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B-A Blue Devils:
Friday, August 30, 2008 Gray
Memorial Field Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Eagles dominate Bellwood-Antis in Backyard Brawl
Daily Herald Sports Writer
The Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils might be waking up this morning scratching
their heads and wondering what happened last night against the Tyrone
Golden Eagles in the annual Backyard Brawl.
For that matter, they may be wondering what has happened over the last
Each time, B-A went into the season-opener with a team it felt was at
least as good, if not better, than Tyrone. And all the Devils have to
show for it is a single touchdown and three losses, bringing their losing
streak against Tyrone to six games and counting.
B-A coach John Hayes had an answer after his team lost to Tyrone last
night 27-6. It had a lot to do with momentum.
That was at the very top of the list in our talks leading up to
this game, Hayes said. The past two years, weve felt
we staked them to leads early. They had to make the plays, but we gave
them leads and they were able to sit on them. Momentum can be so fragile.
Tyrones players play with a lot of confidence. Were trying
to get it, but sometimes its a struggle.
Tyrone won the battle of momentum early last night, and won just about
every other battle as well. The Eagles out-gained B-A on the ground 237-114,
behind the bruising combination of Mark Mingle and Larry Glace. They held
a significant edge in passing, as well 148-10.
And every time Tyrone needed a big play, somebody found a way to get it
Glaces game-breaking touchdown catch-and-run at the end of the first
quarter may have been the best example.
With the Golden Eagles already up 14-0, they faced second-and-8 from their
own 43. Reihart dropped back for a screen to Glace that the Blue Devils
appeared the have sniffed out. But Glace made the catch between two defenders,
and then ripped free from the grasp of Tyler Geis and was on his way to
a 57-yard touchdown.
Johnny Shaffer missed the extra-point, but that made it 20-0 with just
38 seconds left in the opening period.
Glace also tacked on 58 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Not bad for a kid
who last season played the Backyard Brawl on the offensive line.
We had him ranked as our No. 3 offensive lineman, but we needed
speed, and hes the fastest kid on the team, said Tyrone coach
John Franco. We had to find a way to get the ball to our fastest
player, so we moved him.
Glaces first varsity touchdown wasnÕt Tyrones only momentum-changing
play. Instead, it was one of several in the first quarter alone that helped
to swing the tide in favor of the Golden Eagles.
After Tyrone scored on its first possession, B-A senior Randy Pfahler
returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Tyrone 45, but was flagged
for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play for tossing the ball in celebration.
It was a borderline call, but one that put a damper on a big return, and
moved the Devils back 15 yards to their own 40.
On B-As first play after the penalty, Nate Gray was picked off by
Eric Desch, who returned the ball 26 yards to the Blue Devils 29.
A personal foul for a hit out of bounds put the ball at the 15.
Three plays later, Reihart scrambled free of the rush of Jarred Minori,
cut back against the grain and scampered 10 yards for a touchdown that
made it 14-0.
The penalty wasnt flagrant, but it was foolish, said
Hayes of the unsportsmanlike call. And its a downer after
a big play, especially when youre coming from behind.
Tyrone jumped to an early 7-0 by forcing B-A to go three-plays-and-out
on its first possession, and then moving the ball 67 yards on six plays
for the opening score. Along the way, the Eagles converted on third-and-six
when Reihart connected with Desch for 17 yards to the B-A 36.
On the next play, Reihart hit Glace for a 19-yard gain, and two plays
later Mingle fought his way in from six yards out, starting out moving
to his left, before cutting back right and breaking a tackle into the
Our offensive line did a good job, and that was the key to the game,
said Franco. We have a good set of linemen, and that can set the
tone for the game. Our backs ran very hard.
Tyrone put a choke-hold on its grip on momentum with its first drive of
the second half, taking possession at its own 19 and grinding out a 12-play,
81-yard drive that consumed 5:34. Junior Shane Walker led the drive at
quarterback, after replacing Reihart late in the first half. Reihart was
Mingle carried most of the load, toting the ball seven times for 61 yards,
including runs of 9, 29 and 12 yards. He scored his second touchdown on
a 1-yard plunge, making it 27-0, and finished with 160 yards on 25 carries.
While the drive lacked the immediate impact of DeschÕs interception or
Glaces long touchdown reception, it kept Gray and B-As offense
off the field, and for Franco, that may have been more important.
We came out of the locker room and said, ÔWe cant go three-and-out.Õ
We just wanted to get first downs, said Franco. We knew they
could (come back). Their offensive line is one of the best well
see, and Gray is a game-breaker. We had to keep him off the field because
hes just too good.
One of the worst things you can do is to come out after halftime
and have a team drive the ball down your throat, said Hayes. They
beat us up front handily, and that set the tone for the second half. Now,
The Blue Devils got on the board late in the game, after Mark McCracken
recovered a fumble at the Tyrone 28 with the Eagles running out
the clock. Travis Taylor carried three times for 22 yards, and Nate Plummer
hit Buddy Shaw for a three-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left.
Were still sloppy in a lot of areas, said Franco, whose
team was penalized nine times for 82 yards and lost two fumbles. But
that was a good football team we beat. We got some breaks, and made some
big plays early on.
GRID TIDBITS: Trey Mock also had a fumble recovery for B-A
Matt Murray had an interception for the Eagles ... Tyrone sacked B-A quarterbacks
three times, and stopped eight plays in the Blue Devils backfield
Gray finished the game 3-for-13 for 7 yards and two interceptions
Reihart was 5-for-6 for 141 yards and a touchdown
Barlett and Dustin Weaver each had two tackles for loss
led the Devils with 31 yards on four carries
Tyrone travels to Huntingdon
next Friday, while B-A hosts Everett.
Score by quarter:
T - Mingle 6 run (Shaffer kick) 8:15
T - Reihart 6 run (Shaffer kick) 6:51
T - Glace 57 pass from Reihart (kick
T - Mingle 1 run (Shaffer kick) 6:26
B-A - Shaw 3 pass from Plummer (kick
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