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Becahi D stuffs Easton

The Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks football team showcased their dominant defense in a 16-6 victory over a previous second-place Easton Red Rovers.

Easton started the game with possession of the ball. Bethlehem Catholic’s senior Matt Stianche intercepted Easton quarterback Cole Transue on the game’s opening drive. Though, the Hawks weren’t able to get much going and turned the ball back over on downs.

After another quick change of possession, the Bethlehem Catholic offense drove down the field off of a few long runs by senior running back Tavion Banks. The drive was highlighted by a strong stiff arm by Banks that threw a would-be Red Rover tackler out of bounds.

Banks was able to get into the end zone on a 1-yard plunge to cap the drive. He followed this up with a 3-yard TD run in the second quarter, which put the Golden Hawks up 13-0.

The game then went back and forth, with a Hawks field goal at the end of the third quarter and a TD run by Transue at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The game was highlighted by Bethlehem Catholic’s aggressively effective pass rush on Easton. Transue was under pressure all game long and was forced to scramble a lot, which left the Easton offense in distress for a majority of their possessions.

This was a huge victory for Bethlehem Catholic (6-2), which is now tied for third place in the EPC South with Parkland (6-2) and Easton (6-2). The Golden Hawks defense stifled the Red Rover offense all game long. Easton’s star running back senior Nahjee Adams was held to 48 yards on 13 carries with no scores. The senior came into the game leading the district in rushing with 1,333 yards.

By stopping Adams and generating four turnovers, the Easton offense was only able to muster up 162 total yards of offense, while Bethlehem Catholic’s senior running back Tavion Banks rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries with two rushing touchdowns. The touchdown runs were both near the goal line, with plunges of 1 and 3-yards in the first half.

Speaking after the game, Banks sounded like a veteran.

“Well, first of all, it starts with the line. We knew it was gonna be a physical game up front.” Banks said, giving much credit to the offensive line and asserted that physicality in the trenches are what won them the game.

“Winning District (playoffs) … Getting better every week and not overlooking our opponents will be key moving forward,” said Banks on the impact this game had looking towards the playoffs.

Banks was assisted by the play of his quarterback, sophomore Jared Richardson. Richardson was connecting downfield on several passes early in the game to wide receiver senior Matt Stianche, though the pair weren’t able to maintain the success in the second half.

Much of this win can be contributed to the pressure the Golden Hawks put on Transue. Transue was sacked four times on Saturday night and threw three interceptions. Those mistakes, on any night, will help earn the other team the victory.

Bethlehem Catholic will play their final road game at Emmaus (4-4) Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

Press photo by Mark KirlinDeclan Dean (52) gets pressure on Easton QB Cole Transue during last week's victory over the Rovers.