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Bellwood-Antis explodes on defense to down Penns Valley

GAME SIX

B-A Blue Devils: 34

Penns Valley Rams: 0

Friday, October 3, 2003 • Penns Valley High School • Spring Mills, Pennsylvania


By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor


Blue Devils, Penns Valley must wait until Monday for decision (See final story below)

It’s been a tough year for the Bellwood-Antis football team. The Blue Devils have played through a hurricane, waited out an electric storm that stopped a game between the third and fourth quarters and then on Friday night with Bellwood-Antis leading the Penns Valley Rams 14-0 with 6:24 to play in the fourth quarter, the power suddenly went out. Lights and scoreboard went off and football players, officials and fans present for Penns Valley’s Homecoming were left in the dark. “You have to mutually agree to end it where it is,” explained Bellwood-Antis head coach John Hayes. “I certainly wouldn’t pressure the other coach into that. With six minutes left to go down two scores anything can happen. We agreed to do it up Monday at Bellwood, prior to the Jayvee game. So we will play the 6:24 varsity game and then take a break and regroup and play the Jayvee game.” After a scoreless first half, Bellwood-Antis kicked off to begin the third quarter. Hayes went to the trick book in calling for an onside kick that surprised everybody in the stadium, most of all the Penns Valley players. Instead of Troy Brunner kicking the ball, Dan Houser kicked it and Brunner recovered it at the BA-48. Matt Sneath bulled eight yards on the first call from scrimmage and then 12 more two plays later. Then Dan Houser went around the left side and raced 31 yards for the quick score. Brunner added the PAT kick and with 10:17 to play in the third quarter, Bellwood-Antis had a 7-0 lead. “We felt that we definitely needed some kind of a spark,” said Hayes. “Like a heavyweight fight, we took some punches, they had some good movement offensively and of course, we did too. We couldn’t score. We thought we needed something to get some fire under our kids. On the other side of it, we were concerned about kick returns against them. We thought that maybe the ball would end up in the same place so we took a shot and it paid off. We got a score out of it, I think we kind of shocked them a little bit. It had two-fold benefit. Our guys got pumped up and they’re looking around a little bit. We got a couple quick plays and got a score.” Bellwood-Antis lined up to kick off again with Greg Bartley back to kick the ball. Bartley booted a short fly that landed behind the Penns Valley front line and in front of the second. The Rams seemed to back away from the ball a little bit and Brunner recovered it again, this time at the Rams-32. “I’d like to say we planned that kick too,” said Hayes, “but our kicking game has been inconsistent, the kickoff part of it. We just can’t seem to kick them or squib them or whatever. I’m pulling my hair out about it. Fortunately it paid off handsomely. We got that second score. We tried to shoot ourselves in the foot, but Derrick Hoffer just made a tremendous effort to go to the football, catch the football and then make a real athletic run to get it into the endzone.” After a completed pass was called back on a holding penalty that set the ball back to the BA-45, Derrick Hoffer ran a reverse on the opening play for a gain of 13 yards and Houser picked up five more. On a third down and 14, Shawn Weiand tossed a pass to Hoffer. The B-A junior came back for the pass which was thrown short, then cut left toward the middle of the field and with a super effort made it into the endzone for a touchdown, completing the 37-yard play. Brunner’s PAT kick gave the Blue Devils some operating room with a two-TD lead with 9:08 left in the quarter. Bellwood-Antis got off to slow start on offense after receiving the kick to begin the game, but Penns Valley had no such problem. The Rams took over after the Blue Devils punted and marched from their own 28 to the BA-17. Here the B-A defense rose up to stop Penns Valley. First Matt Sneath stopped the Penns Valley ballcarrier for a one yard gain, then on consecutive plays, first Ben Kleiner, then Matt Plummer tackled the Ram tailback for no gain to take over on downs. Bellwood-Antis went three plays and punted and Penns Valley drove down the field again, this time to the BA-14 before the B-A defense stopped Penns Valley again. In the opening quarter, the Rams had the ball for 15 plays to just six for Bellwood-Antis and outgained the Blue Devils 87 yards to 14. Then as Hayes explained the two schools changed sides and in the second quarter, Bellwood-Antis ran off 27 plays to the Rams’ 11 and outgained Penns Valley 131-51 to in fact take a lead in total yardage at halftime of 145-138. The Blue Devils drove to the PV-two and nine yards lines, but failed to punch the ball over the goal line in both cases. Weiand, who completed eight of 15 passes for 102 yards overall, connected on seven of them to move the Blue Devils into scoring position, but the Blue Devils were stopped short on both occasions in the second quarter. Following the two quick B-A scores at the beginning of the third quarter, Bellwood-Antis marched the ball on a time-consuming 13-play drive until the Ram defense halted the march at the PV-40. Weiand’s punt with the wind rolled out of bounds at the Penns Valley-4 and before the Rams had an opportunity to begin their first offensive series of the fourth quarter, the lights blinked once, then went out. After nearly an hour the decision was agreed upon by both coaches to continue the game to it’s conclusion on Monday.

