blue Devils overcame mistakes, penalties and missed opportunities to beat Serra Catholic, 34-14, in a Class 2A Three Rivers Conference afternoon contest.

“We made several mistakes that we have to fix,” Burgettstown coach Mark Druga said. “We started a little faster, but then things got sloppy.”

Burgettstown took advantage of a short field on its first drive, which was capped by a 25-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jake Lounder.

A pair of Seth Phillis field goals gave the Blue Devils a 13-0 lead heading into halftime.

Anytime the Eagles made a play in the first half, a flag seemed to wave it off.

“The penalties are just what’s going to happen when you are playing with a youthful team,” Serra Catholic coach Jose Regus said. “(A youthful team is) what we are in playing a lot of sophomores this year.”

When Lounder connected with Phillis on a 67-yard scoring strike to open up the third quarter, it looked like Burgettstown was ready to roll leading 20-0.

Serra Catholic showed some fight and took advantage of a short punt to score on a 24-yard scoring pass from Max Rocco to fellow sophomore Paul Pearson.

Lounder scored on a 2-yard run with seconds left in the third quarter to increase the Blue Devils advantage to 20 points.

The Eagles struggled to move the ball with the exception of senior running back Ray Holmes. His power running started to pay off in the second half as he ended up with exactly 100 yards rushing on 13 carries.

“We came in here focusing on their jet sweeps,” Druga said. “They do a ton of jet motion and jet sweeps, and we did a nice job on that. Their running back had some nice runs. He’s a tough running back.”

Phillis capped off an incredible day with an 86-yard interception return for the final Blue Devils touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was the third interception of the game for the outstanding senior.

“We knew they were going to come out and throw some fades,” Phillis said. “We have four really good D-backs that know how to go after the ball.”

Besides his three picks, Phillis kicked two field goals, four extra points, rushed for 19 yards and had three receptions for 84 yards and a score.

“I can’t believe what he has done,” Druga said. “He runs track. His work ethic off the field and in the weight room is incredible.

“I keep telling everybody, you talk about a conference MVP, you’re looking at it.”

The victory moves the Blue Devils into a tie for first place with Brentwood at 4-0 in the conference. The teams are scheduled to meet in Week 8 in a possible conference title game at Burgettstown.

“We never let anyone get down on themselves,” Phillis said when asked what makes this team special. “We play like a family.”

Serra Catholic falls to 1-2 in the conference and is tied for fifth in the conference with Carlynton, a half-game behind South Allegheny.

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