HOUSTON – Former Pitt defensive coordinator Phil Bennett once famously quipped one of the two marching bands will play after he dials up a blitz.
That was very much in evidence early in Chartiers-Houston’s 29-0 win over Beth-Center Friday night, which served as the Century Conference opener for both squads.
Buccaneers running back Jordan Irson notched three rushing touchdowns in the win.
Irson finished with 47 yards on 12 carries.
The Bucs (3-0) took advantage of a blitzing Bulldogs (0-3) defense early in the first quarter when quarterback Terry Fetsko found Jake Mele for a 37-yard scoring strike. Mele beat his single defender that was exposed by a blitz on 4th-and-17.
“We felt like they were going to blitz, so we just tried to give as much protection as we could,” Bucs coach Terry Fetsko noted. “He made the right read and made the right throw.”
Lane Camden then made his presence felt when he intercepted Dominick Reyeye and returned it 20 yards to the Bulldogs’ 25 on the ensuing Beth-Center possession.
Fetsko again beat a Beth-Center blitz when he found Colton Craig for a nine-yard completion on third-and-six to the Bulldog 12. Irson scored on the next play as the second quarter began. Anthony Romano’s extra point was good, pushing the Bucs’ lead to 14-0.
The Bucs’ defense stifled the Bulldogs, limiting the visitors to two first downs in the first half.
Beth-Center was limited to 69 yards total offense on the evening.
“Our defense has been great all year,” Fetsko said. “Up front we played really well. Not much more I can say about that.”
The Bulldogs never crossed midfield the entire game.
It only got more dire for the Bulldogs but not before Tyler Debnar intercepted Fetzko to begin the second half, giving the ball to the Bulldogs on their own 11.
Beth-Center moved the ball to midfield, but was forced to punt when Reyeye’s third-and-long pass fell incomplete.
Bulldogs coach Tony Ruscitto lamented his team being shorthanded because of injuries but did not allow it to be an excuse.
“We have no continuity right now,” he added. “We came in here with only 27 players. I believe once we get some guys back, we’ll get better.”
Ruscitto noted the Buccaneers’ overall advantage, especially on the perimeter.
“They have some tall athletes outside that were hard to match up with,” he added.
Chartiers-Houston resumed the scoring in the fourth when Irson capped a march with a three-yard touchdown run midway through the quarter. Irson struck again with a five-yard touchdown run following a Jess Orban recovery of a muffed Beth-Center punt return on the seven.
Orban ended the scoring when he tackled Trenton Kobertz in the end zone following a failed punt attempt for a safety.