Beaver ruins Deer Lakes’ first postseason game |

Beaver ruins Deer Lakes’ first postseason game

The first WPIAL football playoff appearance for Deer Lakes was short-lived.

Beaver took advantage of an early turnover and rolled to a 34-21 victory in a Class AA opening-round game Friday night.

The Bobcats (8-2) will play Aliquippa in quarterfinal action next weekend at a site and time to be determined. Deer Lakes, in its initial WPIAL playoff foray since the school district was formed in 1969, concluded its season at 7-3.

With 6:34 left in first quarter, Derek DeCuoto recovered a fumble at the Lancers’ eight. Two plays later, Sam O’Neil scored from 1 yard out.

After a second-quarter drive stalled, senior Nathan Mick booted a 24-yard field goal to put Beaver up, 10-0. On Beaver’s next possession, a 55-yard pass from Christian Herstine to Justin Sosnowski put the Bobcats up, 17-0, at the half.

The Lancers couldn’t get the ball in Beaver territory in the first half. Beaver’s defense was often able to get into the Lancers’ backfield before a play could be set up.

“It didn’t go how we planned,” said Deer Lakes coach Todd Hazlett. “When you give up only about 100 yards in the first half and you’re down be three scores, I was proud of the heart we showed in the second half.”

“Our defensive line probably doesn’t get enough credit,” said Bobcats coach Jeff Beltz. “We know we’ve got some guys in there who do a nice job.”

In the second half, Deer Lakes finally got on the scoreboard on an 18-yard pass from Pat Jones to Jordan Fragapane with 4:02 left in the third quarter.

Beaver, however, answered with a 72-yard run by Darien Bradley to the Lancers’ 2 on the first play from scrimmage. That was followed by a 2-yard scoring run by Bradley.

Junior Matt Schultz, playing with a cast on his broken arm, recovered a fumble at the Bobcats’ 26, setting up a 2-yard scoring run on a reverse by Zac Capan.

After Deer Lakes took over following a missed Mick field-goal attempt, Bradley scored on a 40-yard interception return to conclude the scoring for Beaver.

Mitch Martin’s 5-yard pass from Jones made it 34-21.

“Our guys could have laid down in the second half, but they didn’t,” Hazlett said.

Beltz’s challenge was getting his team ready to face an enthusiastic crowd witnessing the first playoff game for a team from the Deer Lakes area since East Deer beat Bethel Park in 1946.

“We were business-like,” Beltz said. “We knew the fan support was going to be awesome. We’re thrilled for the people here at Deer Lakes. Our kids have been here before, so they understand.”

Even though the game was out of reach, a considerable number of fans stayed in the stands to give the Lancers one final ovation as the team approached the post-game huddle.

Photo Galleries

Beaver vs. Deer Lakes

Beaver vs. Deer Lakes

Beaver vs. Deer Lakes at Deer Lakes High School, Friday, November 5, 2010.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.