McMURRAY – It wasn’t a statement win for Peters Township the way last Saturday’s performance at Moon was.
The unbeaten Indians wouldn’t have necessarily transformed skeptics into believers by taking care of winless Bethel Park Friday night.
Nonetheless, coach TJ Plack knew his team couldn’t hold back against the Blackhawks.
“They’re a program that’s played a bunch of very good teams,” Plack said. “I know they’re young, but they’ve been improving. They’re a proud program. I’ve been over there, I’ve seen how tough they are in the weight room and everything. They don’t quit, and we just knew we had to give our best tonight.”
Peters Township did give its best, scoring 28 points in the first half and cruising to a 45-7 Senior Night/Homecoming win.
Two of the Indians’ 16 seniors led the charge. Quarterback Logan Pfeuffer was 9-10 for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Donovan McMillon caught six of those balls and two of the three touchdowns, narrowly missing out on a hat trick when he was tackled at Bethel Park’s 1-yard line early in the second half. The University of Florida commit finished the night with 111 yards.
From the start, Pfeuffer was in command. He’s thrown six touchdown passes in his last two outings.
“He understands the game,” Plack said. “He’s taking advantage of what the defense gives us. He understands what we want to do if they’re in [a particular] coverage, where we want to go with the ball. He’s a senior. He’s a three-year starter. He gets it.”
The Indians (4-0, 5-0) scored on their first two possessions. Peters scored when the veteran Pfeuffer hit McMillon on a 43-yard strike. After a Breylen Carrington punt return set up PT at Bethel Park’s 9-yard line, the Indians cashed in one play later on a Vinny Sirianni run, the first of two touchdowns for the senior tailback.
Later in the first quarter, Pfeuffer found McMillon again, this time from 8 yards, putting the Indians up by 21 and firmly in command. He added one more touchdown pass, this one to Jake Macosko in the second quarter.
Fullback Gavin Moul scored Bethel Park’s only touchdown, catching a 1-yard pass from Max Blanc with 13 seconds left in the first half.
With Carrington having a big night last week at Moon, the Blackhawks’ defense keyed in on him. This opened the door for McMillon, much to Pfeuffer’s delight.
“Breylen had a good game last week,” he said. “He was double covered. Donovan stepped up. We have guys like that. It helps.”
For Bethel Park (0-4, 0-6), it was just another frustrating night in what’s been the most frustrating season in recent memory for a proud program. Along with a winless season looming – the Blackhawks have one more chance next week against Moon – Bethel Park has been outscored 188-42 in its six games.
Peters Township will look to seal an undefeated regular season next week at West Allegheny. The Indians already have assured themselves of at least a share of the Allegheny Six title and the conference’s top spot for the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t want to go into the playoffs on a bad note,” Plack said. “These guys deserve better. They want to compete, and they want to play hard. So we’re getting ready for West Allegheny.
“We always say, 1-0 each week,” Pfeuffer said. “Just handle each week (one) at a time, and just handle the three aspects of the game. Offense, defense and special teams.”
With this senior night different from years past due to masks and limited capacity, Peters still made the most of the evening before the game, after the game and even during halftime, when Sirianni and Corban Hondru were recognized as part of this year’s homecoming court.
“Even though we weren’t allowed that many people in the stands, we still had some fans,” Pfeuffer said. “We could really feel the community behind us, supporting us. It’s awesome.”