Hawks get first win as Liberty is still searching
If you would have asked 10 people prior to last Friday night's Bethlehem Catholic-Liberty football game on who would win, the majority consensus would have said Liberty.
But in reality, opinion means nothing when it comes to deciding results and the Golden Hawks may have earned their most important victory of the Joe Henrich era following last week's 14-13 win over the Hurricanes at Frank Banko Field.
The Hawks' Sean Moroney blocked an extra point with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter to maintain a one-point advantage that eventually led to their first win of the season.
"It's a great feeling," said Henrich of the win. "Getting any type of win is a great feeling, especially in the LVC, but to also beat another city rival makes it even more special. Both programs have been going at it for a long time and this win certainly helps with morale and our psyche."
The win puts Becahi (1-4, 1-3) in the win column for the first time this year, but also for the first time over the last 10 games games dating back to last season.
The loss pushes Liberty (0-5, 0-4) to a position they never imagined heading into the 2012 season.
"I felt like we played well enough to win the game," said Liberty head coach Dave Brown. "Close games come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes and we just didn't do that."
The Hurricanes committed four turnovers in the contest and had to deal with the dagger of not giving themselves a chance to win the game because of a blocked extra point attempt when quarterback Derek Byrd scored his second rushing TD of the night from a yard out with just under two minutes left.
Then the Hawks blocked the ensuing PAT off the edge to provide jubilation, while Liberty was left in dismay.
"We didn't lose the game because of one play," Brown said in reference to the blocked PAT. "We just didn't make enough plays. But I give our kids credit. We've made strides every week and we take positives away, but we just need to get a win now."
Michael McDaniel scored both of the Hawks TD's Friday night, with a 38-yard scamper in the third quarter, followed by a 15-yard jaunt in the fourth, but it was the Hawks ability to make plays, by picking off Byrd twice and forcing a fumble that helped them accrue their most defensive turnovers (four) in one game this season that played a major part in picking up the victory.
"I felt we minimized mistakes and made plays which was a huge difference for us," Henrich said. "That's what we've been struggling with all year and it came together. We still dealt with some adversity because things didn't always go our way, but our kids kept fighting."
Becahi tries to carry momentum into a contest with Whitehall (3-2, 3-1) this week, while Liberty plays Central (2-3, 1-3).
The Zephyrs are coming off a demoralizing loss to rival Parkland last week by a 52-23 count, while Central surprisingly stuffed Northampton 42-12 thanks to a 21-point third quarter.
"We've talked about winning all season with our kids," Henrich said. "Telling them and preaching it is different than actually going out and doing it. Hopefully, the message came across with the win over Liberty, but we still have a lot of work to do."