Blue Devils knock off undefeated Ligonier Valley, score 26 unanswered points in win
GAME ELEVEN — DISTRICT 6 CLASS A QUARTERFINAL B-A Blue Devils: 26 Ligonier Valley Mounties: 6 Friday, November 9, 2007 • Weller Field • Ligonier, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— Ligonier Valley entered the District 6-A quarterfinal contest averaging 39 points plus, rushing for 344 yards rushing and 385 yards total offense. The No. 2 seed was ranked seventh in the state by the Harrisburg Patriot News and was the second best team in the state with over 3,000 rushing yards. — Nobody told Bellwood-Antis that they were supposed to roll over for the Mounties however. Even after spotting Ligonier Valley six points, Bellwood-Antis put 26 unanswered points on the scoreboard at Weller Field in Ligonier, to take home a 26-6 victory. — “We still found a way to give the other team a shot in the arm with something pretty easy,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “But I told the kids that I didn’t think six points was going to be enough to win the football game. All we needed to do was settle down and go play football. — “We were able to drive the field, a long field to go down and answer that touchdown was really big. I think at that point our kids realized that we could play with them (Ligonier Valley), that they were mortal.” — Bellwood-Antis was offside on the opening kickoff and then on the second play from scrimmage, Ligonier Valley fullback Jon Cotchen broke through a quick opener and dashed 46 yards for a TD. — The extra point kick was blocked, perhaps a portent of things to come to give Ligonier Valley a quick 6-0 lead. — Bellwood-Antis was quick to answer that Mountie score on their first series from scrimmage. Mixing the run and pass, the Blue Devils marched 85 yards for the tying score. — Brandon Humphreys, who led all runners with 182 yards on 26 carries, burst 22 yards on the first play. Nate Gray hit Justin Miller for a gain of 19 yards and then came back several calls later and connected with Alan Wertz for 38 more. Justin Manning went the final four yards over the left side for the touchdown. — The Blue Devils, who scored once in each quarter, took the lead with just over five minutes to play in the second quarter. Humphreys got loose over the left side and outraced everybody for a 61-yard TD. A run for the two-point PAT failed, but Bellwood-Antis took a 12-6 advantage into the locker room at halftime. — Bellwood-Antis received the kick to begin the third quarter, but could move for just one first down, a 13-yard pass completion from Gray to Manning, before punting the ball away. — The Blue Devils, who limited Ligonier Valley to just 59 net rushing yards in the final two quarters and held the Mounties 180 yards below their average in total offense, got a break when the Ligonier Valley center snapped the ball over the head of his punter to give Bellwood-Antis the ball at the LV-35. — It took Humphreys just one play to motor the distance for a 35-yard TD. Gray passed to Alan Wertz for the two-point PAT and a 20-6 B-A advantage with 5:16 to play in the quarter. — On their next series, Ligonier fumbled the ball and B-A defensive lineman Anthony Jenkins recovered at the LV-41. — Gray capped the drive with a jump pass to Justin Miller for 16 yards and the TD on the first play of the fourth quarter. — “We didn’t knock anybody’s socks off on our first drive there in the second half,” explained Hayes. “We did come out and opened up a little bit and got some good plays and good runs. Getting the punt snap over their head was kind of like the final nail in the coffin, getting a quick one there. — “They are a good football team. They execute real well. I think we were able to focus pretty heavily on the run, which was somewhat of a help. I just like the way the kids play hard, they played Bellwood-Antis football for 48 minutes. The results are pretty satisfying.”
BLUE DEVIL NOTES: Ligonier Valley had been giving up just 88 rushing yards per game and 64 passing—Bellwood-Antis rushed for 196 yards and passed for 118 more… Humphreys eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on his first carry of the night, and now has 177 carries for 1,163 yards and 20 TDs… Gray had just 158 yards passing in the first five games of the season, but has passed for over 100 yards in four of the last six games to push his season total to 741 yards… Gray had a pass interception and Shane Noye recovered a Mountie fumble. Anthony Jenkins partially blocked a punt in the fourth quarter… Bellwood-Antis will play the winner of the Bishop Guilfoyle/Southern Huntingdon game tonight at Southern. If Southern wins, the game will be at Orbisonia, if BG wins, the game will be at Bellwood. In either case, the semifinal District 6-A game will be Saturday night, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.