Defense, Davila lead B-A past Southern Huntingdon, Devils will face Juniata Valley in District 6-A
GAME ELEVEN — DISTRICT 6 SEMIFINAL B-A Blue Devils: 24 Southern Huntingdon Rockets: 7 Saturday, November 19, 2006 • Three Springs, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— When Southern Huntingdon and Bellwood-Antis collided on Saturday night in a District 6-A semifinal football game at Three Springs, the Southern Huntingdon Rockets were on a roll. Since a 27-9 loss to the Blue Devils in week five, Southern had turned in five straight shutouts, outscoring their opponents 215-0. In one area newspaper, Ryan Garlock, the Rockets head coach, concluded his interview with the statement that “our kids have wanted this game since we played Bellwood up there. And now we have them.”
— Bellwood-Antis scored twice in the first quarter on Saturday night and with the exception of one fourth-quarter drive on which Southern Huntingdon scored a TD, completely controlled the Rockets on the way to a very solid 24-7 triumph.
— Southern Huntingdon drove 90 yards in an impressive 17-play march to scorse their touchdown, when Nick Hall covered the last five yards for the score and Matt Gaston, a freshman transfer student from nearby Fannett Metal, booted the PAT to slice the score to 17-7 with 10:46 to play in the fourth quarter.
— The Bellwood-Antis defense led by their front six of defensive ends Josh Peters and Chad Coho, tackles Tyler Narehood and Anthony Jenkins and inside linebackers Jon Davila and Bruno DeGol, limited the Rockets to 11 yards total offense for the rest of the game. Southern Huntingdon ran the ball 28 times for 69 yards and completed just five of 15 passes for another 32 yards. The B-A defense forced five turnovers—intercepting four Southern passes and recovering a fumble.
— “Both offensively and defensively, our line controlled the game,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “When you look at the defensive effort in virtually shutting down Mansberger who we were most concerned about coming in. He was the big play guy, the catalyst to make things happen, both throwing and running the ball. He had help from the Crull kid and Hoover taking some pressure. But we knew we had to stop him in order to shut them down offensively.
— “Our front six really did their job. That allowed the backers and our other people to come in and clean up. I am very proud about how well we played defensively tonight. That, obviously, was the key to out victory.”
— The story on offense was much the same for Bellwood-Antis, led by Josh Kleinfelter with 29 carries for 177 yards and two TDs and Davila, who had the best rushing game of his career with 10 carries for 150 yards, when not blocking for Kleinfelter.
— The B-A offense ripped apart a Southern Huntingdon defense that had allowed an average of only 149 yards total offense, for 195 yards in the first quarter, and a game total of 402 yards.
— Southern won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball, hoping to get the early lead. The Bellwood-Antis offense forced three straight three plays and punt series from the Rockets, however, never allowing a Southern first down, until there was less than a minute remaining in the first half.
— Devon Clapper, who was injured in the second quarter and taken to Altoona Hospital as a precautionary measure, started the Blue Devils’ first series by taking a reverse five yards. Kleinfelter got loose for 29 yards and on the very next play, Davila bulled through a big hole in the Rocket defense and rambled 25 yards to the SH-20. Kleinfelter opened the scoring when he blasted one yard for the touchdown and Evan Celmo booted the PAT for a 7-0 Bellwood-Antis lead with 6:51 to play in the opening quarter.
— The defense gave B-A the ball right back again at the BA-18 following three plays, all on stops by Davila and a punt for the Rockets. The Blue Devils struck quickly to build a two-score lead. On the first call from scrimmage, Davila got loose for a 67-yard jaunt and Kleinfelter finished the two-play drive by covering the final 15 yards around the left side for the score. Celmo booted the PAT for a 14-0 lead.
— After forcing yet another punt highlighted by a devastating quarterback sack by Coho, Bellwood-Antis lost their only turnover of the night on a fumble on their next series, the only one of their first four first-half possessions that the Blue Devils failed to cash in a score on.
— Beginning from the BA-19, the Blue Devils drove to the Rockets-19, where Celmo booted his third field goal of the season and 11th of his career from 35 yards out to build the B-A margin to 17-0. After Davila bulled for a yard, Kleinfelter went over the left side for 43 yards to the Southern-37, with Clapper being injured blocking on the play.
— “Early on to be able to take the ball down to get those two scores, our line was blowing huge holes in the Southern Huntingdon defense.” said Hayes. “At that time, we were setting back a little bit, a little concerned about turning ball over and giving them an easy turnover-kind of score. There were some things we could have done, but when you have the lead and are on the road, I felt a lot more comfortable just trying to hammer away and get what we could. That paid off anyhow.”
— Southern Huntingdon began their one sustained drive midway through the third quarter and continued through the first two calls of the fourth, before Hall scored to slice the deficit to 17-7.
— The Rockets held Bellwood-Antis and went to the air on their following series, with Kleinfelter intercepting wide receiver Cory Knepper on the first play from scrimmage, when Southern Huntingdon went to their trick play book.
— After the two semifinalists exchanged offensive series, down 10 points, and running out of time, the Rockets were forced to go for it on a fourth-and-six at their own-31. Coho picked up his second sack of the game to stop Southern and give Bellwood-Antis the ball deep in Southern territory.
— Brandon Humphreys began the series with an eight-yard scamper for a first down after an offsides penalty on the Rockets. Bruno DeGol capped the short four-play drive slamming the final nine yards through the middle and Celmo added the PAT kick.
— Southern had one more try, but Mansberger’s pass was intercepted by Danny Campbell, who returned the pick 37 yards to the SH-29. Humphreys, who had an interception and forced a fumble, picked up nine and a Southern Huntingdon penalty netted a first down, just before the clock ran out.
BLUE DEVIL NOTES: Kleinfelter now has 1,840 yards rushing this season, averaging 7.7 yards per carry, and a career total of 5,463. Kleinfelter has a school record 74 touchdowns, but with 446 points, still needs eight points to surpass Albert “Chub” Dillen’s B-A scoring record of 454 points… Davila has rushed 66 times for 408 yards this year to average 6.2 yards a carry… Mansberger has nine TD passes and one interception in his other nine games this year—against Bellwood-Antis, has has no TD passes and six interceptions… On the season, Hoover (1,103) and Mansberger (574) conbined for 1,677 yards, but on Saturday, Mansberger was 14 for 17, and Hoover was seven for 11… In two playoff games, the B-A defense has allowed a total of 169 yards rushing and 33 passing, while the Blue Devil offense has pounded out 714 yards of total offense… The Blue Devils handed Southern Huntingdon (9-2) their only two losses this year. B-A also gave Southern their only two losses of the season in 1997… Bellwood-Antis (9-2) will face Juniata Valley (9-2) in the District 6-A championship finals on either Friday or Saturday this week… Southern Huntingdon shutout Valley 21-0 in week three… Clapper was home on Sunday after suffering severe whiplash.