Bellwood-Antis explodes on defense to down Penns Valley

(Monday, October 6, 2003)


Although the final score was 34-0, it was not indicative of the game on the field. Winning coach Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes just completed the longest weekend of his coaching career. Following Friday night’s suspension of the B-A-Penns Valley football game due to a power outage at Penns Valley, coach Hayes spent the next 72 hours thinking and considering what the Rams might throw at his Blue Devils in the 6:24 that had to be completed before the Blue Devils victory over Penns Valley could be complete. Hayes was remembering 1996, 1997 and 1999. In each of those years, Bellwood-Antis had what everybody figured was a comfortable lead over Penns Valley. Yet in every one of those games, the Rams staged a comeback that included a score with less than a minute remaining that spelled defeat for the Blue Devils. “We’re pleased where we are right now, but it’s going to be an awfully long weekend,” was the way coach Hayes summed it up on Friday after Hayes, who doubles as the Athletic Director at B-A and Don Hosterman, his counterpart at Penns Valley, agreed to pick up the final six minutes plus on Monday when the two teams had a scheduled junior varsity game at Bellwood. “We know with Penns Valley and the wins they had in the late 90s against us, that its not over,” said Hayes. “They have an advantage. We have a lead we have to hold. They can just go out and fire away.” Penns Valley, starting at their own four-yard line when the game was continued, did fire away. It was the Rams who got burned however. The Rams had four chances to score in those final six minutes and 24 seconds. Before it was over, Penns Valley would put the ball in the air 12 times in their comeback attempt. The Blue Devils were ready. Ram senior quarterback Todd Bumgardner connected with sophomore split end Jason Homan four straight times for gains totaling 37 yards to advance the ball near midfield. The Rams went to the well once too often however. Shawn Weiand came up from his cornerback spot to pick off a Bumgardner pass and returned the interception 64 yards down the left side for a touchdown. Troy Brunner’s PAT kick gave B-A a 21-0 lead with 4:05 still to play. Penns Valley tried to move through the air again. Derrick Hoffer intercepted the pass this time, running it 23 yards to the PV-10. Dan Houser, who finished with 73 yards and two TDs on 18 carries scooted for nine yards to the one and two plays later followed his teammates on the line over the right side for a one-yard TD. Brunner’s PAT boot gave the Blue Devils a 28-0 advantage with 2:20 left. The third time definitely wasn’t the charm for the Rams. Again Penns Valley had to pass to move the ball and again the Blue Devil defense made them pay. This time, Houser stepped in front of a Penns Valley receiver and didn’t stop until the ball was in the endzone, a 67-yard TD return on the interception to increase the margin to 34-0. Houser’s second interception of the game moments later, ended the Rams final attempt to score and Weiand took a knee to run out the clock. “This was kind of like the longest timeout we have ever had,” was one way Hayes described the situation following what he could finally celebrate as a win for the Blue Devils (4-2), who travel to Fishertown for a game against Chestnut Ridge (5-1 with only a 20-14 loss in week one to Bishop Guilfoyle) on Friday. “It was a long weekend of trying to play mind games of what are they going to try and do? What worked for them on Friday? What will they try tonight? Fortunately they didn’t do anything we didn’t expect. We went over yesterday what we expected then to come with. They were fresh now, while Friday night we kind of had them on the run. We thought maybe they might run at us to get it out of the endzone. We expected the full package throwing the football that we had seen them use more earlier in the year. We were pretty prepared for whatever we saw. We were pretty confident in how to defend it. It’s a matter of doing it, though. The kids still have to play and go to the ball. Our kids were ready to play. I just can’t say any more.”





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