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Becahi rolls on way to finals

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

It almost seems like the last two weeks of football was just a formality for Bethlehem Catholic, but the dirty work has been completed and berth in this Saturday’s District 11 4A championship has been booked for the Hawks after handling Pottsville 40-28 Saturday afternoon at BASD Stadium.

The win matches Becahi (9-3) with a date against Saucon Valley (10-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Nazareth.

It is the fourth-straight year the teams have met in the postseason and this will be the third-straight season the two teams have reached the championship, with Becahi winning the past two titles, including last year’s 49-7 dominating victory.

This year’s affair should be more competitive than last season’s drubbing and head coach Joe Henrich expects his team to be ready.

“Being back in a final is one of our major goals coming into the season and we’re excited about that,” Henrich said. “I will tell you that we weren’t pleased with how we played against Blue Mountain and we weren’t happy with how they practiced leading up to this game [Pottsville]. I’m hopeful that we continue to grow up here and I’m confident they will. These kids know what’s important now and what’s in front of us.”

Saturday’s win over Pottsville looks closer than it was on paper, as the Hawks built a 40-0 lead effortlessly through two quarters to kick in the mercy rule at halftime. Becahi scored five of its six TDs on the ground over Pottsville, the other coming from a 45-yard pick six by Domenico Italiani. That blueprint sets up well for what Becahi hopes to do against Saucon in Saturday’s final.

The Hawks ran for 299 yards against Pottsville and 327 yards in their opening round win over Blue Mountain and have created five turnovers over the past two weeks.

If Becahi can control the line of scrimmage with their bigger bodies up front and run effectively, as well as win the turnover battle, their fifth district title in six years will be sitting in the trophy case.

Saucon’s approach to Saturday’s contest might be the same. Run the ball and stop Becahi’s rushing attack will be the keys for the Panthers. Running back Ian Csicsek ran 37 times for 260 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 42-21 win over Northwestern. The Panthers ran for 429 yards last week, as both teams will rely heavily on their ground game to dictate the script.

“As much as the game has changed, it’s stayed the same,” Henrich said. “You got to be able to run the football. We have two really good backs and a good offensive line. It’s no secret what we do and when you get into these type of weather elements later in the year, you got to be able to run and stop the run.”