The Westmont Hilltop Hilltoppers won their second straight game and evened their record while putting on a textbook display of ball control offense and timely defensive plays in a 34-6 victory over visiting Bedford on Saturday afternoon.
Westmont Hilltop (3-3) scored on all three of its possessions in the first half to take a 21-0 lead at the break, and after a Hilltoppers goal-line stand that turned away the Bisons (2-4) at the 2 midway through the third quarter, the home squad effectively put the game out of reach with a 15-play, 98-yard scoring drive that took over seven and a half minutes off the clock and stretched into the final period.
“It was a great job by our defense, the offensive line was spectacular, and the backs ran hard,” said Westmont Hilltop coach Pat Barron. “You can’t ask for a better team effort than today.”
Nine Hilltoppers ball carriers combined for 317 rushing yards, and Westmont Hilltop didn’t even attempt a pass.
Fullback Mason Muto led all rushers with his first 100-yard game of the season as the sophomore picked up 124 yards and one score on 13 carries.
“Mason is a class kid who just shows up every day and takes care of business,” Barron said.
“It was nice to see him have a breakout game.”
Bedford coach Kevin Steele was not pleased with his squad’s performance..
“We played very poorly in all three phases of the game, and the scoreboard indicated that,” Steele said. “We have to get tougher and tackle much better.”
Westmont Hilltop took advantage of an early break to get on the board. The Bisons fumbled on the game’s third play from scrimmage and the Hilltoppers recovered at the Bedford 45.
From there, Westmont Hilltop subsequently converted two straight fourth downs, and quarterback Lee Santee capped off the 11-play drive with a 4-yard keeper. Brandon Kaesler hit the first of his four extra points for a 7-0 lead.
After a Bisons three-and-out, Muto’s 47-yard burst down the left sideline was followed two plays later by his 8-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the opening quarter.
Logan Webb’s fourth-down sack of Bedford quarterback Steven Ressler gave the Hilltoppers possession at their own 38 with just under eight minutes left in the half.
From there, Westmont Hilltop mounted one more scoring drive before the break. A fourth-and-1 offside penalty by Bedford aided the Hilltoppers before Camden Moors followed up a 23-yard Muto run with a 1-yard touchdown at the 2:48 mark.
Bedford then put together its best offensive series of the half. Ressler completed five straight passes for 59 yards to move the Bisons to the Hilltoppers’ 15 with 8 seconds left in the half, but Michael Barbado picked off Ressler in the end zone to keep Bedford off the board at intermission.
The Hilltoppers gambled and lost to open the third as Westmont Hilltop was stopped on fourth-and-short at their own 44, and Bedford appeared poised to capitalize. A 15-yard Ressler run and a 15-yard facemasking penalty moved the ball to the Hilltoppers’ 7, but Westmont’s defense slammed the door on Dylan Arnold on fourth-and-goal from the 2.
Westmont Hilltop responded with a trademark long drive, keyed by runs of 17 yards by Muto and 12 by Moors. Tucker Kushner finished the 98-yard march with a 4-yard touchdown that made it 27-0 with 10:48 to play.
The Hilltoppers added a final touchdown as Will Hillegass plowed in from the 1 at the 4:35 mark, while the Bisons averted the shutout when Andrew Foor found the end zone from 20 yards out.
Bedford will host Greater Johnstown on Friday, while the Hilltoppers will travel to Point Stadium for a rivalry game with Bishop McCort.