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Bellwood-Antis passes first playoff test, defense rules against Bishop Guilfoyle

GAME TEN—DISTRICT 6 CLASS A PLAYOFFS B-A Blue Devils: 37 Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders: 7 Friday,October 31, 2008 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— When Bellwood-Antis and Bishop Guilfoyle get together on the football field, you can usually count on an exciting rivalry, probably second in anxiety and intensity only to backyard rival Tyrone. At least it was that way when BG was part of the ICC and MAFC conferences, playing the Blue Devils every year. — On Friday night, however, for the second straight year in which the two Blair County schools have met in the District 6-A playoffs, Bellwood-Antis had their way against the Marauders. The Blue Devils stopped BG’s first offensive drive, drove for a long, time-consuming touchdown, stopped BG again, scored again, stopped Bishop Guilfoyle on an interception that was returned deep into Marauder territory that resulted in a third TD. Well, you get the picture, in a 37-7 B-A victory. — “We wanted to take as much time as possible and then score. I think that sets a mental tone there that we are going to pound the ball at you. I think that’s important in these games—to establish a mindset, to impose your will on the other team,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “We made a lot of big plays on defense. Bishop Guilfoyle has a high-powered offense, and tonight a lot of their numbers came after the game was decided. We were really please with that.” — BG received the opening kick and immediately Bellwood-Antis helped by committing a penalty that gave Bishop Guilfoyle a first down. The Blue devil “D” made a big stop and forced a punt however to set up at their own 20. The Blue Devils took nearly eight minutes off the clock, executing an 80-yard, 16-play march that resulted in a five-yard touchdown by Zach McCaulley. Nate Gray, who was five of eight in the game for 173 yards, found Jason Miller for a 19-yard pass completion and Tim Collier for 14 and Nate Plummer, out of punt formation on fourth down hit Nick DeGol for 14 and a first down during the drive. Tyler Geis booted the PAT. — A.J. Kitt picked up a first down on the Marauders next series, but on a fourth and five, BG was stopped a yard short and Bellwood-Antis took over at the BA-38. Gray hit Trey Mock on a flea-flicker for 45 yards and a big first down to give the drive a jump-start, and DeGol covered the final six yards for the score. — BG quarterback Chris Brown, who threw for over 1,000 yards last year despite missing the first four games, and already had 1,500 this season before the first round playoff tilt, tried to get his team going, but threw a pass right into the hands of B-A linebacker Bobby DeArmitt, who returned the interception 35 yards for an apparent TD, only to have to settle for a 27-yard return when a teammate was flagged for a penalty. — Not to be denied, the Blue Devils started from the BG-18. Jason Miller picked up three yards and then on the second carry of the series, McCaulley seemed stopped around the Marauder-13, kept his feet going, spun and slipped away from the pile, scoring on the 15-yard run. — Bellwood-Antis stopped Bishop Guilfoyle on the next series when Jeff Novak sacked Brown on a fourth-down play. — Gray then found DeGol all alone behind the BG secondary, but the B-A junior let the ball slip through his fingers. One series later, DeGol made amends, intercepting Brown and carrying the pick back to the BA-22. — Guilty of a five-yard penalty on the first play from scrimmage, B-A had to start back at their own 17. Miller burst up the middle for six yards and McCaulley scooted for 10 and a first down at the BA-33. Gray and Collier then struck quickly, with Collier getting behind the BG secondary to complete a 67-yard touchdown pass, the third TD of the quarter for the Blue Devils, who took a 25-0 advantage into the locker room at the half. — Bellwood-Antis took the third quarter and made it their own. The Blue Devils only scored once in the quarter, but ran 21 plays and limited Bishop Guilfoyle to just six plays totalling 15 yards. — B-A took the opening kick and promptly used a lot of clock and 13 plays, with McCaulley capping the 65-yard march with his third touchdown of the evening from four yards out. Gray completed his only pass of the series to Miller for 10 yards and a first down, Randy Pfahler picked up six yards on his sole carry of the game to move the sticks for another first down and McCaulley, who led all rushers with 30 carries for 134 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the season, had gains of seven, seven and five, in addition to the TD. — The Bellwood-Antis defense held BG once again, with Tyler Geis sacking Brown at midfield, and turned around and drove the distance for their final score. — Beginning in the third quarter, and continuing into the fourth, B-A moved 50 yards for a score, with Nate Plummer completing a 13-yard pass to Geis for the TD. With 10:22 to play, the Mercy Rule kicked in for the rest of the game with Bellwood-Antis up 37-0. — With the Mercy Rule in effect, Brown, who ended up with a dozen completions for 166 yards including four completions for 82 yards coming on the Marauders final two drives, passed the BG offense down the field for their only score. Brown tossed a 43-yard pass to Chris Damiano for the score and Amanda James booted the PAT. — “Nate Plummer made a big play on that fourth-down fake punt, pass completion. Our defense made some big plays, Bobby DeArmitt’s interception. We told them we had to play good defense if they want to continue,” said Hayes. “The guys were excited to be playing Bishop Guilfoyle, and we had a good week of practice.”

BLUE DEVIL NOTES: McCaulley, a junior, now has rushed 159 times for 1,066 yards and scored 19 TDs… Gray has 46 of 91 completions for 899 yards. He has 10 100-yard passing games in two years as a starter, and 2,049 yards passing… Jeff Novak and Travis Taylor each has a quarterback sack, and Nic Cover and Mark McCracken shared one… The Bellwood-Antis defense limited BG to just 35 yards rushing and 84 passing in first three quarters… Last year, in the district semifinals, Bellwood-Antis defeated Bishop Guilfoyle by the same 37-7 score at Bellwood… Bellwood-Antis will play the winner of the Moshannon Valley/Bishop Carroll game next Friday or Saturday at Bellwood in the District 6-A quarterfinals.

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