Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea runs for 292 yards as Buccaneers secure Region 5AAAAA playoff berth
by Marcel Pourtout
MDJ Sports Writer
October 26, 2013 02:23 AM | 2007 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea, left, follows his blocker, Pete Derkay around the corner for big yards against Hiram on Friday. Bettistea ran for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 44-7 victory.
Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea, left, follows his blocker, Pete Derkay around the corner for big yards against Hiram on Friday. Bettistea ran for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 44-7 victory.
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HIRAM — Josh Bettistea ran for 292 yards and four touchdowns to lead Allatoona to a 44-7 victory over Hiram on Friday.

The victory secures the Buccaneers a playoff berth and keeps them tied with North Paulding and South Paulding in a three-way tie for the Region 5AAAAA lead. Allatoona will host North Paulding next week.

The Bucs (7-1, 7-1) wasted little time putting points on the scoreboard opening a quick 14-0 lead on a pair of short touchdown runs by Bettistea.

“It was important that we started out strong,” Allatoona head coach Gary Varner said. “We had a tough game with Hiram last year and emphasized that coming into tonight.”

The Bucs won last season’s contest 20-17 in overtime. That would not be the case this time.

Hiram (1-7, 1-7) cut the lead to 14-7 on a 67-yard pass from Jacob Lester to Jamal Hinds, but that was the Hornets’ lone highlight.

Michael Pynes’ 37-yard field goal and Bettistea’s third touchdown of the half on a 59-yard run in the second quarter pushed Allatoona’s lead to 24-7 at the half.

“All of our running backs run hard,” Varner said. “The offensive line sets it up and they did a great job up front, picked up Hiram’s blitzes and made running lanes.”

The Buccaneers’ defense forced six Hiram fumbles and recovered four of them. One of the turnovers came on the Hornets’ first possession of the second half and set up Bettistea for his final touchdown of the night.

“We changed the defense up because Hiram threw the ball more than we thought,” Varner said. “Our kids stepped up and played really good.”

Bettistea’s 65 yard touchdown run on Allatoona’s first snap following the turnover gave it a 30-7 advantage.

Russell Halimon and Conner Larson also scored rushing touchdowns in the second half for the Buccaneers.

Allatoona finished the contest with 345 yards rushing and allowed Hiram to gain only 214 yards of total offense.

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