Trib HSSN Football Team of the Week for Oct. 18, 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021 | 7:59 PM

When long-time Beaver football coach Jeff Beltz retired after the 2020 football season, the district stayed in-house with his replacement and promoted assistant coach Cort Rowse.

The Bobcats haven’t missed a beat.

Actually, maybe they’ve skipped some heartbeats with all of their nail-biting victories.

When the Bobcats knocked off Chartiers Valley in overtime in Week 7, they improved to 5-2 overall. The five wins are more than they collected in 2019 and 2020 combined. Both of those campaigns ended with only two victories each.

“We are learning how to win again,” Rowse said. “That’s a mindset. That’s how you carry yourself. It’s that you show up to practice ready to go. That’s been our message since day one. Kids are buying in to our culture, and now we are starting to reap some of the benefits. I’m proud of these young men.”

On Friday, “these young men” knocked off visiting Chartiers Valley thanks to a large performance by quarterback Wyatt Ringer.

“Wyatt was amazing,” Rowse said. “I love tough, hard-nosed kids. Those traits rub off on the rest of the team. He put the team on his back and led us to a huge win.”

The senior rushed for 164 and four touchdowns and threw for 94 yards and a score, plus he intercepted a pass on defense.

Rowse was pleased with the entire team effort, including key contributions from two seniors and a pair of juniors.

“We had so many,” Rowse said. “Nick Oliver, Jake Hilton, Josiah Santiago and Gerrell Leeper stood out on defense. Plus I can’t say enough about how our offensive line is coming together. They did very well as a unit.”

The night did not begin well for host Beaver. The Bobcats quickly fell behind by two scores in the first quarter.

“We came out and missed some assignments to start the game,” Rowse said. “When a team does that against a very good team like Chartiers Valley, you end up being behind. So we just kept to our game plan and our beliefs. We started doing them at a higher, more consistent level.”

The Bobcats rallied with 14 points in each of the second and third quarters and led 28-21 after three. The Colts tied the game in the fourth quarter, and the teams tied for second place in the Class 4A Parkway Conference were tied after regulation.

Ringer scored his fourth touchdown on a 1-yard run on the first possession for Beaver, then the Bobcats defense came up big to shut down the Colts and secure the OT win.

“The overtime was just more of the same on offense,” Rowse said. “Lining up and being physical and running the football. Trusting our leaders to do what they do. The defense stood up with a huge goal line stand, stopping them from the 1-yard line three times. Shows a lot about how our kids compete and trust each other to do their jobs.”

Beaver improved to 2-1 in the conference and can clinch a return to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2018 with one more win. Their last three wins have been by 14, six and seven points.

On Friday, the Bobcats hit the road to face a desperate Montour team.

“Montour is a very good football team,” Rowse said. “If we don’t prepare physically and mentally and we are not locked in, we will not be successful. I tell them I don’t care how you feel. I care about your choices. So if we as a team make good choices, we will continue to have success.”

2021 HSSN Team of the Week

Week 6 – Seneca Valley Raiders

Week 5 – Upper St. Clair Panthers

Week 4 – Mohawk Warriors

Week 3 – Union Scotties

Week 2 – McKeesport Tigers

Week 1 – Shaler Titans

Week Zero – Northgate Flames

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