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Blue Devil giant killers take down Chestnut Ridge; Ehredt, defense stop Lions 21-14


B-A Blue Devils: 21

Chestnut Ridge Lions:14

Friday, October 15, 2004 • Bellwood-Antis Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

The sign made by the Bellwood-Antis cheerleaders for the football players to run through at the beginning of the game said “Declaw the Lions”. When all was said and done, that was pretty much what the Blue Devils had done on Friday night at Bellwood Memorial Stadium with a 21-14 triumph over previously-undefeated Chestnut Ridge (6-0). B-A rode a tough defensive effort that held the potent Ridge offense in at bay for all but two plays to stop the Lions’ unbeaten streak and to move higher in the fight for a spot in the District 6 Single-A playoffs at the end of the regular season.

— Travis Ehredt, who has spent most of the season blocking for the other Devil running backs, spent the night in the spotlight, leading all runners with 89 yards on 13 carries that included a pair of touchdowns.

— “We had a third-and-nine play,” said Bellwood-Antis head coach John Hayes, referring to a call early in the fourth quatrer with Chestnut Ridge in the lead 14-7 and B-A facing what was at the time the most important call of the game on offense. “After I called the play, I thought, ‘That’s not a real great third-down play with nine yards to go.’ But the guys up front blew it open. A couple of them said, ‘We can control our men, we can block our guys.’ We went with it and there’s a kid (Ehredt) who has been doing a great job being a blocker and getting a few carries to throw things off for awhile. Tonight he realy came up big running the football. Obviously, I think he was our most valuable runner tonight.”

— With his offensive line scooping out a huge hole, Ehredt blasted up the middle for a gain of 16 yards to move the sticks for first down. He also had pickups of 15 and 10 yards during the 80-yard, nine-play drive, that culminated with a juggling catch by junior slotback Dan Kovac behind the Ridge secondary in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown pass from senior quarerback Zach Tomchick. Evan Celmo’s PAT kick tied the score at 14-14 with 7:12 left to play.

— Chestnut Ridge, averaging 378 yards par game coming into the contest, and outscoring their first six opponents 196-38, was pretty much held in check with the exception of two long scores. Senior quarterback Brian Barefoot had a hand, or his legs, in both plays. The Lions struck first after given another chance when a B-A facemask penalty turned what would have been a fourth-down-and-long into a first down that enabled the Lions to keep the ball and continue moving down the field. Barefoot found favorite receiver Dan Novak over the middle beyond the Blue Devil secondary three plays after the infraction for a 51-yard TD strike. This was the eighth time the Ridge duo have teamed up to score a touchdown this season. Novak had seven catches for 107 yards for the night. Brady Schade’s PAT kick gave the Lions a 7-0 advantage with 3:50 left in the opening quarter.

— Then in the second quarter a short punt that traveled only 19 yards gave Chestnut Ridge the ball near midfield at their own 45. Barefoot took a direct snap in the shotgun formation, cut inside behind his blockers, then broke across the field diagonally from left to right and scooted 55 yards on the first play of the series for a score. Schade’s extra point kick gave the Lions the lead back, 14-7.

— Following the first Ridge score, the Blue Devils kicked it into gear to quickly tie the score, starting at their own 35. After Ehredt picked up a yard on the first play, Tomchick fired a rocket to Kovac on a slant pattern over the middle and he raced down the field until being dragged down at the CR-9 after a 55-yard gain. Ehredt completed the quick march on the next play by bulling for the nine-yard TD and Celmo tied the score 7-7 with the perfect PAT.

— With the exception of the two touchdowns, the Bellwood-Antis defense allowed Chestnut Rigde into B-A territory for just one play in the entire first half.

—“We really didn’t key on anybody,” explained coach Hayes. “We just tried to be aware of what they do. As much as we knew what was coming, even on those quarterback counters, he was good enough and their team was good enough to make it go. We just tried to be there and play the entire field. They made some plays, and we made some.”

— Each team had the ball for just one series in the third quarter and first minute and a half of the fourth. The Blue Devils got as close as the CR-19 after taking the second-half kick and marching from their own 26. Josh Kleinfelter, who carried 14 times for 53 yards, got most of it on a 30-yard jaunt, turning the corner around the right side to give Bellwood-Antis a first-and-10 at the Ridge 38.

— Then Chestnut Ridge held the ball for 16 plays, taking nearly nine minutes off the clock before just into the fourth quarter, a one-yard loss and two incomplete passes gave the Blue Devils the ball at their own 20 to set the stage for Ehredt, Tomchick and Kovac.

— On the following series, sophomore nose guard Tyler Narehood recovered a Lion fumble at the CR-23 to set the winning score up when Barefoot lost the handle drawing back to pass. Ehredt went up the middle for 19 yards on the first play of the series to put the ball at the Lions’ 4. Ehredt lost a yard and Kleinfelter had a pair of two-yard gains, before Ehredt crashed in for the one-yard TD, completed by Celmo’s PAT.

— With Bellwood-Antis trying to protect a 21-14 lead and under five minutes left, Chestnut Ridge drove to the B-A 17. Again, a Bellwood penalty for roughing the passer turned a third-and-10 into a first down in Blue Devil territory at the B-A 43. At the B-A 17, however, Jonathan Davila and the Devil rush forced Barefoot to throw the ball away and he was called for intentional grounding, placing the ball back at the 34 yard line. Barefoot, who was 11 for 26 for 134 yards, went to the well one time too many. Senior safety Chris Edmiston stepped in front of a Barefoot pass at the B-A 12. Edmiston returned the interception to the 27 yard line and Bellwood-Antis took several knees for the victory.

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