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  • Writer's pictureBellwood Football

Blue Devils’ special teams set up victory over Juniata Valley

GAME EIGHT B-A Blue Devils: 36 Juniata Valley Green Hornets: 22 Friday, October 22, 2010 • Memorial Field • Bellwood , Pennsylvania

By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— Special teams have been a genuine plus for the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils football team all season long. Friday night against undefeated Juniata Valley at Bellwood Memorial Stadium was no exception. — The Blue Devils used a pair of special team gems in the first half to shorten the field and, when push came to shove, took seven minutes of the fourth quarter clock and played keep-way plus put points on the scoreboard to emerge a 36-22 winner in a tough battle. The win clinched the Inter-County Conference Northern Division crown for the Blue Devils (7-1) and practically insured a first round bye in the upcoming District 6-A playoffs, as well. Juniata Valley continued to suffer at the hands of the Blue Devils, falling to 7-1 after winning their first seven. — Juniata Valley won the coin toss and chose to kickoff to Bellwood-Antis to start the game. B-A sophomore Seth Worthing fielded the ball and raced down the far sideline for 50 yards to the JV-45. It took just one play from scrimmage for B-A sophomore fullback Tyler Campbell to slant from right to left and explode for 45 yards and the touchdown. Buddy Shaw’s PAT attempt was blocked, but B-A had a 6-0 lead. — “We got great field position with that opening kick return. It gave us the opportunity to bust it and get the early score,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “We didn’t score after the other good punt return. The bottom line is that you have to finish those things. I feel disappointed that we didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities. At the end of the half, we came up short another time on fourth down. Our special teams did a good job in setting us up. Had we followed through on those, it probably would have been a little easier, a little less dramatic.” — Juniata Valley used a 22-yard run by Ethan Morrison, and a 32-yard pass play from Seth Carper to Rick Musser to drive to the BA-12. Joe DelGrosso sacked Carper for a big 12-yard loss, however, and Valley’s Marvin Sommers attempted a 41-yard field goal that was partially blocked. — Bellwood-Antis then drove 80 yards for their second score. Travis Taylor, who ran 32 times for 155 yards, highlighted the march with gains of 11 and 38, and scored the one-yard TD for a 12-0 lead. — The visitors got on the scoreboard with Ethan Morrison getting loose around the left side on the kickoff following the Taylor score for 80 yards and a Green Hornet TD. — B-A drove 61 yards on their next series, but were stalled at the JV-9. Shaw stepped back and kicked the first field goal of the season for Bellwood-Antis to increase their lead to 15-7, but Juniata Valley, with Carper completing passes of 33 yards to Nick Gildea to set up the score, and then again to Gildea for 17 yards and the TD closed the deficit to a single point, 15-14, with Sommers’ extra point kick. — That didn’t last long, however. — Special teams came up huge again for the Blue Devils when B-A freshman Casey Gray returned the kick 40 yards to the BA-47. After a penalty moved the ball back five yards, Luke Evans hooked up with Derek Denny behind the Juniata Valley secondary for a 58-yard touchdown pass. Evans then connected with Jared Minori for the two-point conversion to push the B-A advantage to 23-14 at halftime. — Bellwood-Antis kicked off to Juniata Valley to start the second half. Special teams came up with a huge play one more time when Valley returner Jordan Pearson fumbled and Andrew DeGol came up with the football for B-A at the JV-31. Taylor lost seven yards on the first play when he had trouble handling the ball, but the picked up nine yards on the next play, and 15 more for a first down before scoring the three-yard TD. Juniata Valley again blocked Shaw’s PAT kick. — The Hornets started at their own-37, moving the distance in six plays to score what would be their last touchdown. Morrison burst the final five yards for the score. Carper, who completed 11 of 20 passes for 192 yards, moved the ball down the field with completions of six yards to Gildea and 29 and 11 to Morrison who had six catches for 92 yards. On the PAT try, Carper passed to Gildea to bring the score to 29-22 for the home team with six minutes still to play in the third quarter. — Bellwood-Antis lost the ball on fumbles on two consecutive series to keep the score close. The Blue Devils lost the ball twice, managed to recover their own fumbles three times and committed penalties that killed a potential score at the end of the first half, after driving inside the JV-5, only to come away with zero points for their efforts. — What the Blue Devils did do, however, was with just a seven-point lead take 7:16 off the fourth-quarter clock, plus add a touchdown to their lead to just about ice the victory. Fifteen plays that included critical gains of six and 13 yards for first downs by Shaw to keep the drive in gear, and a two-yard gain by Evans on a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-one near midfield kept the Hornet offense on their bench. Taylor added his third TD of the night by smashing one yard for the score. The only pass play in the series was a 35-yard completion from Evans to Minori. Shaw, who had two PAT tries blocked, finally got the opportunity to kick one. — “That one we did finish,” said Hayes. “We ran hard, we blocked. The toss to Jared was a big catch. We didn’t throw the ball a lot tonight. I was a little concerned about their blitzing. I wanted to stay away from negative plays. Even with that we found ourselves in some long yardage situations, but we made them up a couple times tonight.” — An interception by Taylor, who ran it back 30 yards to the JV-3, completed the win. — “They (Juniata Valley) practiced all week on plays to beat us,” explained Hayes. “We played a pretty good football team. But our kids made enough plays to come out on top, and I’m really happy about that.”

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