B-A tames Rams rushing attack; improved line play nets win over Penns Valley
GAME TWO B-A Blue Devils: 27 Penns Valley Rams: 3 Friday, September 8, 2006 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes was concerned about how his line would play against Penns Valley in the Blue Devils home opener on Friday at Bellwood Memorial Stadium.
— The immediate result seemed to be a step forward, even though Hayes is not ready to call it a success at this point. The offensive line cleared the way for Josh Kleinfelter and his fellow running backs to rush for 214 yards in a 27-3 Bellwood-Antis victory.
— On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the B-A defense held the Rams to 112 yards rushing, a far cry from last week, when junior running back Chris Korn ravaged Bald Eagle Area for 226 yards all by himself. Against B-A, Korn was held to just 69 yards on 22 carries, barely three yards per carry.
— “I was concerned coming in, because Penns Valley has big strong guys that were awfully aggressive when we watched them in the first three weeks. I was concerned with how we would respond,” said Hayes. “We’ve been working with the guys on our line. We realize this is a new unit and it’s going to take awhile to get in sync. We have guys in new positions this year. They got a little better tonight, but we still have some room to go.”
— Kleinfelter, limited to 80 yards last week, rambled for 180 yards on 21 carries against Penns Valley, including touchdowns of eight, 30 and four yards.
— Bellwood-Antis scored in each of the first two quarters and then put the game away with two scores in the third quarter.
— “Field position is awfully important in any football game,” said Hayes. “If you don’t have it, like last week, then you’re in trouble. This week we had some benefits. Brandon Humphreys did a super job with the punting game. He had a couple big punts that got them (Penns Valley) down deep. Then he took advantage of what was there to get a first down on another punt situation.”
— The Blue Devils led only 14-3 at halftime, but scored on back-to-back series to begin the third quarter to effectively put the game out of reach.
— Devon Clapper provided a jump-start by returning the second-half kick 24 yards to the BA-34. Kleinfelter ripped off a 49-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage, and Brandon Pruznak closed out the short four-play drive by grabbing a 23-yard TD pass from Evan Hughes.
— Bellwood-Antis then forced Penns Valley to punt and set up shop again back at the BA-17. After a Hughes-to-Pruznak pass completion netted 11 yards on the first call, Kleinfelter raced 28 yards. Hughes found 6-foot-5 wide out Alan Wertz for completions of four and 12 before Justin Manning and Kleinfelter matched seven-yard pickups to the PV-7. Kleinfelter covered the distance in two carries, the second a four-yard TD. Evan Celmo booted his third PAT in four attempts to set the score at 27-3.
— “The big run at the beginning of the second half set the tone. We came out talking about what we wanted to do. If you can do that right away,” explained Hayes, “it really energizes your kids. I was surprised that they caught Josh on that big run, but anyhow, I think that helped the second half go the way it did.”
— Neither team made a lot of mistakes, there were no penalties and only one turnover in the first half.
— Bellwood-Antis did take advantage of that one turnover when Justin Manning made a diving interception of a Matt Johnson pass at the Penns Valley 15. Kleinfelter picked up five yards and then senior fullback Jon Davila carried twice for five yards and a first down. The Rams’ defense caught Kleinfelter in the backfield for a three-yard loss, but the B-A senior got it all back plus five, going in for the eight-yard touchdown one play later. Celmo kicked the PAT for a 7-0 B-A lead with just 0:26 left in the opening quarter.
— On the following series, Penns Valley was stopped when Josh Peters tackled Korn for just a yard gain on second and five, and Chad Coho sacked Rams quarterback Matt Johnson for an eight-yard loss on third down to force a punt.
— A 25-yard punt return by Justin Manning gave Bellwood-Antis the ball at the PV-27. Penns valley tackled Kleinfelter for a three-yard loss. A play later, it looked like half the Rams defense would stop Kleinfelter behind the line of scrimmage when Josh somehow eluded everybody and raced 30 yards down the right sideline for his second TD of the game. Celmo booted the extra point to give the Blue Devils a 14-0 lead with nine and a half minutes left in the first half.
— Penns Valley’s only score came with just three ticks left on the clock at the end of the first half when Brandon Vonvoigt kicked a 26-yard field goal to end a scoreless streak against the Blue Devils that had stretched to 13 straight quarters. Bellwood-Antis shut out the Rams 34-0 in 2003, 27-0 in 2004 and 37-0 last year. Even though Penns Valley did score, the Rams haven’t been able to get into the Blue Devils end zone for 16 consecutive quarters and counting.
— “I felt we played a lot better tonight with the line giving us some running room. They opened up some holes for Josh and Devon and the rest of the running backs. The ends and backs blocked well out on the perimeter—hat was a big part of the improvement, too. They blocked for each other. Overall, it was a good effort by our kids tonight. They came out and were pretty enthusiastic and gave us what we were looking for out of them tonight.”