Bethel Park Edges Highlanders, 17-14

Baldwin is left out of the 2011 playoffs.

FULL stats, including play-by-play, available toward the right side of this page (below photo gallery).

Dorian Brown rushed for 227 yards on 27 carries to give him exactly 1,200 rushing yards this year, but Brown’s effort wasn’t enough to get into the playoffs, as the host Highlanders fell, 17-14, to Bethel Park High School in a WPIAL AAAA Great Southern Conference football game on Friday night.

The Baldwin loss, combined with ’s 46-27 loss at on Friday, officially excluded Baldwin from the WPIAL’s 2011 postseason. It also prevented Baldwin (4-5, 1-4 Great Southern) from having its first winning season since 2003.

Bethel Park (4-5, 3-2) will enter the playoffs as the Great Southern’s No. 3 seed. Peters Township (4-5, 2-3), thanks largely in part to its , is the conference’s fourth and final seed.

For a while, it looked like the Highlanders might cloud the playoffs picture by upsetting Bethel Park, but Bethel’s sophomore placekicker Dan Christenson booted a 29-yard field goal with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points. 

Christenson’s kick finished off a 10-play, 58-yard drive for the Black Hawks and took an important 5:40 off of the board.

That drive was typical of Bethel’s game all night. The Hawks held a clear advantage in time of possession, 26:02-21:58. The Highlanders, though, held the edge in total yards, 303-288, and first downs were even at 13 apiece.

All of the game’s 31 points were scored in the second half, as turnovers kept both teams off-track in the early going. Indeed, each team lost two fumbles in the second quarter, the last of which coming during a Brown rush with 7 seconds left at the Baldwin 24-yard line.

Bethel couldn’t capitalize, though, as Christenson’s ensuing 41-yard field goal try fell just short.

Baldwin looked like it would score first when Bethel punted away the first possession of the second half. The Highlanders then went 44 yards over six plays, but that drive ended when a pass by freshman quarterback Doug Altavilla was intercepted by Bethel’s senior running back/defensive back Eric Malle at the Bethel 32.

Malle, who also rushed eight times for 39 yards against Baldwin, then returned the pick to the Bethel 48, and three plays later, Bethel’s senior quarterback Anthony Cinello connected with senior wide receiver Jonathan Kobel on a 49-yard touchdown catch. 

Kobel reached behind himself across the middle of the field and batted the ball over his shoulder with one hand before racing away untouched for the score.

Baldwin immediately responded, going 74 yards over five plays on the next drive to tie the score at 7. Brown rushed for 62 of those yards on three carries, including a 57-yard run. The drive ended on fourth down when Altavilla found senior wide receiver/defensive back Zack Denardo in the end zone on a nine-yard pass.

During the ensuing possession, Bethel faced an important fourth-down-and-3 from the Baldwin 34 and came through with an 18-yard reverse carry by Malle.

“The reverse crushed us,” Baldwin’s Head Coach Jim Wehner said. “We practiced that all week … All week, we must have ran that thing 10 times, and we had a bust on it.”

Two plays later, Bethel’s senior running back Nick Marshall, who ran for 116 yards on 29 carries for the game, found the end zone on an 11-yard rush to help make it 14-7.

“The (offensive) line knew what we had to,” Marshall said. “We just came out and blocked hard, got a few yards and dragged it down.

“We’ve had problems blocking in the past, and they (the line) came out and did what they needed to do to win.”

Baldwin continued the seesaw battle by coming right back in the fourth quarter with a nine-play, 63-yard drive—all Brown carries from mostly the wildcat formation—ended by Brown’s one-yard TD plunge.

Christenson’s game-winning field goal came on the next drive, but Baldwin had enough time to twice try to comeback.

After a false start, Brown started the ensuing possession with a 13-yard run, followed by a one-yard pass from Altavilla to senior wide receiver Malon Howell. Altavilla’s third-down pass to Denardo was broken up by Bethel’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Evan Schweitzer, and on fourth-and-1, Altavilla tried another pass to Denardo. That time, Malle broke up the pass to basically seal the win.

“We had the kid open,” Wehner said. “(Altavilla) was a second late. Shoulda-coulda-woulda—I look at it that way. I think we had the right play called … Maybe we could have (ran the ball), but I think we had the right play called because he (Denardo) was open.”

Baldwin did get the ball back with 11 seconds left at its own 39, and after a hook-and-ladder play from Altavilla to Howell to Brown put the ball at the Bethel 49, Altavilla tried Howell for one last Hail Mary down the sideline. That pass fell incomplete, though, and Baldwin’s season ended.

Altavilla finished 10-for-18 passing for 68 yards. Cinello went 9-for-12 for 140 yards.

