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Hawks pummel PMW

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

You could say that Bethlehem Catholic’s season opening win over Pocono Mountain West was an opportunity for them to iron out some wrinkles.

It also provided evidence as to why the Hawks are primed to be one of the most dangerous teams in the area this season.

Running back Tavion Banks displayed his flashy play in the backfield, as he ran for 148 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries to spearhead the running game, while quarterback Javon Clements was an efficient 7-of-11 for 142 yards and a score in the 58-14 victory.

However, Friday’s opener also proved to be a wake-up call for the Hawks, who gave up two first half touchdowns en route to taking a 30-14 lead into the half.

“I thought we played pretty well early on and the second quarter seemed to drag a little bit and I thought we lost focus,” said Hawks head coach Joe Henrich. “We talked about that at halftime and I think we came out in the third quarter and really re-established ourselves.”

Becahi’s lead ballooned in the third period thanks to a trio of scores, starting off with Matt Bisko’s 64-yard TD run 59 seconds into the second half. Daizhun Rhodes then returned a punt 68 yards for a score and Banks followed up with an 18-yard TD run to put the Panthers away.

Becahi opened the game with a blocked punt that was picked up and returned 35-yards for a score by Paul Carreras. Clements then found Rhodes on a 37-yard TD later in the first quarter to give them a 15-0 lead.

That lead was sliced when Panther QB Dylan Dellavalle hit Kahlili Edwards on a 64-yard slant for a score late in the first.

The Hawks eventually led 30-6 before the Panthers put together an eight-play, 70-yard drive, as Dellavalle hit Greg Bensley-Dobish for a two-yard TD. After converting the two-point conversion to make it 30-14, Becahi spilled the football on their ensuing drive, giving the Panthers momentum with the ball at the BC 44.

However, that’s where the Hawks defense tightened up and wouldn’t allow things any closer, forcing a three and out and shutting the Panthers down the rest of the night.

“I think this was a typical first game,” Henrich said. “There was a lot of good and there’s things that need to be cleaned up, but I was happy with how we played.”

Bisko finished the night with 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns and Rhodes displayed his versatility in all facets, scoring three touchdowns (run, receiving and punt return).

“I continue to think the same thing about these guys after tonight and we really have a nice group of kids that responded well,” said Henrich. “I don’t think they let any outside expectations interfere with how they prepare. We’re just focused on the day-by-day stuff and they’re enjoying the journey.”

Bethlehem Catholic will hit the road this week as they travel to Northampton Friday night for a bout with the Kids (1-0).

Northampton defeated East Stroudsburg North 30-0 last week.