B-A survives Trojan challenge, enters D6 Playoffs unblemished
GAME NINE B-A Blue Devils: 42 Mount Union Trojans: 21 Friday, October 30, 2009 • Mount Union, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— Bellwood-Antis struggled a bit, with Mount Union catching them a bit unprepared, but regrouped for a 42-21 victory to finish the regular season 9-0. — “It certainly is a good feeling. The kids worked hard and they beat a very good football team tonight to achieve that (undefeated season),” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “I am very happy with the results. There have been some big games, some tough games over the years. Some of them like tonight, we had to rebound, bounce back, and the kids deserve a lot of credit for this. It wasn’t easy, but it was certainly appreciated and we are looking forward to the playoffs.” — The Blue Devils took the opening kickoff, which Trey Campbell returned 11 yards to the BA-44. An incomplete pass and four-yard loss gave B-A a third-and-14 and set the stage for the first of many big plays. Senior quarterback Nate Plummer, restricted by the weather for most of the month, hit Campbell on the right side for 30 yards and a first down at the MU-30. Zach McCaulley carried three times for 15 yards and Tyler Beech once for four before Plummer found junior tight end Jared Minori over the middle for 16 yards and a touchdown. Nick DeGol booted the first of four extra point kicks for the only score of the first quarter. — A quarterback sack by Minori highlighted the next series when the Bellwood-Antis defense forced a Mount Union punt. Ben McCaulley fumbled on the first play from scrimmage however, and the Trojans’ Trevor Dixon recovered at the BA-21. — The Blue Devil defense was equal to the task, giving up zero net yards and taking over on downs at their own 21 four plays later. — Bellwood-Antis then took the rest of the opening quarter and three and a half minutes of the second to march 79 yards for a score. McCaulley burst for 14 yards and Plummer hooked up with Minori for a gain of 10, and later in the drive the same duo completed a 30-yard pass play. Beech crashed in for the two-yard score with 8:31 showing in the second quarter. Mount Union was guilty of a half-the-distance penalty on the point after, and B-A decided to go for two. Plummer tossed a pass in the middle of the end zone all alone for a 15-0 advantage. — Mount Union got into the action, switching from their usual offensive set to senior tailback Mydell Loner moving to quarterback in shotgun formation. The Trojans would use this Wildcat formation with five receivers for the rest of the game, a move the B-A defense wasn’t ready for. Loner had been the leading rusher for Mount Union, but after throwing just three passes all season used his arm to mystify the Blue Devil defense for most of the rest of the game. — “They used it last week and we prepared for it,” said Coach Hayes. “What we didn’t prepare for was the five receivers. He (Loner) was elusive and we weren’t getting to him. We prepared, but in practice, we didn’t have as much trouble getting pressure as we did tonight. He double-clutched a couple times, double-pumped. They did a great job with what they did. They kind of had us grasping there a little bit.” — Loner was able to find senior quarterback Trevor Dixon, used as a flanker all alone for a big 31-yard gain to keep the drive going, and slipped three yards on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Darrien Walker booted the first of three perfect placement kicks to slice the B-A lead to 15-7. — DeGol returned the following kick 22 yards to give the Blue Devils good field position at the BA-38. Beech blasted over the left side for 15 yards and a first down, and Plummer connected with Campbell for the 24-yard TD toss with just four seconds remaining in the second half. DeGol’s PAT kick gave Bellwood-Antis 22-7 halftime margin. — Bellwood-Antis forced a punt on Mount Union’s opening series of the third quarter, and responded by marching 53 yards for another score. — McCaulley carried the football five times for 33 yards, Beech added three runs for 18, and Plummer’s one-yard sneak gave the Blue Devils a 29-7 lead with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter. — Loner and Elliot Clemens hooked up for two quick scores to make it a ballgame, just when it seemed the Blue devils were ready to take charge. Loner had thrown just three passes, completing one in the Trojans first eight games, but connected on seven of 15 for 166 yards on the night. They included TD passes for 33 and 24 yards to Clemens, taking just 1:09 of the third quarter to rally Mount Union back to trail just 29-21 with all the momentum. — On the first series, Loner ran twice for 11 yards and handed off to Dixon for a five-yard gain, before finding Clemens all alone for a 33-yard TD. On the next series, Bellwood-Antis committed a 10-yard penalty and then fumbled the ball, with Julius Rogers recovering for Mount Union at the BA-23. Dixon lost one before Loner and Clemens connected for 24 yards and the second TD of the quarter. — “I’m very proud of the way the kids hung in there, even though they scored a couple quick scores—we gave them the turnover, and they got the second score—the way we were able to answer that,” said Hayes. “I told the kids, getting off the deck, falling down and getting back up again was the most important thing. We answered that with a long drive and a score. That was a very reassuring feeling at that point. The guys up front wanted it and we were able to pound it in.” — Beginning at the BA-35, the Blue Devils drove the distance for a score. Plummer and Campbell connected twice for 24 and 12 yard gains and Beech scored his second TD of the night from four yards out. DeGol’s PAT gave the Blue Devils a 36-21 lead at the 9:08 mark of the fourth quarter. — Loner and Mount Union tried to come back again, but the B-A defense stopped the Trojans at the BA-24 and 44 and then DeGol picked Loner off and ran the interception 76 yards for the final TD of the night.
Blue Devil Notes: McCaulley was the leading rusher of the game with 96 yards on 25 carries, and now has 1,193 yards on the season… Bellwood-Antis rushed for 154 yards against the Mount Union defense, which had been giving up just an average of 67.8 yards per game… Plummer passed for 145 yards and two scores to push his season totals to 936 yards and 14 TDs, tying Nate for the top TD mark in B-A program history for a season… Minori had one solo sack and shared another with Zach Doyle.