FREDERICKTOWN – When it comes to the WPIAL football playoffs, Beth-Center is like the U.S. Postal Service ... it always delivers.
No matter wind, rain or snow, the Bulldogs are perennial playoff contenders.
“Trust me, I was checking the radar the whole day,” Beth-Center coach Joe Kuhns said when referring to the persistent rain in the area Friday night. “I was a little bit worried that we might get bogged down on a muddy field. But the kids played with so much passion and heart. We could have played underwater and I would have still liked our chances.”
In a win-or-go-home scenario in the final week of the regular season, Beth-Center routed Frazier, 36-0, to secure the Bulldogs’ 16th consecutive postseason appearance Friday night.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 7-3) have won six of their last nine meetings against Frazier and will await their playoff seeding at the WPIAL pairings meeting Monday night in Green Tree.
“I didn’t have to say too much to the team this week,” Kuhns said. “The kids were aware of the playoff situation. Getting a solid ground game tonight was so crucial. Our defense was physical tonight and controlled the line. We got them behind the sticks and forced them into a couple of third and longs.”
B-C was led by the dynamic rushing duo of senior quarterback Bailey Lincoski and senior tailback Dominic Fundy. Lincoski rushed for 169 yards and a score, and Fundy carried 14 times and for 114 yards with two touchdowns.
Lincoski, who during the game went surpassed 1,000 yards in both passing and rushing for the season, added 51 yards through the air on 3-of-7 passing.
“We play as a family,” Lincoski said. “It might be cliche to say, but we are there for each other. We believe in each other and the playoffs are brand new season for us. We knew it was win and you get in. It was that simple. We had a good week of practice and were confident tonight.”
The Commodores (3-4, 4-6) struggled on offense in the mud with snaps, fumbles and penalties.
“We didn’t execute tonight,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said. “We couldn’t sustain drives and couldn’t run inbetween the tackles. Turnovers and mistakes killed us.”
After Devin Dingle returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Frazier 25-yard line, Fundy plunged into the end zone from three yards and gave B-C a 6-0 lead.
Frazier was forced to punt on its opening possession, but the Commodores created the game’s first turnover when Isaac Thomas recorded an interception that set up the visitors at their 26-yard line. The Commodores failed to score on the ensuing drive as a fumble snap on fourth down was recovered by B-C’s Jacob Bakert.
In the final minute of first quarter, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-0 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Fundy and a two-point conversion run by Lincoski.
After a three-and-out by Frazier, B-C scored on a 34-yard flip pass to Dingle from Lincoski with 9:33 left in the second quarter. A two-point pass from Lincoski to Fundy increased the Bulldogs’ lead to 22-0 at halftime.
The B-C defense got into the scoring with a safety in the third quarter, and then in the waning seconds of the period Lincoski broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown run.
“You just have to embrace this weather,” Lincoski said.
“You can’t hesitate when you run, you have to stick your foot in the ground and go. On that long touchdown run, it just opened up and my receivers did a great job of blocking downfield. I knew someone from our team was going to break a long run tonight.”
Dylan Dingle capped the scoring in the fourth with a two-yard scoring run for B-C.
“The playoffs are a brand new season,” Kuhns said. “Everybody is 0-0 now and I really feel like this team is coming together. It’s been a wild season with a lot of ups and downs.”