This Date in Blue Devil Football

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This Date in Blue Devil Football
September 29th

By BOB MILLER
Daily Herald Sports Editor

On Friday September 29, 1978, Bellwood-Antis (5-0) shutout Tussey Mountain 22-0 for their fifth win of the year.
Head coach Jim Gardner and the Blue Devils opened the season against Penns Valley (12-6) and played Tyrone second (8-7), then knocked off Kishacoquillas 14-7 and shutout West Branch 28-0 the week before.
After starting slowly in each of the first four games, the Blue Devils scored the first time they touched the ball against the Titans. Jim Himes set up the opening score with a fumble recovery at the TM-29. Halfback Mike Rhoades ripped off 11 yards on the first call to set the offense on fire and Jim Morder covered the final 11 yards four plays later, for the score.
Tussey threatened to come back, driving to the BA-11 in the second quarter, but the aggressive B-A defense spearheaded by Jim Fowler, Jim Grannas and Drew Gardner, dug in and finally took the ball away at the 16 where Fowler pounced on a fumble. Fowler also set the Blue Devils up in good field position for their second score when he dropped the Tussey punter at the TM-41 after a bad snap from center.
Butch Riggleman passed to Robbie Miller, who made a fine second effort to just barely move the sticks for a first down on a fourth-and-14 play to the Tussey-7. Riggleman ran for the two-yard score minutes later and passed to Fowler for the two-point PAT.
On the final B-A tally, Morder scampered 20 yards for the key play, and then scored on a four-yard thrust. Riggleman ran for the two-point conversion.
Tussey posed one more scoring threat, but Don Erickson picked off a Titan pass to turn Tussey Mountain away one final time.

On Friday, September 29, 1967, Bellwood-Antis played the final game of a season-opening, four-game homestand, downing Williamsburg 26-14 to even their season mark at 2-2.
Jeff Appleman returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a Williamsburg score and a quick lead, but the Blue Devils held the Pirates to just 68 yards rushing while churning out 296 yards on the ground themselves and four TDs.
A fumble recovery by Jim White just moments after the long kick return began a 67-yard B-A drive, capped by an 18-yard scoot by Jim Singler for the TD. Singler, a junior halfback, scored again with just 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter from one yard out and added the extra-point run to give Bellwood-Antis a 13-7 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, Les Roub tallied on a one-yard plunge and added the PAT rush to increase the B-A lead to 20-7. Jack Russin’s one-yard plunge with less than a minute gone in the fourth quarter ended a 40-yard advance that lifted the Blue Devils out of harmÕs reach. Williamsburg added a late score, but the B-A defense made sure that was all for head coach Chet Dillen and assistants Mike Hoffer and Bob Fowler.

Bellwood-Antis football was back! In head coach Chet Dillen’s second year, the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils posted their first winning record in seven years. For most of the history of the Blue Devils’ program, winning has been considered practically automatic. However the rare and only long, low period in B-A football was six losing seasons in a row from 1955 to 1960. With Johnny Moffa leading the way, 1961 marked the beginning of the reemergence of Bellwood-Antis football as it had been and would again be known.
On Friday, September 29, 1961, Bellwood-Antis won their third straight game after a season-opening loss to Tyrone, by bashing Williamsburg 28-0. The Blue Devils rolled up a 21-0 lead by halftime and added one more score in the second half, and the B-A defense recorded their second straight shutout. Williamsburg would manage only 26 yards rushing and four pass completions out of 20 attempts.
Senior B-A lineman Ken Kerstetter broke through to block a punt on the Pirate’s first series from scrimmage to get the ball at the W-30. Six plays later, Moffa, who would become the first documented 1,000-yards rusher for Bellwood-Antis in 1961, capped the drive by going the final six yards and then rushed for the extra point and a 7-0 lead.
Bellwood-Antis then put the game away with a pair of second-quarter TDs. First, B-A senior speedster Fred Svoboda ran wide around left end and raced untouched for a 49-yard touchdown. Williamsburg fumbled the following kickoff and Bellwood-Antis recovered at the W-40. Two plays later, Rick Benner found Svoboda between two defenders for a 35-yard play and another touchdown. Moffa added both second quarter PATs on runs.
In the third quarter, Ed Heuston intercepted a Williamsburg pass at the Pirate-20. Moffa scampered six yards to cap the scoring for the evening and rushed for his fourth PAT.
Bellwood-Antis would finish 6-4 during the regular season and then drop a 20-0 decision to Northern Bedford at Roaring Spring in an ICC playoff.

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