Monessen jumped out to a 7-0 lead but visiting Avella scored the game’s final three touchdowns to upend the Greyhounds, 20-7, and spoil coach Shane Swope’s debut in a Tri-County South game Friday night.
Isaiah Beltram scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter to cap a 70-yard drive as Monessen took a 7-0 lead on its first possession.
The Eagles’ got on the board in the second quarter thanks to a fake punt. Gabe Lis connected with Tanner Terensky on a 27-yard pass on fourth and 11 from midfield, and Terensky hauled in a 23-yard TD toss from KJ Rush on the next play but a missed extra point left the Greyhounds with a 7-6 halftime advantage.
Avella took the lead in the third quarter on Rush’s 1-yard touchdown run and Robbie West’s extra-point kick made it 13-7. The key play in the drive was a 40-yard pass by Rush to Lis.
The Greyhounds marched to the Eagles 13 in the fourth quarter but Avella’s defense stiffened and Terensky intercepted a fourth-down pass and returned it 94 yards for a touchdown to seal the win.
Monessen committed a whopping 20 penalties to hurt its cause.