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  • Writer's pictureBellwood Football

Big plays make the difference in Blue Devils loss, Kauert leads Chestnut Ridge to first win over B-A

GAME SEVEN Chestnut Ridge Lions: 21 B-A Blue Devils: 15 Friday, October 12, 2007 • Fishertown, Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— Big plays made the difference at Dr. Larry Giovacchini Stadium on Friday night. Big plays that were and big ones that weren’t, or as Bellwood-Antis head coach John Hayes stated, “Big plays, both positive and negative.” After a space of 23 years and a dozen games, Chestnut Ridge finally managed to defeat Bellwood-Antis 21-15. — Bellwood-Antis and Chestnut Ridge battled back and forth for most of the first three quarters, with neither side gaining much advantage, and the foe taking back what they give, when they did. Then with just under six and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, Ridge quarterback Jase Deffibaugh connected with senior Jordan Soliday, who raced untouched for a 54-yard TD pass that forever changed the complexion of the contest. — The Lions then added to their margin with a big assist from another senior leader. Max Kauert, who plays defensive tackle on defense and is listed as a tight end on offense, does everything but sell tickets and play in the band. When Deffibaugh was shaken up, Kauert stepped in under center taking snaps as quarterback for the rest of the ballgame. On the first play, Kauert, all of 6-foot, 200 pounds, tucked the ball under his arm and rambled 33 yards for a big first down. After the B-A defense stopped Ridge for no gain, Kauert went over the right side again, for 24 yards and another first down. — At that point, Chestnut Ridge was the recipient of two “gifts” On the first play, running back Josh Shane went through the line for eight yards, but fumbled. Somehow, the ball popped straight up in the air and Soliday grabbed it in the air and ran for 18 more yards to complete a 26-yard play to the BA-15. A 10-yard holding penalty set the Lions back to the Blue Devil-25, where Kauert threw a fade pattern to Chris Mowry, who went horizontal to catch a 25-yard TD pass, just inside the right sideline of the end zone. Although it appeared that the ball popped free when Mowry hit the ground, it was ruled a catch and a touchdown. Kauert added his third straight PAT kick for a 21-7 Ridge lead, with 4:12 left in the game. — Chestnut Ridge also got a big play to keep a drive alive in the second quarter when the Lions opened the scoring with an 11-yard TD run by Shane. The Blue Devils forced Ridge to go for a third-down-and-long, when Deffibaugh floated a perfect pass in the left flat area to Soliday for a huge 22-yard gain and a first down to keep the drive moving. — Bellwood-Antis had driven several series earlier from their own-28 to the Ridge-47 on three runs by Bruno DeGol for 18 yards and one by Zack McCaulley for four yards, but a B-A fumble halted the promising drive. Then following the Ridge score, Bellwood-Antis came right back to add a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half for the second week in a row. — McCaulley, a sophomore getting his first varsity start at tailback, with Brandon Humphreys out with an injury suffered in last weeks’ win over Bald Eagle Area, and back-up tailback Randy Pfahler out of school most of the week with illness, had his number called on three straight runs for 25 yards, then took turns with DeGol to march the ball down to the CR-1. DeGol, who rushed 14 times for 44 yards smashed in for the TD and Nate Plummer booted the PAT to tie the game 7-7, with 23 ticks left on the first-half clock. — Following the third Chestnut Ridge score, Bellwood-Antis had a long way to go and a short time to get there. Nate Gray, who completed just three of his first 10 passes for 36 yards, suddenly got red-hot, connecting on eight of his final nine tosses for 108 yards, a TD and a two-point conversion. — Passing for over a hundred yards for the second week in a row, after averaging only 31.6 yards per game for his first five varsity starts, Gray also ran 31 yards on a quarterback keeper around the right side as well for a big first down. — With time running short, Gray drove the Blue Devils down the field, going 75 yards for a score. Gray connected with Alan Wertz for 11, Justin Manning for four, Justin Miller for 13 and a first down, Wertz again for 36 yards, Miller for eight, Wertz, for 16 and a first down, then finally found Miller in the end zone for the three-yard TD. Gray then lofted the ball to the 6-foot-5 Wertz above the defense for the two-point PAT pass to cut the Ridge lead to 21-15, with 36 seconds remaining. — An opportunity came on the following on-sides kick when the ball took the perfect hop at just the right time, but was recovered by Ridge however, and the Lions ran out the clock with two kneel-downs. — “We had some nice opportunities,” said Hayes, “but we didn’t capitalize. Number 23, Kauert, made some huge plays for them in that fourth quarter that sealed the deal for Chestnut Ridge. We came back, but it was too little, too late.”

BLUE DEVIL NOTES: Chuck Tomchick had the game’s only interception for Bellwood-Antis… Bellwood-Antis had more total offense—283 yards to 280… Wertz had four catches for 78 yards… Kauert ran only three times, but shared game rushing honors with McCaulley who carried 17 times- Both had 61 yards rushing… Chestnut Ridge had five running plays in the fourth quarter for a net minus one yard, but also had three runs in the quarter, all during the TD drive, two by Kauert and the other the fumble play by Shane and Soliday that netted a positive 83 yards… Bellwood-Antis leads the series with Chestnut Ridge, which will be halted beginning next year, 11-1… Bellwood-Antis travels to Spring Mills next Friday to play once beaten Penns Valley (6-1).

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