to 2005 Results
6A Semifinal Playoff
Saturday, November 12, 2005 Portage, PA
helps Bellwood-Antis reach district final with 28-14 triumph over Portage
Daily Herald Sports Editor
Using an offense that the Portage Mustangs found almost impossible to
stop and a defense that bent but wouldnt break, Bellwood-Antis punched
their ticket to return to the District 6-A championship game by disposing
of Portage 28-14 on Saturday night at Portage Area Stadium.
With Portage playing in just their second semifinal ever, Bellwood-Antis
scored the first three times they touched the football to take a 21-7
lead and never looked back in earning their 10th district final appearance
in the 21-year history of the event.
Portage began the game on offense and moved to near midfield, but the
Blue Devil defense forced a punt to take over at the BA-15.
Senior quarterback Kyle Drost, who enjoyed a perfect four-for-four passing
performance for 86 yards, hit senior wide out Dan Kovac for a gain of
24 on the first play from scrimmage for Bellwood-Antis as B-A coach John
Hayes crossed up the Mustangs. Then it was junior tailback Josh Kleinfelter
getting loose around right end for 43 yards, and classmate Jon Davila
going around left end for 17 more to the one-inch mark. Kleinfelter crashed
through for the touchdown on the next play. The Blue Devils had sliced
through the Portage defense, which had given up just an average of 8.8
points per game through an undefeated season and 22-14 win over United
in the first playoff round, like a hot knife through butter.
Evan Celmo booted the first of four perfect placements to give B-A a quick
7-0 lead with 7:12 to play in the opening quarter.
Portage got it going on the following series, marching 74 yards in a time-consuming
18-play drive to score a TD on a three-yard run by senior fullback Wayne
Gathers. Brad Rousells PAT tied the game with just 15 seconds left
in the quarter.
Then, for the second week in a row, Bellwood-Antis struck a lightening-like
blow to take the momentum away from their opponents. A week earlier, it
was Kleinfelter taking a kick following a Juniata Valley score to tie
the first-round contest, racing for an 82-yard TD to put the Blue Devils
up a score in the second quarter.
This time, it was junior wingback Devon Clapper fielding the ball at the
BA-18, catching a seam up the middle, faking out one defender and then
outracing everybody 82 yards for the score. The distance and the effect
were the same as the kickoff return a week earlier. The quick score and
Celmos kick gave the lead and the momentum back to the Blue Devils.
That play was very big, very big, emphasized Bellwood-Antis
coach John Hayes. We got out to that lead and they drove down and
scored. We had them a couple of times fourth down and they made the big
plays. They are a fine team, their record speaks to that. Tying it up
was a big concern, but we have some playmakers and Devon has done this
before. He just had a big game tonight. He made some big plays, we got
out of a hole with his big catch and run. The kickoff return was just
one of many of the big things he made happen tonight.
The Devil defense, led by Tony DelGrosso, Adam Martin, Anthony Jenkins,
Troy Brunner, Tyler Narehood and the rest of the B-A D, forced
the Mustangs to punt following a three-and-out and put the Bellwood-Antis
offense back in motion again.
Kleinfelter, who rushed 22 times for 161 yards to raise his season total
to 1,932 yards, bolted for 13 yards on the first call. Drost found Clapper
for a 10-yard pass play, and Davila took it around end for six more. Kleinfelter
picked up another first down with an 11-yard scamper. Three more runs
by Kleinfelter, the last for his second one-yard TD as he followed left
tackle Adam Martin through the hole, and Celmos PAT boot lifted
Bellwood-Antis into a 21-7 advantage.
A big early lead gives you a lot of confidence, explained
coach Hayes. A lot of the guys play both ways, so it is important
to get some excitement going. We were able to get out early and drive
the ball down. Obviously, when you are playing from that situation, the
guys are feeling better. Portage did a great job, they kept coming back,
coming back. They stretched us pretty far.
Although Portage ran 37 plays from scrimmage in the first half, to just
15 for Bellwood-Antis, the Blue Devils took a 21-7 lead into the locker
room at halftime.