Schweitzer led all players with four catches (for 57 yards). Kobel had two grabs for a game-high 66 yards. Denardo (25 yards) and Howell (13 yards) both caught three passes.

Bethel’s senior linebacker Connor Wilson and Baldwin’s sophomore linebacker Douglass Coburn both had a game-high nine tackles (all solo). Wilson registered the game’s only sack as part of three tackles for losses totaling nine yards. Coburn notched four tackles for losses totaling seven yards. 

Not to be outdone, Bethel’s senior defensive lineman Galega Atte and Baldwin’s senior defensive lineman Joe Persichetti both made eight tackles (all solo). Atte also broke up a pass, and Persichetti was credited with a tackle that went for a loss of four yards.

Bethel will find out on Monday whom it will play in the first round of the playoffs.

“We haven’t played our best football at times … ,” Bethel’s Head Coach Jeff Metheny said, “but we just wanted the kids to play together and rally around one another. And we thought they did that this game … If we’re able to do that (play like they did against Baldwin), we’ll stay close to people in the playoffs.

“ … I’m real proud of the way the kids played. The seniors that have been in our program for a while have worked hard, so they deserve this (playoffs berth).” 

“We got effort from everybody (on Friday),” Wehner said. “All the way down the line, we got effort. We play like this (against Peters), we’re in the playoffs … 

“We’re getting better. We hit our goal of winning more games than we did every year to this point (during Wehner’s tenure as Head Coach), and next year’s our year. We gotta get big in the offseason and keep working.”

Wehner pointed out that Baldwin’s junior varsity football team is 5-2-1 this season with one game left.

Brown looked forward to 2012, as well, even sharing that he wanted to win the WPIAL rushing title next year, not to mention a few other championships.

“Absolutely, that’s my goal (rushing title),” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of learning experience from this year and the past year, and I’m ready to lead it now. 

“Next year, championships, not just playoffs, championships. Win every game next year.”

