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6A Quarterfinal Playoff
Juniata Valley Hornets:
Saturday, November 5, 2005 Bellwood-Antis Memorial
Field Bellwood, Pennsylvania
plays, turnovers, second half defensive effort lead Bellwood-Antis over
Juniata Valley into semifinals
Daily Herald Sports Editor
Ask our two local football teams what they found out about first-round
district playoff games over the weekend. One common theme in both games
was that both the Eagles and the Blue Devils had to overcome strong upset
bids and play a complete 48-minute game. Tyrone trailed 30-13 at halftime,
before dominating the second half to down Penn Cambria 46-30 on Friday.
On Saturday night at Bellwood Memorial Stadium, Bellwood-Antis overcame
a pesky Juniata Valley squad that stuck close to Bellwood-Antis, never
allowing the Blue Devils to get far out of their sights, until the final
whistle. B-A used a second-half defensive effort that shut down the Hornets
offense, and took advantage of several big plays and turnovers to advance
to the semifinals next week with a 22-14 victory.
It was an exciting game, commented Bellwood-Antis coach John
Hayes, when asked about the game by one of the media. It was fantastic
for the fans, maybeit was not fantastic for the coaches and
players. We had more errors and mistakes than I can remember having in
a long time.
To be very honest, I think we have to give credit to Juniata Valley
for at least some of that. They put a lot of heat on us. They played a
pressure-packed defense and they were responsible for creating a lot of
those errors. They took a lot of things away from us.
Juniata Valley outrushed the Blue Devils 217-172, but were held to just
22 total yards over the final two quarters by a tenacious Blue Devil defense
that recovered four Juniata Valley fumbles.
In the first half, the two Class-A powers matched each other score-for-score.
Bellwood-Antis drew first blood after Juniata Valley won the coin toss
and elected to take the kickoff to begin the contest. Valley fumbled on
the first play from scrimmage with Adam Martin recovering at the JV-39.
The Hornets held and took over on downs, but had to punt after the B-A
defense forced a three-and-out. Bellwood-Antis ground out a first down,
with Josh Kleinfelter barely getting past the marker on a fourth-and-one
play to move the sticks for a first down. Two plays later, lightening
struck. Juniata Valley, which has used speed as their main weapon all
year, got burned when senior Dan Kovac got behind the Hornet secondary,
hauled in a perfect Kyle Drost pass and outraced everybody for the 63-yard
touchdown. Troy Brunner kicked the PAT for a 7-0 B-A lead with just under
six minutes to go in the first quarter.
B-A safety Brandon Pruznak recovered a fumble two series later to stop
the Hornets after they had driven from their own-29 to the BA-38.
From the BA-34, Drost underthrew a wide-open Kovac and Corey Lightner
intercepted and returned to Blue Devil-33. Tyler Hall burst through for
24 yards to the BA-9 on the first play, Johnny Boyd picked up five and
then Lightner picked up the four-yard TD and added the PAT kick to tie
the score with 11:54 in the half.
Lightning struck again on the following kickoff when Kleinfelter fielded
the kick, cut left, faked a reverse to Justin Manning, which froze the
defense and then raced 82 yards for a touchdown, juking the last defender
along the Blue Devil sideline. With 11:40 left, Brunners PAT gave
Bellwood-Antis a 14-7 advantage.
On the next series, Valley got the benefit of a questionable interference
call to help move the ball to midfield, where Kleinfelter recovered a
fumble to stop Juniata Valley once more.
The Hornets hit paydirt on their next series and tied the score with another
Lightner PAT and was moving again when they ran out of time at the end
of the half. Boyd, who rushed 19 times for 161 yards, four carries for
38 yards on the scoring drive, including a nine-yard TD, then had his
number called three more times with time running out on the following
possession for 51 yards.
Evan Celmo was wide right on a 27-yard field goal attempt on the series
following Boyds score, after the Blue Devils drove to the JV-10.
A 34-yard jaunt by Kleinfelter highlighted the drive.
We made an adjustment at halftime, said Hayes. We did
pretty much what we did last year and we had a lot of success with it.
But they are a good team and they found something they could counter with
and they just really hammered us at the ends. We were outmanned on the
flanks and the ones who were there were getting pushed around pretty good.
We made a little adjustment that gave us another body where we needed
it and we were just fortunate the kids were able to pick that up and do
Boyd rambled 18 yards on his first carry of the third quarter for a first
down, but that was the last time Juniata Valley would move the sticks
in the second half.
The Bellwood-Antis offense ran 34 plays over the third and fourth quarters,
while Juniata Valley was limited to just 11 plays by Blue Devil defense.
After Boyds run, the Hornets ran 10 offensive plays for a total
of four net yards.
Bellwood-Antis drove 64 yards on their second possession of the third
quarter, but came away with nothing when Troy Brunners 30-yard field
goal sailed wide right.
The two schools traded turnovers with Boyd intercepting a Drost pass and
then Dan Kovac recovering a fumble to get it back at the Valley-18.
Kleinfelter sledge-hammered the Hornets for the TD getting all five carries,
including the one-yard TD. On the PAT, Bellwood-Antis benefitted from
some luck. On a fake kick, holder Blaze Winterstein backpedalling under
tremendous pressure tried to connect with Kovac in the middle of the end
zone for a two-point pass. The ball was batted away by the Hornet defense,
but right at junior wide receiver David Burns who made the heads-up catch
to increase the B-A lead to 22-14 with 6:45 still to play in the fourth
Juniata Valley went to their trick book running a reverse with Tyler Hall
ending up with the football. However, the Blue Devils allowed just a 24-yard
return to the JV-31. Bellwood-Antis then stopped the Hornets to take away
the ball at the JV-38 and proceeded to run out the clock.
Drost was only two-of-eight in the first half, including the big TD toss
to Kovac, but after an incompletion to begin the third quarter, completed
five straight to finish seven of 15 for 146 yards, one TD pass and two
Notes: Kleinfelter has rushed 258 times for a school record 1,759
yards, breaking the old record of 1,653 yards set by Don Booker
Moore in 1985 in 13 games. Josh now has 162 points on 27 TDs. Thats
fourth in points scored and second in touchdowns on the B-A season lists.
Kleinfelter has taken over the top spot in 100-yard games with a new mark
of 17, breaking the record formerly held by Moore of 15
completed 51 of 112 passes for 1,033 yards, becoming the seventh passer
at B-A to accumulate 1,000 yards in a season. Drost now has 10 TD passes
and eight interceptions and is fourth in TD passes on the B-A season list
Kovac has 21 catches for 500 yards and nine TDs. Dan joins Jason Lamertina
(581 in 1988) and Mike DelGrosso (520 yards in 1987) as the only Blue
Devils with 500 yards in receptions. Kovac also has the single season
TDs caught record (nine) and career TDs caught mark (11)
Valley has recorded an 18-3 mark over the last two years for second-year
coach Mike Smith, with two of the three losses to the Blue Devils
Bellwood-Antis (9-1) will travel to Portage (10-0) next weekend for a
District VI-A semifinal matchup.
22, Juniata Valley 14
Score by quarter:
- Kovac 63 pass from Drost (Brunner) 5:55
- Lightner 4 run (Lightner kick) 11:54
- Kleinfelter 82 kickoff return (Brunner kick) 11:40
- Boyd 9 run (Lightner kick) 4:29
- Kleinfelter 1 run (Burns pass from Winterstein) 6:45
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