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BIG FIRST HALF SENDS WAYNESBURG TO WIN OVER BISON

Oct. 24 - WAYNESBURG, Pa. – Waynesburg blew out to a 38-0 halftime lead and went on to post a 52-13 victory over the Bethany football team Saturday afternoon at Wiley Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (4-3, 1-2) scored the first five times they had possession. Quarterback Brad Dawson threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Ray Hightower and a 26-yard TD strike to Brent Heckel in the first quarter, which were wrapped around a seven-yard touchdown run by Billy Becker for a 21-0 advantage in the opening period.

After a Waynesburg field goal early in the second quarter, the Bison had a punt blocked deep in their own territory. Two plays later, Becker scooted in for a 10-yard touchdown to increase the Jacket margin to 31-0. On their next possession, Bethany made their best march of the opening half, driving 69 yards in 15 plays. The drive came up empty however, when the Bison fumbled after reaching the Waynesburg five.

Later in the period, the home team’s huge first half was capped when they motored 78 yards in just four plays and scored on a 26-yard scoring pass from Dawson to Hightower with seven seconds to play before halftime.

The Dawson-to-Hightower connection worked again on the opening drive of the first half with a 19-yard scoring toss that swelled the Jacket lead to 45-0. The Bison reached the end zone for the first time on their ensuing possession. Junior QB Dan Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands), starting in place of an injured Chad Smith (Washington, Pa.), completed a pass to senior WR Matt Cruse (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier), who out-jumped two defenders for the ball, then broke away for a 59-yard touchdown reception. The extra point was missed after a high snap, leaving the score at 45-6.

Waynesburg’s final score came later in the third quarter, as they took advantage of another short field. On the first play after taking over at the BC 24 following a punt, Yellow Jacket RB Jamelle Bowers broke through and raced to the end zone to push the lead back up to 52-6.

Bethany would complete the scoring for the day midway through the fourth quarter. After three straight runs by freshman Chad Pennington (Rochester, Pa.) netted 29 yards, Pegg hit freshman WR Johnathan Foster (Cumberland, Md./Fort Hill) for an 18-yard gain. The next play, Pegg found senior TE Jorge Laboy (New York, N.Y./Central Park East) for a 15-yard scoring pass and the extra point made the final count 52-13.

Waynesburg managed to total 482 yards of offense, despite having four scoring drives start on the Bison’s end of the field. Bethany finished the day with 346 total yards, including 204 through the air. Making his first start of the season, Pegg completed 22-of-40 attempts for 199 yards and the two scores. Cruse was the top target on the day, with six receptions for 94 yards and his 24th career touchdown catch.

On the ground, Walker, who entered the game ranked second in the PAC in rushing, gained 110 yards on 15 carries. It was his third straight 100-yard effort and fourth this year, as he has now gained 739 yards.

Senior SS Nelson Mitzen (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg Central) posted a team-high with 11 tackles Saturday, while senior CB Ariel Ramirez (West Hempstead, N.Y.) picked off his first pass of the season.

Bethany (2-5, 1-4) goes back on the road next week with a trip to Geneva. The Golden Tornadoes are off to a 5-1 start this season heading into this week’s night game at home against Saint Vincent. Kickoff in Beaver Falls, Pa., is scheduled for 1:00.