true supporter November 01, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Sure didn't hit a nerve with me. I could care less about what you people are saying. You obviously need to get a job instead of worrying about what kind of job Coach Wehner is doing. I feel bad for Coach Wehner and his family that are reading these messages. You are really showing them how the Baldwin 'community' have their back and supports the program. If your child didn't get beat out of any position and the program has won more games each year this staff has been there...then what are you running your mouth for? The program hasn't been anything for a long, long time and this staff is turning the corner. Encourage the players, support the coaches instead of trying to be one. This coach has way more knowledge about the game and how to teach and coach then any of you or me for that matter. Let the man do his job.
Sarah November 01, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Talk about disrespect... who are you to tell someone to get a job? Does true supporter pay your bills, Dawn?
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Sorry guys, I have a job....And no true supporter does not pay my bills. lol
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 07:54 PM
To make everyone happy, I will remove my own posts. I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings. God forbid. Enjoy your evening full of gossip..Basketball season here we come.Go Highlanders!!!
Robert Edward Healy, III November 01, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Please feel free to keep commenting, Dawn. Just be careful with any and all accusations, even if they seem minor.
kevin November 01, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Good job Robert! It would be a miscarriage of justice to allow Dawn to continue with her slanderous remarks. I am just glad I printed them before she had a chance to delete them in case anyone cares to file a civil suit against Mrs. Back Up QB's Mom! Hope her sources are willing to come forward and substantiate her accusations in the court of law!
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Go for it Kevin!!!!! I printed them as well and I know the law so good luck with that. I never slandered anyone just stated simple facts that apparently you couldn't handle. By the way I could sue you just as much as you think you could sue me. Or better yet maybe we all should sue eachother. Wow get a life!!!!!!
kevin November 01, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Why would I sue you? You have done nothing but speak highly of me! I was just speaking in general as it would relate to the other person you have made false statements about which impugn his character, question his professionalism and undermine his authority. I was just trying to be helpful Dawn. Boy, must of hit a nerve or something. Maybe you know the law so well because you probably have a history of slandering people and have been drug into the court room before? Say it ain't so Dawn?
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 08:58 PM
So you think you know who I am. So who are you? Oh I know , some creeper on Baldwin Whitehall Patch that knows nothing about our children talking just as much trash just in your own little way. Some people on here have an opinion and you have a different opinion so how are you any better? Opinions are like A-Holes and we all have one. You assumed in an above post that one of these people on here is a teachers wife. That is an assumption but yet you guys are trying to call her out on here to embaress her. Civil Suit??? How about it teachers wife? You said negative things about Baldwin in general at 4:36 AM. Maybe the Mayor of Baldwin should sue you or the school district. Grow up and handle the fact that people are allowed to make comments on here. You may be a supporter of the coaches and others may not be and that is their right! Yes " RIGHT "
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Sorry Kevin, It aint so! Actually never even had a speeding ticket. Have you? Oh and no false statement was made. We can go into detail if you want but Mr. Healy would rather not be supporting this kind of issue. Actually by your last post now I have been slandered personally by you.Oh wait I take that back, you used the word probably. Do you have anything to back up that comment ? Hmm .
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Just for the record counselor Dawn, it should be duly noted that you were the only person sensored for questionable comments on this site by Mr. Healy! That right there would tip the scales of justice away from you counselor.
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Lets talk about hoops now! Heard the hoop team was 9-13 last year and missed the playoffs. Do you disapprove of the basketball coach too Dawn? I don't know him but I am willing to play "good cop" here and will let you be your usual villain role. So, what don't we like about this guy?
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:17 PM
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Wrong again Einstein!!! Here was the post about the teachers wife by larry enderby 5:07pm on Monday, October 31, 2011 It's about time that someone had the information correct. It is also a shame that one of the frequent writer is the wife of a Baldwin High School teacher, what a shame! Your husband and your neighbors are going to be so embarrassed to find out what you are doing in your spare time. How about if all of you negative people find someting else to do with your pitiful lives. ...and here was what I said, " If the post by larry is accurate, the wife of the teacher is an embarrassment to her husband, the district and the athletic department. I say this assuming that she was the author of some of the negative posts. Get your facts straight Dawn! You are a loose cannon!
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 09:35 PM
You my friend are not worth my time. I can approve or disapprove of whom I wish. Pretty sure you have a god complex that makes you feel above all. I have not stooped to your level either with your name calling. I have been Mrs. Back up QB's mom, Counselor Dawn and villain. You do not know me. I could be your neighbor, your boss, or even your 4th grade teacher. You just can't let people have an opinion can you? Oh and by the way about your post from 5:11 pm. I do not care......
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Boy you are racking up the rude remarks.... Einstein, loose cannon. Keep going Kevin. Keep those little fingers moving.
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:44 PM
One thing you need to learn Dawn is the difference between opinion and accusations! You can have your opinion and I can have mine but when you start quoting someone else and saying that another person made comments that they never made, that is going way above your opinion. Take off your blinders and you will see the difference between the two. State your opinion but do not sit on here and accuse others of making statements based on hearsay. That is fact! I personally don't care if you like coach Wehner or not, during my "creeping" I just happened to notice your statements accusing coach Wehner of comments he never would make. That is irresponsible madam! I am a supporter of coach Wehner and believe you went way past opinion and started a personal attack against the man.
kevin November 01, 2011 at 09:55 PM
The Patch is now becoming a must read! Mr. Healy, now is the time to hit up the advertisers as The Patch is hotter than ever! If you want me to appear monthly or at the end of each sporting season I will do so for a small fee. Dawn can be retained also to be the heavy. This may also spin off into a reality show! Central casting could not find you a better literary genius such as myself or a cast of misinformed dregs of society to oppose me. I will be unavailable for a bit as I go creeping around Quad A to find my next victims. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword!
