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Bellwood-Antis edges Chestnut Ridge on final-minute score

GAME SEVEN

B-A Blue Devils: 13

Chestnut Ridge Lions: 1O

Friday, October 10, 2003 • Chestnut Ridge High School • Fishertown, Pennsylvania


By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor


Bellwood-Antis completed their third straight road game with a trip to Fishertown on Friday night to battle 5-1 Chestnut Ridge. Ridge was fresh from annihilating a previously undefeated Everett team last week 33-7, an Everett team that had handed the Blue Devils a 22-20 loss in week three. B-A scored with just 0:36 left on the fourth-quarter clock to edge Ridge 13-10. Bellwood-Antis bent and swayed a bit, but refused to break. Late in the fourth quarter the Blue Devil defense with the help of a quarterback sack from senior two-way tackle Ben Kleiner and a 10-yard Ridge penalty stopped the Lions and forced a punt. Then coach John Hayes inserted a trick play and the Blue Devils converted the call into a 39-yard gain that got the momentum flowing. Earlier in the season, Hayes called for the same play and the Blue Devils inability to carry out the play was one reason B-A couldn’t put any fourth-quarter points on the board against Everett, despite having the ball in Everett territory three times. Trailing 10-6, with under 3:30 to play and the ball at the BA- 24, the B-A coaches sent in the call. Shawn Weiand dropped back and completed a pass to senior wideout John McFalls, who made a nice catch over the left side, held on to the football long enough to draw the defenders in and then pitched outside to speedy tailback Dan Houser who scooted for 28 additional yards on the hitch-and-pitch to get deep into Chestnut Ridge territory. Houser then carried twice for 10 yards, sandwiched around a scamper of 12 yards by fullback Matt Sneath. Weiand tossed a pass to Travis Ehredt for nine yards to move the sticks for a big first down and Sneath completed the 10-play drive by plunging in for the one-yard TD with just 36 seconds on the clock. Troy Brunner added the PAT kick. “This was a great win,” said Bellwood-Antis coach Hayes. “It was a great statement for the kids and for the character that is building here. We have been kind of on a mission here. We have been pretty much the decided underdog for the last couple weeks. I think we played three very good football teams. This team we played tonight is an excellent team with a lot more wins in them.” Chestnut Ridge opened the scoring in the first quarter. When it seemed the B-A defense had stopped the Lions, junior quarterback Brian Barefoot, broke out of a tackle and raced 59 yards to score on a third down and three play. The PAT kick by Chris Stultz gave Ridge a 7-0 lead with 6:01 to play in the opening quarter. “The Barefoot kid is just an outstanding player,” said Hayes. “We knew what we had to do to stop him and he did it anyhow. We knew what was coming and he still made the plays.” The B-A defense gave up 286 yards rushing to Chestnut Ridge, led by 120 on 15 carries for Barefoot, 85 by fullback Casey Shaffer and 71 more by Fred Halbig. All three are juniors who will return for next season for the Lions. The Blue Devil defense was able to keep Chestnut Ridge out of the endzone for the rest of the contest however. Ridge was able to drive to the BA-16 with time running out in the first half with Stultz booting a 33-yard field goal to up the Lions’ margin to 10-6 with 0:00.7 showing on the scoreboard. Bellwood-Antis moved the ball as well. The Blue Devils outgained Chestnut Ridge in total yardage 325-314, but was continually shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes, missed blocks and penalties. B-A ended up with eight penalties for 77 yards, 72 in the first half, and Chestnut Ridge had 10 penalties for 89 yards. The Blue Devils were able to put everything together in the second quarter. A pair of Lion penalties combined with the B-A defense forced a punt from the Ridge 11-yard line. Taking over at the Chestnut Ridge 38, Bellwood-Antis quickly drove the distance in three plays to get on the score board. Houser, who carried 18 times for 108 yards, lost two on the first call. Shawn Weiand, who keeps improving on his decision-making each week after not playing football since ninth grade, pulled the ball down and scooted around his left end for 29 yards to the CR-11. Houser went over the left side a play later for the 11-yard TD. The score stayed 10-6 in favor of the Lions when Bellwood-Antis tried a trick play on the PAT and the pass failed. The two teams moved up and down the field through much of the final two quarters until Weiand returned a Barefoot punt for a dozen yards to the BA-24 to set the final scoring sequence in motion. “I can’t say enough about John McFalls and Dan Houser,” exclaimed Hayes. “We needed a spark. We had to get out of the hole. We were kind of sitting on that for the right moment. Fortunately, it worked. John did a great job of catching the ball and then held on to it just long enough to suck the defenders in and give Danny a chance to run. It worked to perfection. It could only have been better if he would have had another step and gone all the way. Probably its better that we used some clock up.” Chestnut Ridge did have one more chance, but four incompletions later, Bellwood-Antis, which plays 6-1 Moshannon Valley at home next Friday, got the win to improve to 5-2, after a 1-2 start.





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