Hawks get Pottsville
While some may think that looking at Pottsville on paper might be a walk in the park for Bethlehem Catholic this Saturday, head coach Joe Henrich there’s nothing more than further from the truth. The Hawks (7-4) will make an early morning road trip for a 12 p.m. kickoff at Pottsville (9-2) this weekend in their District 11 4A semifinals after dispatching Blue Mountain 24-6 last week.
It may not have been the prettiest win by the Hawks over the Eagles last week, despite being in control from the start following Tavion Banks 99-yard touchdown run on the Hawks first offensive snap last week. The TD made Banks the school’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 67, surpassing Eddie Scipio’s mark off 66 career scores.
Banks finished the day with 134 yards on nine carries and a score, but Becahi’s defense made sure that Blue Mountain wasn’t going to assert their running game, as they were held to 81 yards rushing on 44 carries.
The Hawks led 14-0 entering the fourth quarter before finally getting some breathing room when Matt Stianche caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jared Richardson. It was the second TD of the afternoon for Stianche, who finished with three catches for 73 yards.
While Blue Mountain (5-6) was an inferior opponent in the opening round, a trip to Pottsville will be a battle. The Tide are coming off a 42-20 win over Wilson last week and crushed Blue Mountain three weeks ago by a 42-0 score.
Both teams met last season in districts, with Becahi coming away with a 40-28 home win over the Tide after building a 40-0 lead at halftime.
With the Tide featuring a young team last season, Henrich knows many of those players from a year ago are back, bigger and stronger.
“They’re a good, scrappy team that will definitely be better than what we saw last year,” said Henrich. “They run a multiple-I formation on offense and have a big wide receiver that can make plays. At the end of the day, it’s really about us making plays and being consistent. A lot of that has come from injuries up front on the offensive line.”
Kevin Schenk is Pottsville’s star playmaker, as the 6-foot-6 wideout, has 11 touchdowns on the season, but the Tide’s other wide receiver, Mason Barnes holds the school single-season record with 1,557 receiving yards.
Pottsville will be a threat this weekend, unlike in other years, and Henrich realizes that his team will be facing a challenge.
He just hopes they’re up for it.
“This is our fourth Saturday afternoon game this season, so I’m not concerned about the travel or being ready for this,” he said. “It’s hard to compare them to any other team. We just have to be ready and play a more consistent game.”