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Bellwood-Antis celebrates Homecoming by handing Southern Huntingdon first loss

GAME FIVE B-A Blue Devils: 27 Southern Huntingdon Rockets: 9 Friday, September 29, 2006 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— The game opened like it would be a series of battles in which perhaps the last team with the ball would be the victor. It ended more like a wipeout. In between, Bellwood-Antis showed which was the better team, at least on this Friday night, the team with the most key plays, and the team with the most points in a 27-9 triumph over previously undefeated Southern Huntingdon.

— It was the annual Homecoming for the Blue Devils with Dolly Patel being crowned the 2006 Homecoming Queen at halftime by 2005 Queen Jamie Smith.

— Southern Huntingdon received the opening kickoff and quickly marched down the field, slicing and dicing the Blue Devils defense like no team, including Tyrone in the season opener, had been able to do. Southern won their first four games of the year outscoring their foes 159-33, while rushing and passing for 305 yards per game and giving up just 158.

— The Bellwood-Antis defense, which has played above and beyond all season for all but a two-minute period in the Tyrone game, and that with a short field for the Eagles to work with, stalled the Rockets at the BA-35. Tyler Narehood, who had the game of his life on defense, made his first presence known tackling big Southern fullback Troy Hoover short of the sticks to force a fourth-down play pass that was intercepted by Devon Clapper.

— “Defense set the tone tonight,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “Yes, we scored 27 points, but the big pick which got us on top, the goal line stand right before the end of the half, keeping them out and keeping the lead, those were huge. To think that we were going to shut Southern Huntingdon down was wishful thinking. But, I think we did about as good a job as we could have after that first score.”

— A booming Rocket punt sent the Blue Devils back to their own three-yard line and three plays later found them a yard short of a first down. Bellwood-Antis punted back to Southern, who benefited from the change of field possession to get the ball at the BA-38. The Rockets took advantage of the short field to put the ball in the end zone with junior tailback Nick Hall blasting the final five yards. Freshman Matt Gaston, a transfer student from nearby Fannett Metal, booted the PAT for a 7-0 Southern Huntingdon lead at the 3:54 mark of the opening quarter.

— Starting from the BA-38, the Blue Devils moved 62 yards in seven plays for a score of their own on their next offensive series. Josh Kleinfelter moved the sticks with an 18-yard scamper, Clapper picked up 12 on the following play and Jon Davila and Kleinfelter had matching seven-yard gains for another first down. Kleinfelter dashed 10 yards to the SH-4 and then scored a play later to close the Blue Devils to within a point. Southern kept their 7-6 lead when the snap was high and B-A failed to convert the PAT.

— Southern Huntingdon quarterback Tyler Mansberger completed a 16-yard pass to Hall on the first play of the next series, but went to the well once too often. Danny Campbell stepped in front of the intended receiver the next play and raced 54 yards to put Bellwood-Antis in the lead. The score remained 12-7 when the two-point try was stopped short.

— The Bellwood-Antis defense came up with a huge stop at the end of the first half. Southern Huntingdon started late in the second quarter from their own 38 and marched deep into Bellwood-Antis territory. The Rockets had a third-and-one at the BA-3, when the Blue Devil defense rose to the task at hand. First, Davila stopped Hall for a two-yard loss, then Narehood tackled Mansberger for no gain and the Blue Devils took over at the BA-5.

— Lightning then struck in the form of Josh Kleinfelter for the second week in a row at almost the same time. Last week at Mount Union, Kleinfelter ran the second-half kickoff 79 yards for a TD. Against Southern, at Bellwood Memorial Stadium, Kleinfelter went 62 yards on the first play from scrimmage following the second-half kick for his second score of the night. Blaze Winterstein caught a two-point pass from Hughes to hand the Blue Devils a 20-7 lead.

— Southern was able to move the ball at times, but everytime they seemed to find some momentum the Blue Devils defense would find a way to stop the Rockets.

— On the series following the long jaunt by Kleinfelter, Southern drove to the BA-43, only to have Josh Peters, Clapper and Narehood combine on two tackles to push the Rockets back culminating with Narehood recovering a fumble. Several series later, Southern Huntingdon was on the BA- 48 in good field position, only to lose a yard on two plays and then B-A lineman Anthony Jenkins smothered Hall for a four-yard loss on a pass play from Mansberger.

— The Rockets did manage to score a safety after the ball was fumbled by Bellwood-Antis at their own six yard line on first down following a punt.

— Late in the contest, Southern Huntingdon was forced to go for it on a fourth-and-eight call, resulting in the Blue Devils getting the ball at the SH-35. Clapper scooted 17 yards for the key play and Kleinfelter covered the final 11 yards for the TD. Evan Celmo booted the PAT to set the final score at 27-9.

— “We were able to make some adjustments at halftime in response to what they had been doing in the first half. Then Josh’s big play to start the third quarter was kind of like the nail that closed the lid pretty tight. After that, it was kind of like a scrum—back and forth. They defensed us rather well, and we missed some opportunities. But our defense really shut down a pretty potent offense.”

BLUE DEVIL NOTES: Clapper had two interceptions for B-A… The Blue Devil defense has allowed an average of just 39 yards passing per game… Kleinfelter carried 18 times for 144 yards—his opposite number (both Kleinfelter and Southern’s Troy Hoover wear No. 34) had 18 carries for 62 yards after running for an average of 104 yards in the first four games… Mansberger had 50 yards passing in the first half, but ended up with just 39 yards after B-A caught receivers behind the line of scrimmage twice… Southern Huntingdon has lost just three times in the regular season in their last 19 games-all to Bellwood-Antis… B-A has defeated the Rockets 16 straight times.

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