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Bellwood-Antis falls to once-beaten Penns Valley in OT

GAME EIGHT Penns Valley Rams: 16 B-A Blue Devils: 13 Friday, October 19, 2007 • Spring Mills, Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— The tale of the tape for the 2007 season for the Bellwood-Antis football team is getting longer and longer, but always with the same regret. “If only one play could have gone the other way.” Nobody, from head coach John Hayes to the players and assistant coaches is offering that as an excuse. That is just one person’s observation about this young inexperienced football team. — On Friday night, playing in a steady rain the entire first half and on a field so muddy, at times it was uncertain who carried the ball, at Spring Mills, it seemed like the Blue Devils might be able to spring a big upset on once-beaten Penns Valley. Before eventually falling 16-13 in overtime to the Rams, Bellwood-Antis overcame adversity on the very first play, to fight back and earn a tie going into the halftime intermission. Bellwood-Antis even scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to take a 13-7 lead. — Then the Blue Devils found themselves victims of a couple big plays, that would ultimately send the game into overtime, where Penns Valley senior Adam Brown would kick the Blue Devils into submission with a 21-yard field goal in the first overtime. — “There were a lot of things that were, what-if, would-ah, could-ah, should-ah. The kids played with a lot of heart, a lot of courage, played to the very end,” said Coach Hayes. “We shut them down defensively pretty much except for a play or two—the big option run, the first play from scrimmage, where they kind of caught us in a daze after the fumble recovery. That’s the nature of the beast-you can’t start over. We were a victim of what’s happened to us most of the year—our own mistakes.” — The game ended on fourth-and-goal at the four-yard line when Brown, one of 22 seniors on the Penns Valley roster, calmly booted the field goal to win the contest. That was the second field goal by Brown that won a football game. He had also booted the game winner in the second overtime to hand Philipsburg-Osceola their first loss of the season two weeks ago. — The game began when Bellwood-Antis fumbled the opening kickoff and Penns Valley recovered at the BA-19. It took option quarterback Kyle Hockenberry exactly one play to go over the left side, cut back to the middle and score the 19-yard TD and give his team a quick lead. Brown’s PAT made it 7-0 Penns Valley with just 11 seconds played. — The rest of the first half was back-and-forth with each team rising and falling, pulling off a big play here, a goof there, all resulting in nothing. Ty Corl ripped off a 30-yard run for the Rams and came back a series later to move the sticks for a first down with a 10-yard scamper. — Randy Pfahler scooted for 22 yards for the Blue Devils, and Bruno DeGol burst through for 13 yards on the very next play. — Finally Justin Manning intercepted a Ram pass to provide a spark. Brandon Humphreys, who didn’t play at all last week and was limited to three carries before getting injured against Bald Eagle Area, gave the Blue Devils the push they needed to get back in the ballgame. Humphreys began the series by blasting for 15 yards, Nate Gray found Alan Wertz for 21 yards, and Humphreys burst three yards for the touchdown with 1:11 to play in the half. This was the second week in a row Bellwood-Antis had scored late in the first half to tie the game, and the third straight week the Blue Devils have scored in the final two minutes of the half. Nate Plummer’s PAT kick tied the game 7-7. — After both teams played nearly all the way through the third quarter without any further scoring, it was Manning again. This time the B-A senior returned a punt deep into Penns Valley territory, running the kick 26 yards to the PV-22. Humphreys carried the ball four times for 20 yards and Chuck Tomchick plunged the final yard for the go-ahead score on the first play of the fourth quarter. Plummer’s PAT kick was wide left, but Bellwood-Antis had a 13-7 lead with 11:57 to play in the fourth quarter. — After each team was forced to punt, Penns Valley took over at their own-23. Taylor Wingard, who leads the Rams in rushing, got loose and rambled down the left sideline for 76 yards, before being finally bumped out of bounds at the BA-1. — The Blue Devil defense stopped Penns Valley on three straight plays at the one, but on fourth and goal 6-foot-6, 235-pound quarterback Matt Johnson followed his line into the end zone for the TD. Humphreys broke through to block the extra point kick by Brown to keep the score 13-13 with six minutes to play in regulation. — Both teams had opportunities in the time remaining. Bellwood-Antis drove from their own-27 to the PV-7, only to lose the ball on a fumble, while Penns Valley took over and used two key pass completions, one from Hockenberry to Cody Stover for 30 yards and the second to Johnson, who switches to tight end with Hockenberry at quarterback, for 23 yards. With 10 seconds left in the quarter, Brown hooked his attempted 33-yard field goal to the right to send the game into overtime. — “We just have not been able to overcome enough the mistakes we keep making,” said Hayes. “That’s why we are 4-4 and not better.”

BLUE DEVIL NOTES: Humphreys carried the pigskin 18 times for 78 yards and scored his 10th touchdown of the year… Wingard rushed for a game-high 138 yards on 19 carries… the last Penns Valley win in the series had been 25-24 in 1999… This was the fifth overtime game for B-A, and their first loss… Bellwood-Antis had outscored Penns Valley 128-3 in their previous four games… Bellwood-Antis plays Moshannon Valley at Bellwood Memorial Stadium next Friday. Mo Valley (6-2) defeated Glendale 13-12 last night.

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