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Bellwood-Antis falls to Curwensville in season finale


Curwensville : 18

B-A Blue Devils: 6

Friday, October 17, 2003 • Bellwood-Antis Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor

Bellwood-Antis controlled the first half of their football game against Curwensville at Bellwood Memorial Stadium on Friday night. The Blue Devils ran 42 plays to just 19 for Curwensville. The Blue Devils were unable to generate any scoring however and the two teams left the field at halftime tied 0-0.

— Curwensville came back on the field in the second half and made Bellwood-Antis pay for that mistake, defeating B-A 18-6 to finish the season 4-6 with three straight wins at the end. Bellwood-Antis meanwhile finishes 5-5, with three straight defeats.

— The Golden Tide opened the second half with a 10-play drive that took more than half of the third period, but ended at the BA-13 when Derrick Hoffer intercepted a pass in the end zone.

— Bellwood-Antis gave the ball right back two plays later when a Shawn Weiand pass was picked off Greg Gilbert at midfield.

— The B-A defense stopped Dean Swatsworth for a two-yard gain on the opening play of the short, quick drive. Freshman quarterback Shawn Sopic connected with Gilbert for a 22-yard completion and Gary Kephart slanted over the right side and raced 26 yards for the first points of the game. After a B-A penalty, one of 11 Bellwood-Antis committed on the night, moved the ball to point-blank range, Nick Sipes went in standing up for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 Tide lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter.

— Curwensville limited B-A to two yards in three plays to force a punt. Taking over at the BA-47, the Tide marched to the Blue Devils-15, where Sipes, also a freshman for Curwensville boomed a 32-yard field goal that looked like it would have cleared from 52 yards, to up the Curwensville lead to 11-0.

— Bellwood-Antis did recover to march from their own 20-yard line across midfield to the Tide-43, but three incompletions and a quarterback sack killed the drive there.

— Taking the ball at the Bellwood-Antis-49, Curwensville put their second touchdown on the board when Nate Sipes, Nick’s older brother slipped through the line and galloped 35 yards for the score. Nick Sipes’ PAT kick shut the door on the Blue Devils 18-0 with 1:21 to play in the fourth quarter.

— The Blue Devils refused to give in, working a double reverse on the following kickoff to get on the scoreboard. Derrick Hoffer caught the kick at the BA-1 and came up the middle of the field to the 16, where he handed off to Shawn Weiand, who ran to the left side, turned the corner and raced 84 yards behind teammates’ blocks for the TD. A try for two points failed, but Bellwood-Antis had cut the Tide lead to 18-6. The Blue Devils got some life when Adam Martin recovered a fumble at the Blue-Devils-48. Weiand moved the sticks for one first down with a 17-yard completion to John McFalls, but Bellwood-Antis ran out of time and fell short of yards.

— “That has been the story all year,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “We get down close and somehow for whatever reason, we canÕt make the play to get the ball in the endzone. We made some big plays to get the ball down there, but we couldn’t get that final couple yards. That gives a team who came in here in some doubt the opportunity to come back in the second half. They smelled the blood and took advantage of it. I believe if we score in the first half, we win the ball game.”

— Bellwood-Antis moved the ball to the Tide-two, seven and nine yard lines in four first-half possessions, but in each instance came away with no points.

— Dan Houser, who finished with 14 carries for 65 yards, picked up 22 yards on five carries, including a 14 yard scamper for a first down and Weiand found Derrick Hoffer for eight yards and Matt Plummer for a big 39-yard connection with the Blue Devils taking the ball to the Tide -two before Weiand was intercepted in the endzone.

— A series later, Bellwood-Antis began at their own 41 and marched to the Curwensville-seven before losing the ball on a fumble. Hoffer ran a reverse 21 yards to get the ball to the C-7 and Weiand picked up a pair eight yard gains.

— Finally on their last series of the first half, began at the Curwensville-45. Immediately B-A committed a motion penalty setting them back five yards, then after Weiand completed a pass to Matt Sneath for 10 yards, B-A was hit with a holding penalty that took the ball right back to midfield. Weiand completed a pair of passes to Dan Houser for 18 yards and one to Derrick Hoffer for 10 yards. The drive stalled however and sophomore Troy Brunner’s 27-yard field goal attempt was short and wide left.

— “Shawn Weiand had a good night and some guys made nice plays out there tonight,” said coach Hayes. “But it’s really hard to get excited about any of that when we played with such lackluster, lack of enthusiasm in the second half. I thought coming out that we had touched a nerve, the last chance for the seniors probably to don a football uniform and for the underclassmen to take a big step for next year. We weren’t playing with any excitement or enthusiasm. That’s what causes you to miss tackles and that hurt us defensively in the second half.”

— B-A quarterback Shawn Weiand completed 14 of 30 passes for the game for 162 yards. Weiand was intercepted three times. A senior, who hasn’t played football since junior high, Weiand completed 81 of 150 passes for 1,134 yards in 2003. ShawnÕs completion percentage of .540 is the highest on record at Bellwood-Antis for one season and his yardage total is fourth on the B-A ladder. Weiand has six 100-plus yard games this season, second to Chuck Benton’s eight in 2000.

— Derrick Hoffer completes the season with 21 catches for 346 yards, Matt Plummer has 17 receptions for 284 yards and Matt Sneath has 17 catches for 192 yards.

— Dan Houser finishes with 825 yards rushing on 167 carries

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