We were able to cash in on our Red Zone opportunities, said
coach Hayes, whose Blue Devils are now a perfect 10-for-10 in district
semifinals. We work hard at doing that and fortunately tonight were
able to get it in when we had the opportunity. Thats what its
all about. When you get it to this level, mistakes are the key, probably,
to the outcome. Other than the one fumble down there, we were pretty error-free
moving the football.
Bellwood-Antis took the second-half kick and marched for another touchdown
to put the game out of reach, but Kleinfelter fumbled into the end zone
at the Portage-2 and the Mustangs recovered for a touchback to set up
their offense at their own 20.
Clapper scooted for gains of 14 and 17 and Kleinfelter added an 11-yard
pickup on the drive as B-A moved from their own 32 to the Portage-2, but
came away with no points.
Hoping to get back into the game, Portage drove 74 yards to the BA-6,
where, with the help of a five-yard Mustang penalty, the Bellwood-Antis
defense stopped the scoring threat. Runs of 20 and 21 by Gathers highlighted
The Blue Devils then turned around, beginning at the BA-11, and drove
89 yards for their final score of the game.
After a motion penalty moved the ball back to the Blue Devils-5, Drost
found Clapper on a third-and-five from the BA-10. Clapper took the perfect
pass on his fingertips for a 37 yards gain to near midfield and a huge
first down. On the next play, following another five-yard penalty walk-off
against B-A, Drost connected with Kovac for 15 more to the P-43. Kleinfelter
added romps of 13 and 12 on consecutive plays and then capped the drive
with his third short-yardage score, bulling two yards for his 30th TD
of the year.
Portage managed a touchdown late in the game, marching 70 yards in 20
plays to cut the lead to 28-14, but with just 2:15 remaining in the game.
The Mustangs did hold Bellwood-Antis after an on-side kick attempt went
out of bounds, but Clapper iced the victory with a pass interception and
Drost took a knee to run out the clock.
Our line on offense made it possible for us to push the ball the
way we like to, said Hayes. Next week will be another challenge.
We never get satisfied, we have a lot of work to do. Hopefully well
be able to play up to it next week.
Notes: Bellwood-Antis will face Bishop Carroll Saturday at Mansion
park in a rematch of the 2004 District 6-A championship final. Game time
is set for 7 p.m
Dan Kovac becomes the third B-A receiver to accumulate
500 yards receiving in a season, moving past Mike DelGrosso (520 in 1984),
trailing only Jason Lamertina who holds the single season record with
581 yards receiving in 1985. Kovac already holds the career records with
a current 836 yards and 11 touchdowns, as well as the season mark of nine
Celmo has now kicked 42 of 44 PATs this season, after being
successful on all of his first 38 kicks. The junior needs two more PATs
to tie Dave Miller (2000) for second on the season PAT list and with a
total of 75 career PATs, trails only Miller (88) and Dan Graham (85) on
the career PAT chart
Kleinfelter continued his assault on the B-A
record book, taking over the TD mark for a season with 30 passing Don
Booker Moores total of 28 TDs and the season points
record with 180. The old mark had been First Team All-State running back
Albert Chub Dillens total of 173 points in 1954. Josh
became the only Blue Devil with over 2,000 yards of total offense (rushing,
passing, receiving) in a season (2,127). Kleinfelter (3,993) needs just
seven yards to become the first B-A player to pass the 4,000-yard career
total offense mark. Kleinfelter also takes over the top spot in carries
for a season with an 11-game total of 281 carries, passing the old mark
of 274 by Moore in 1985
Kyle Drost has now moved into fourth place
on the B-A season passing yardage ladder with 1,123 yards
Blue Devils moved into the top five in team scoring with a current fifth
place showing of 384 points.
Score by quarter:
- Kleinfelter 1 run (Celmo kick) 7:12
P - Gathers 3 run (Rousell kick) 0:15
B-A - Clapper 82 kickoff return
(Celmo kick) 0:04
B-A - Kleinfelter 1 run (Celmo
- Kleinfelter 2 run (Celmo kick) 10:16
- Bilchak 10 pass from Kowalczyk (Rousell kick) 2:15
to 2005 Results