Lebo Lays Into Saint Joe's Prep, Wins State Title
The Cinderella run for Mt. Lebanon in the 2021 season faced its ultimate moment on Saturday night at Hersheypark Stadium. For the 20+ seniors on the team, the PIAA 6A State Championship Game represented their proverbial "Date with Destiny"--All they had to do in order to leave their names etched among the legendary teams of Western Pennsylvania was take down national powerhouse Saint Joseph's Prep.
Things started favorably for Saint Joe's, as they chewed up half of the first quarter and scored a touchdown to make it 7-0.
Undeterred by the punch in the mouth from SJP, Mt. Lebanon turned it loose on their very first play from scrimmage, as senior QB Joey Daniels rifled a pass into the wind that Michael Beiersdorf took 86 yds to the house, evening the contest at 7-7.
On their next drive, Saint Joe's gave it right back to the Devils as Jack Smith recovered a fumble. Lebo would capitalize as Navy bound Eli Heidenreich found paydirt from 13 yards out, putting Bob Palko's charges up 14-7, which is where the score would stand after the first.
In the second, Lebo found its groove once again, as Daniels hit Smith for a 40+ yard gain and then found star running back Alex Tecza for a 6 yd TD pass. Nolan Bhuta's third PAT of the night made it 21-7 and gave Lebo the two score cushion that would prove crucial later on.
Saint Joe's fired back and their star QB, Samaj Jones, carried for a 5 yd TD to cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:00 to go in the quarter. Saint Joe's would threaten again before halftime, but came up empty after attempting a field goal on 4th and goal.
The third quarter buzzed by and the only notable happening was an Antonio Chada field goal for St Joe's to make it 21-17--Though it is worth noting, that in the third, it appeared that the game was starting to slip away from the Blue Devils.
In the fourth quarter, it was the Alex Tecza show. The senior RB shouldered the load on offense, carrying the ball on nearly every single play unless a diversion was needed--In which case it was who else but Heidenreich coming up big. Tecza added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the deal and deliver the Blue Devils their first state championship.
It was party time for Mt. Lebanon as Tecza put the exclamation point on the undefeated state championship season to set the final score at 35-17. The senior concluded his Lebo career with 89 yards on 26 carries, finishing with 3 TDs--A stellar performance as part of a stellar team.
Congrats to Mt. Lebanon as the Blue Devils football team finishes the season a perfect 15-0, will top the 6A polls across the Commonwealth, will top our 6A and Overall polls at Three Rivers Broadcasting and should be in contention for a place in the national Top 20 polls after convincingly beating a national powerhouse program.