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 09:56 PM
Ok so you know him that well huh? You were also in the locker room? Or on the sideline? So if you believe he DID NOT say certain things and I believe he did, what is that? It is our perception of what happened and I have the right to express myself if I want. So you would support him to the point of calling about 10 kids liars? That's good Kevin. Whatever, you are right and we are all wrong. There , you should feel better now.
Dawn November 01, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Talk about a loose cannon. Holy cow...and the patch was hot before you intruded.
Shondra November 01, 2011 at 11:55 PM
I do think if you are going to say you support the community and the kids then you shouldn't pick and chose the ones you support. Have you ever coached football at this level? At any level? Are you a Quarterback coach? If not, I am wondering what qualifies you to make a comment such as "sudden part way through camp Altavilla was brought in and was handed the position. Those other QB's have a higher skill level but were totally brushed off." and "It was not because he gave us the best chance of winning. Good athlete but there was better standing on the sideline." Did you ever stop to think maybe Ms. Altavilla or the family or friends or even Douglas himself might read what you are saying? Did you honestly have to downplay and criticize a talented young man to simply make a point? And what point were you trying to make? The only thing I think when I read your comments is that while you claim to be offended by others remarks, you are really no better. Did you attend any of the summers practices? The position of starting QB was decided each week. As obvious by the many changes week to week. So, to erronously state that it was handed to Altavilla is a disgrace and an insult to the hard work this young man put in over the summer and everyday at practice. While it is obvious there are many adjustments that need to be made, I would suggest the first should be to support ALL players. And just for the record, Mr. Altavilla is one heck of a basketball player too.
kevin November 02, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Praise be to God! Someone with some sense! That was my exact point earlier when Dawn said that he was "handed" the job! She claims to be this beacon of morality but she is transparent as glass, she was mad at coach Wehner and drug an innocent kid into her argument to attempt to make her point. She sullied a fine man's reputation in coach Wehner and unnecessarily took a young man down in the process with her disparaging remarks. I must admit that I took part in this just to support coach Wehner and his reputation, but along the way I was able to smoke out this wolf in sheeps clothing named Dawn and expose her to our readers. I am sure that when Dawn looks back at this she will see the error of her ways and may even apologize to Mr. Altavilla, his family, his friends and all of the readers of The Patch! I have made my final comment on this subject and shall retire from the board, as my work here is done. I will be however watching and waiting in the night, like a shadow draped off the thoughts in the back of your mind. As long as evil is amongst us, I will stand bye, a guardian to all that is good and a defender to all that is not! From here on I will be known simply as "Patch Man"! I will answer to the Mayor of Baldwin and be summoned by only he, for it is my duty to protect the unprotected and to heed their call of need. I am Patch Man!!!
baldwin November 03, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Dawn is obviously the "back ups" mom or some relation. I also agree with Kevin. High school varsity football is not a charity. This isn't youth anymore where everyone plays and gets a pat on the back. If the talent the team has only produces 4 wins, well so be it. Yeah everything can be put on the coaches, sure. But in the end, the amount of talent on that field is what matters. Baldwin has always been the team that is outmatched, but i know damn well it will never stop any of those players from going out and playing.
frank November 03, 2011 at 09:50 PM
kevin who ever you are we might sometimes hit the wrong key on the keyboard but aleast we know that we have a least 3 players that went to the pros from baldwin do your home work before you open your mouth and im not even from baldwin
kevin November 04, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Frank, I am Patch Man first of all. Secondly, it is not hitting the wrong key when letters are omitted. In regards to the Baldwin kids in pros, I said recently..as in the last 10 years. I admitted to Pinkston, I actually saw him at Pitt Camp last year. I don't know the other two you are referring to but I would say they haven't come out of the program in the last 10 years and would not all be in the NFL at the same time such as the Wolverine grads. I would dare say that they were not nearly as prominent either or made the same impact. Of all this chatter you jump up to correct me on 2 other players??? Who are they? Enlighten us all Frank? Please do give the names and the years...and where they went to college and pros. Patch Man
kevin November 04, 2011 at 02:05 AM
The crux of my argument is inescapably correct! I met many of the Baldwin kids and they are great kids. The kids give maximum effort but Baldwin is just not as talented as most of the other Quad A schools in football. Trying to argue against that is senseless. Try and be objective about the situation. Look at their record over the last 10 years and you tell me differently. The proof is in the pudding. Coach Wehner is an excellent coach and is making progress with the program. People may not agree with all the moves he makes or the offensive calls on the field(which most people have no clue are made by the team's offensive coordinator, not Coach Wehner) but the disagreement should never question his character, his devotion to his profession or his devotion to his team. That kind of bashing is ridiculous. Did everyone agree with Bear Bryant, Chuck Noll and Joe Paterno? The answer is no, they did not! Were they great coaches...yes they were/are! Who knows, when lil Patch Man makes his way through life and finally hits high school, maybe I will be faced with the same dilemma? I will certainly not bash a coach personally regardless of my child's plight. It shows our kids the wrong way to handle adversity. Work hard, blame nobody and succeed despite the adversity! Remember, football is a game, a tool which teaches kids things about life that are valuable. Failure isn't losing the game or not getting the job...failure is giving up when you are turned away!
Patch Man November 04, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Patch Man has arrived!
Robert Edward Healy, III November 04, 2011 at 02:42 AM
For the record, "Patch Man" does not speak for Patch.
Patch Man November 04, 2011 at 09:46 PM
That is indeed correct Mr. Healy! It is quite comical that you posted that disclaimer. I don't think anyone would of thought differently. Have a great weekend everyone. Patch Man is on his way to Mt. Lebo to hopefully see his Wolverines pull out a win tonight.
frank November 05, 2011 at 01:18 PM
ok!!!!! football season is over KEVIN you did enough bashin on the community coaach wehner is not the blame here, the call playing was terrible, on some accations but nobody is perfict. if you knew anything about football, you would agree!! i noticed that you were more intereste in how people spelled you must be a teacher,not a football expert. Anyway lets forget about the patch man and concertrate on next season. GOOD LUCK FIGHTING HIGHLANDERS ON YOUR UP COMING SEASON ps. i hope i spelled everything correct!!!!!!!!!


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