Hawks tiptoe to a win
Joe Henrich said that high school football can be a crazy game. If you saw last week’s Bethlehem Catholic-Liberty affair, that sentiment would be justified.
The Golden Hawks escaped with a 27-22 win at BASD Stadium, thanks to Matt Stianche’s 30-yard TD grab in the final minute of the fourth quarter to catapult Becahi (2-1) to the win and rip the hearts out of their city rival Hurricanes (2-1).
Stianche’s tight rope TD saw him slide one foot in the end zone next to the pylon, saving Becahi’s night from a result that could have handed them its second-straight loss to city rival in consecutive weeks.
“It’s crazy how this game works and the ultimate thing you have to teach kids is to have them stay in it until the end,” said Hawks’ head coach Joe Henrich. “I thought last week [against Freedom] we deserved to win the game, this week I don’t think we did. The results were opposite of what you would expect and a lot of that comes from grit and staying with the plan. We’re pleased to get a win, but I think our kids are pretty humble to understand this was not our best effort.”
Becahi led 21-9 at halftime, but Liberty had a chance in the closing seconds of the second quarter to punch a score in from the one-yard line. On third and goal, Dallas Holmes’ effort to sneak through the center of the line came to no fruition, as time expired and the officials not signaling the call for a TD.
Liberty head coach John Truby thought Holmes crossed the goal line, but it was to no avail.
“I would definitely like to see that tape again of that play,” said Truby. “Honestly, that was going to be a tough call for that official, but in a game like this we took a ranked team in the state down to the wire. We have a young team and I’m happy with what we showed, but at the end of the day we still lost and we have to learn from this.”
Becahi running back Tavion Banks was most of the Hawks offense on the night, rushing for 191 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to pace the offense. Sophomore quarterback Jared Richardson battled back from two interceptions in the game to throw the game-winner to Stianche to rally the team, following Holmes’ go-ahead, five-yard TD run with 3:42 left in the game.
Turnovers, including a fumbled punt, were part of the reason Becahi wasn’t able to close out Liberty sooner, but Henrich hopes Richardson’s late throw could pay dividends down the road.
“It was really big for him and I think it helps him settle in and understand how the game goes,” Henrich said. “You’re always going to go through difficult times, but for him to do it in the same game and respond in the most critical moment is really big for him.”
The Hawks host Parkland (2-1) on Saturday night in another pivotal EPC South showdown, while Liberty faces a tough road trip at Emmaus (2-1) on Friday night.