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Saint Vincent Edges Bethany

November 13, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

LATROBE, Pa. - Saint Vincent scored the go-ahead touchdown with 9:33 to play and stopped Bethany's final drive with an interception in the end zone with 1:15 to play, as the Bearcats held on for a 20-14 victory against the Bison on Saturday.

The score after the first quarter was tied 7-7 despite neither offense finding the end zone. Midway through the quarter and one play after a Saint Vincent punt, Bearcats linebacker David Riberio picked off a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.

The score didn't stand up for long, as the ensuing kickoff was taken by Bethany's Ed Holmes and returned 82 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good.

With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Bearcats (6-4 overall, 5-3 PAC) went back on top thanks to two big plays. First came a 44-yard pass from Aaron Smetanka to Andre Rogers. On the next snap, St. Vincent's Huey Ehredt found paydirt on a 17-yard run to boost his team to a 14-7 advantage.

The Bison opened the fourth quarter down a touchdown and pinned back at their own 16 following a good Bearcats punt. Bethany found its way to midfield on a 27-yard pass from quarterback Matt Grimard to sophomore RB Nico Irizarry. Two plays later, Grimard connected with Daryl Powell on a 51-yard touchdown pass that drew the Bison even at 14-14 with 10:44 to play.

It took just three plays for Saint Vincent to go back in front. After the kickoff, Ehredt broke off runs of 27, 19 and finally 13 yards for the touchdown and a 20-14 Saint Vincent lead. The extra point attempt failed, leaving the door open for a potential Bison victory.

Bethany nearly took advantage of that opportunity on its final drive. Starting at its own 42, the Bison made it into the red zone with a 25-yard pass play from Grimard to Johnathan Foster. Three plays later, the Bison had a fourth-and-eight at the Bearcats 15 when Grimard lofted a pass into the end zone which was picked off by Dan Wirkowski with 1:15 to play. The Bearcats were able to run out the clock and secure not only its first win against Bethany in five games, but also its first six-win season since 1949.

For the third time this year, Bethany outgained its opposition in a losing effort. The Bison gained 313 total yards, while holding the Bearcats to just 222, with Ehredt accounting for 116 of those on the ground in 13 carries. Grimard threw for 195 yards for the Bison, but was picked off twice and sacked four times.