Blue Devil defense, special teams highlight win over Rockets
GAME FIVE B-A Blue Devils: 36 Southern Huntingdon Rockets: 0 Friday, October 2, 2009 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— For the second week in a row, the game was pretty much over by half time. For what has been the case pretty much every game this season, it was the defense that was the major factor in keeping it that way. — Bellwood-Antis, already the toughest team to score against in the area, shut out Southern Huntingdon, limiting the Rockets to just 94 yards of offense and giving the Blue Devil “O” the ball on what they made sure was a short field in a 36-0 victory. Through their first seven possessions, the worst starting position for the Blue Devils was their own 38. With the exception of the last series of the first half and the final series of the game, Southern Huntingdon never had that good a starting point. — “Our defense has really been stellar from game one, from the beginning of the year,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “They have really given us good field position, and they have kept the opponents’ offense out of our end zone. And our special teams, our return teams have gotten us addition field position.” — Southern Huntingdon kicked off to begin the game, and Travis Taylor returned a short kick 18 yards to the BA-42. Zack McCaulley lost four yards on the first play, then got half of that back on the next play. On third down and 12, B-A senior quarterback Nate Plummer rolled to his right and spotted slotback Nick DeGol, who had gotten behind the Rocket defense for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Going for two points on the PAT try, Plummer connected with Jared Minori for an 8-0 lead. — With Josh Gongloff leading the charge, getting his name called on three separate tackles on the first two Southern Huntingdon series for the Blue Devils, Bellwood-Antis allowed the Rockets just one first down. B-A then drove to the SH-25 before running out of steam, then held again and took over near midfield. Ben McCaulley ground out three yards on the first play, and then Plummer handed off to cousin Zach, who twisted and spun and danced out of several would-be tackles on his way to a 49-yard TD run. — Danny Noye returned a Southern punt 15 yards to the SH-31 where Plummer was incomplete on first down, then hooked up with DeGol again, this time for a 31-yard TD play. Plummer then added a two-point pass to Z. McCaulley and the Blue Devils were up 22-0 with just less than nine minutes to go in the half. — “From an offensive standpoint, you feel a lot better, a lot more comfortable about whatever it is you want to try, knowing you have good field position,” explained Hayes. “Consequently, we’re throwing the ball a little bit more because of where we are on the field. We feel more comfortable throwing the ball down the field, because it’s on their end of the field.” — Bellwood-Antis scored once again with time running down in the second quarter. McCaulley scored on a two-yard burst after a 30-yard punt return by Noye set up the Blue Devils at the SH-35. McCaulley dashed 13 yards on the first play, Plummer, who completed six of nine tosses for a career-best 179 yards, two TDs and a pair of two-point conversions, hit Trey Campbell for 18 more three plays later and McCaulley blasted in for the score. — The Blue Devils added the only score of the second half with 4:53 left in the third quarter to set up the Mercy Rule clock for the remainder of the game. Plummer connected with DeGol for eight yards and Campbell for 27, and McCaulley, who led all rushers with 17 carries for 112 yards, bulled the final yard for the touchdown. — “Good defense is what has been the driving force for the whole deal,” said Hayes. “Then other people pick up the pieces and take it from there. Our kickoff coverage did a nice job tonight. We’re trying to get different people in and give them an opportunity to play. It was nice in the latter stages of the game to get those younger people in there. Really, its kind of a reward for the hard work they do during the week. We need them to practice. They have to do all the emulating of the other team. I really enjoy working with those younger kids. They have given us a good look this year, and hopefully in the process, they improve and get better.”
Blue Devil notes: Bellwood-Antis (5-0) has a record, with the win on Friday, of 499-238-13, the Blue Devils next win will be the 500th of the program… Plummer has completed 28 of 49 passes for 620 yards, with seven TD passes and two interceptions, including four 100-yard passing games… Zack McCaulley, who rushed for 1,204 yards in 2008, has carried the ball 70 times for 565 yards and scored 12 TDs, 11 by rush and one via a pass reception… The last time Bellwood-Antis was 5-0 was 2001, when the Blue Devils won their first 11 games before falling to Bishop McCort 21-14 in the District 6-AA championship final… The Bellwood-Antis junior varsity will play the Mount Union junior varsity at 6 p.m. on Monday, at Bellwood Memorial Stadium.