Becahi wins in OT
It was closer than expected, but last Friday’s Holy War between Bethlehem Catholic and Central Catholic displayed what rivalry games are all about, as the Hawks held on for a 38-37 overtime victory.
The Vikings (6-4) tried to steal the win on the BASD turf in overtime, electing to go for the two-point conversion after Logan Bachman’s 10-yard TD run brought Central within a point.
Instead of looking to kick the extra point and head to double OT, Central went for the jugular, having quarterback Frank Rauscher throw a jump pass into the end zone, that went off a defenders back and saddled the Hawks (8-2) with a victory heading into the District 11 4A playoff race.
The Hawks enter the tournament as the top seed when they host Pottsville (4-6) Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.
Becahi had clinched the top seed regardless of the outcome with Central last week, as both teams are favored to see each other again next weekend in the 4A championship contest, should the second-seeded Vikings tame Saucon Valley (6-4) in their playoff opener.
But squeezing out a win with the bevy of injuries the Hawks had to deal with last week was an added bonus for a team looking to heal up heading into the postseason.
“You never know what to expect in a rivalry game and we got the win, which is the most important thing,” said Hawks head coach Joe Henrich, “but we have some work to do heading into the postseason. We just aren’t executing very well right now. I’m not sure if having the number one seed locked up had anything to do with it, but our kids kept fighting. We just have to get things cleaned up and play at a high level for 48 minutes.”
Both teams went into halftime tied at 24 following a bevy of big plays in the first half, as Javon Clements threw three TD passes of 52, 25 and 44 yards in the first 24 minutes, as Shamus Williams hauled in two of those scores.
But Central was able to grind out drives on the other side too, scoring on a 16-yard Harrison Ike TD run in the first quarter and a one-yard plunge by Justin Pasquale in the second quarter.
After Clements hit Williams on a 44-yard TD pass in the second quarter to put Becahi up 24-17, Pasquale took the ensuing kickoff 97-yards for the score to push things even into halftime.
Both teams battled through a scoreless third quarter before Zaheer Seabrooks pushed the Hawks in front 31-24 with a nine-yard TD run at the 10:24 mark of the fourth quarter.
Rauscher answered back for Central, launching a 36-yard TD pass to Bachman two minutes later to continue the seesaw battle.
Becahi had a chance to take the lead with under 1:30 left in the game, as they faced 3rd and 6 from the Central seven-yard line, but a Clements fumble on the ensuing play lost 30 yards and pushed the Hawks out of field goal range.
In overtime, Clements hit Williams for a 10-yard TD to open up the scoring, which then saw the Vikings answer right away before electing to go for two on the final play.
“It’s good to have a game like this and win going into districts,” Henrich said. “I have a lot of confidence in these kids and have faith that they’re going to be ready to play next week.” healthy.”