LaSalle grounds Bethlehem's offense in quarterfinal win

In one 13-minute stretch of game time, Bethlehem's shot at advancing in the Section II, Class AA football playoffs was over.

LaSalle scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1.5 seconds left in the second quarter and tacked on three more touchdowns in the third quarter to defeat the Eagles 40-14 in last Friday's Class AA quarterfinal in Troy.

Bethlehem (4-4) tied the game at 14 late in the second quarter when Sean Murphy capped a series with a five-yard touchdown run and Randy Bowers threw a two-point conversion pass to Sam Gallup. But LaSalle (6-2) quickly drove down the field and scored when Mike Murphy connected with Lou DiNovo on a four-yard touchdown pass. The Cadets misfired on the extra-point attempt, but they entered the locker room with a 20-14 lead.

Things went from bad to worse for Bethlehem in the third quarter. LaSalle tailback Marquis Terrell took off on a long run on the first play from scrimmage and scored a short time later on a five-yard run to make the score 26-14. Then following a Bethlehem punt, Terrell put LaSalle in scoring position with another long run deep into Eagle territory. Terrell capped the series with a 15-yard touchdown run to give the Cadets a 33-14 advantage.

After another Bethlehem punt, LaSalle came up with one more quick-strike touchdown. Murphy connected with Vinnie Planz on a 36-yard touchdown pass, and Josh Terry added the extra point to put the Cadets ahead 40-14.

Bethlehem's offense never got going in the second half. Bowers had a tough time hitting his receivers, and LaSalle's defense bottled up Murphy and Eagle tailback Casiem Maxwell. When it was over, Bethlehem managed 190 yards of total offense less than Terrell's individual effort (237 yards).

Bowers did throw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Niehaus on Bethlehem's first offensive series of the game, which gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead. The senior quarterback completed five passes for 83 yards, while Murphy rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries.

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