Blue Devils quick start, big defense foils West Branch
GAME FOUR B-A Blue Devils: 56 West Branch Warriors: 0 Friday, September 25, 2009 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— Bellwood-Antis and West Branch played a strange first half in their football game at Bellwood Memorial Stadium on Friday evening. The Blue Devils took advantage of West Branch mistakes to post 29 first-quarter points, and by the halftime intermission had pushed the lead to 49-0 on the way to a 56-0 shutout. — Bellwood-Antis ran just four offensive plays in the first quarter, but had a 29-0 advantage at the end of the first 12 minutes. — West Branch won the toss and took the kick. After two running plays picked up a yard each, the Warriors went to the air, despite throwing only a total of 15 passes in their first three games. Andrew DeGol, a Bellwood-Antis sophomore who got the start at safety, picked off Aaron Lidgett and returned it 10 yards to the WB-31. — Going for the jugular immediately, Bellwood-Antis senior quarterback Nate Plummer hit a wide-open Derek Denny over the right side who ran untouched to the end zone to complete the 31-yard touchdown hook-up. Nick DeGol booted the first of five extra points. — West Branch picked up one first down on their next series, with Brandon Speigle scampering for eight yards, and one play later, Trevor Yeager moved the sticks with a seven-yard carry. On a third-and-four several plays later, Trey Campbell stepped in front of a West Branch receiver and raced down the Warrior sideline for a 56-yard TD on the interception. — Bellwood-Antis, which had DeGol, Bobby DeArmitt, Nic Cover and Travis Taylor kicking off before the game was over, kicked off and Speigle burst over the right side for 23 yards on first down. One play later, Tyler Beech picked the ball out of Speigle’s grasp and raced 66 yards with the steal for the Blue Devils’ third TD. One series later, Andrew DeGol picked off his second interception to give Bellwood-Antis the ball at the BA-27. Zack McCaulley bulled for three yards on the opening play, and then went over the left side, outracing everybody 70 yards to paydirt. The snap from center was low on the PAT try, so sophomore holder Ryan Stuby scrambled around and fired a pass to Campbell for two points and a 29-0 lead. — “I was really pleased with the way our kids went out and played from the first whistle,” said Bellwood-Antis Coach John Hayes. “I think some of those big plays took some of the energy out of West Branch. That happens, especially when you have a lot of younger kids in there playing. On our behalf, I was real pleased with the way our kids, both offensively and defensively, went out and started the game and played right through until the last quarter.” — That was all for the first quarter, but not for the home team. The Blue Devils, who had six plays in all that covered 28 yards or more, took just one play following a West Branch punt to get into the end zone again. Plummer hit Campbell with a pop pass over the line of scrimmage and Campbell completed the 84-yard TD play. — “That is a concern any coach would have when you bring young people in,” explained Hayes. “Even any game where the other team gets off to a quick start with big plays like that that happen, it really takes the starch out of the other team. To their credit they didn’t give up. — “It was nice to get a lot of our kids in, and get the opportunity to play in meaningful time situations. Defensively some of the young kids stepped up and had really big efforts for us.” — Finally, after Zack McCaulley had scooted 28 yards on the opening call of the Blue Devils’ next possession, cousin Ben McCaulley went up the middle for 12 yards and two plays later, Zack covered the final four yards for his second TD of the game and ninth of the season. — Speigle, who rushed for over 200 yards in the opener against Southern Huntingdon and 150 last week against Glendale in a pair of three-point losses, added a team-best 80 yards on 17 carries against B-A. However, the rest of the West Branch running attack netted only another 29 yards on 23 carries, and the only three passes Lidgett completed were all to Blue Devils. — In the meantime, although they slowed down a bit with the mercy-rule running clock the entire second half, Bellwood-Antis ran 22 times for 247 yards—an incredible average of 11.2 yards per carry. Zack McCaulley got his number called just seven times in the contest, picking up 139 yards. Additionally, Plummer completed four of five passes for another 126 yards and the Blue Devils achieved the most with the least amount of plays. Running and passing for a total of 27 plays, B-A averaged 13.8 yards every time a Devil player touched the ball on offense. — The only score of the second half was set up by Zack McCaulley’s final run of the night, a 33-yard pickup and a 16-yard scamper by Danny Noye. Shaw went the final seven yards and then added the extra-point kick to close out the scoring. — The Blue Devil defense never allowed West Branch to get back in the ballgame. Against the Bellwood-Antis junior varsity much of the second half, Yeager picked up 11 yards and the Warriors only first down of the third quarter, and speedster Chris Beveridge, held in check the entire game, burst for 13 and their only first down in the fourth quarter. — Shaw actually scored a third TD on a 54-yard punt return, but it was negated by a B-A penalty… Clay Hertenstein and Greg Shuster had quarterback sacks… Southern Huntingdon, the Blue Devils’ opponent next week at Bellwood, dropped a 21-7 decision to Mount Union Friday.