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Everett stays unbeaten by squeaking past Bellwood-Antis


Everett Warriors: 22

B-A Blue Devils: 20

Friday, September 12, 2003 • Bellwood-Antis Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor

— Everett kept its undefeated record as the Warriors heard the final gun at the end of Friday night’s football game at Bellwood Memorial Stadium. It wasn’t an easy victory, but it was actually decided long before Bellwood-Antis took over at their own 26-yard line with 5:13 left in the game and then again when B-A stopped Everett at the BA-7 on a fumble recovery and drove inside the Everett 40. — What killed the young and inexperienced Bellwood-Antis squad was a third down and 20 for Everett, early in the third quarter and a third down and 14, minutes into the fourth quarter. — On the first occasion, Everett senior quarterback Sloan Clingerman shot a short pass over the middle to Alex Hall, who rambled 39 yards for the touchdown when it seemed the Bellwood-Antis defense would hold and get the ball back for the B-A offense. — On the second play in question, Clingerman tossed the ball to Adam Miller down the right side and Miller finished the job with a 78-yard TD pass play. In each case, the Blue Devils were in the right place with the right defense. Everett, a team with veterans at all their skill positions, simply made the plays. — On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bellwood-Antis was driving the ball downfield on the first offensive possession of the game, but fumbled the ball away to Everett. On the first series of the third quarter for the Blue Devils the same thing happened. This time, B-A recovered their own fumble, but momentum was lost and Everett took over after Bellwood-Antis had driven to the Warrior-19. — Both teams moved the ball well, with each amassing over 300 yards of total offense. Everett was able to reach back and get the big play when it was needed. The two TD passes by Clingerman, who finished six of 10 for 178 yards and a 52 yard scamper up the middle by mammoth fullback Wade Grimes accounted for two thirds of Everett’s offense on just those three plays. — “The play at the end (of the game) was exciting, but the game was determined in the middle,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “The two big third down plays, long yardage, not only did they get the first down. They got a touchdown out of both of them. Those are the kind of killers, like a knife in the back that are hard to overcome.” — Bellwood-Antis put the first points on the board near the end of the first quarter going 69 yards in nine plays for the TD. — Quarterback Shawn Weiand pulled the ball down and ran for 20 yards when no one was open and completed a pass to Dan Houser for 10 more to set up the score, then tossed another pass to Derrick Hoffer, who made several would-be tacklers miss on the way to a 35-yard touchdown and the 6-0 lead. — On the next series following a 27-yard runback of the kickoff by Adam Miller that put Everett in good field position, the Warriors moved 55 yards for a TD and added the PAT kick to take a slim 7-6 lead. Clingerman had the key run, slipping into the secondary for a 12-yard pickup and 6-3, 215 pound fullback Grimes bulled for 12 yards on two plays sandwiched around a seven-yard gain by do-everything wingback Wes Garland. Garland rushed five times for 23 yards, was the leading receiver in the game with five catches for 39 yards and even completed a pass to Clingerman for a dozen yards and a first down on another third and long play. Clingerman followed his left tackle into the endzone for the one-yard TD and Banner Mann gave the Warriors the lead with his perfect PAT kick. — With the one-point lead at the half, Everett stopped the Blue Devils, or rather B-A stopped themselves with a fumble at the 19. B-A recovered the pigskin, but lost the ball on downs as a direct result. — Bellwood-Antis came up with a big play on defense with Ben Kleiner sacking Clingerman for a nine-yard loss that gave the Warriors a third and 20 , but Clingerman connected with Hall for the first big play. — Bellwood-Antis came up with a big play of their own on defense the next time Everett had the ball. Matt Plummer picked off a Sean Foor pass and outraced everybody 49 yards for a TD to cut Everett’s lead to 14-12 with 17 seconds left in the third quarter. — Once again Everett got a big return by Miller to the E-41. Miller returned three kicks for 24-yard average in all. The B-A defense pushed Everett back to the Warriors-22, with the help of a quarterback sack by Dwayne Cherry. Again Everett slipped out of the hole. This time it was Clingerman to Miller for 78 yards and R. J. Hillenbrand ran through a big hole in the line for the two-point conversion that gave Everett a 22-12 lead with 11:12 to play in the fourth quarter. — Bellwood-Antis would score quickly and get the ball back twice more, but couldn’t overcome the big third down TD plays. — Danny Houser jump-started the Blue Devils by returning the kick 50 yards to the Everett-37, then scooted 17 yards on the first call from scrimmage. Houser rushed 17 times in all, for a game-high 109 yards. Travis Ehredt bulled for 11 more to move the sticks again for another first down. After Houser and Ehredt took turns with three-yard gains, Houser covered the final three yards for the TD. On the two-point try, coach Hayes inserted Zach Tomchick at quarterback and moved Weiand to tailback. Tomchick pitched the ball back to Weiand who ran to his right before tossing a pass to Derrick Hoffer, who just managed to get his feet down along the right side of the endzone. — Trailing 22-20, B-A tried to take the lead after holding Everett at the BA-26. Weiand found Houser behind the Everett secondary for a 46-yard gain, but the Warriors made the tackle to prevent a score and eventually took over when Bellwood-Antis was a football length short of a first down at the E-39. — Grimes bulled his way through the line and rumbled for 52 yards to the BA-seven on the next series that threatened to put the game out of reach for the Blue Devils. B-A forced a fumble however and Dwayne Cherry recovered at the 12 with under three minutes remaining. On fourth-and-ten, Weiand connected with Houser to midfield to keep the drive alive. — Weiand then completed a pass to John McFalls, who lateraled to Houser on the hitch and pitch play that went for 15 yards. On fourth down with the clock expiring and no timeouts, it appeared the Blue Devils had dodged another bullet and earned themselves one last shot at the endzone on a seven-yard sideline pass to Derrick Hoffer with 2.9 seconds remaining at the E-22. However, a measurement revealed they had come up two inches short of the first down and Everett would take a knee to end the hard-fought contest. — “Our kids played with a lot of heart,” said Hayes, “but Everett was able to take advantage, to make the plays. At the end, we had a couple chances there. The difference was their guy caught ours. I have no problem with the effort our kids gave, from the opening whistle until the end. Everett had some good plays, they made some big plays when they had to. I don’t think there’s a much better way to describe it.”

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