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Moshannon Valley defense keys 13-7 win over Bellwood-Antis


Moshannon Valley : 13

B-A Blue Devils: 7

Friday, October 17, 2003 • Bellwood-Antis Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor

Bellwood-Antis had the football inside the Moshannon Valley four yard line at the end of each half. The Blue Devils however got zero points from the two series and wound up on the short end of a 13-7 score that showed the Black Knights are for real and improved Moshannon Valley’s record to 7-1.

— With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter at Bellwood Memorial Stadium, the Blue Devils, down 13-7, drove from their own 42 to the Knights’ four yard line. With a third and four, the Mo Valley defense stopped B-A tailback Dan Houser for a loss of two back to the six. Then on fourth-and-six someone in the secondary deflected the last-ditch pass before it reached two B-A receivers deep in the endzone, resulting in an incomplete pass that turned the ball over to Moshannon Valley with the 6-point lead and just time for one kneel-down to run out the remaining 7 seconds on the clock.

— In a game played with almost the entire second half buffeted by a fog bank that at times made vision difficult, senior quarterback Shawn Weiand had led the charge down the field. Weiand connected with tight end Matt Plummer for 26 yards and with fullback Matt Sneath for 13 more each time moving the sticks for a first down.

— “The guys played their hearts to the very end,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “We were doing what had worked for us all year long. Tonight we couldn’t make that play when we needed it. It’s not because we didn’t try. They are a good football team. They played good defense when we got down inside the 10 and we just couldn’t find the right combination.”

— Neither club was able to get into the endzone in a scoreless first half, although each school had one major threat.

— Behind junior running back P. J. Keith, who rambled for 206 yards on 31 carries to bring his season total to 1,363 yards, best in the area, Mo Valley drove from their own 29 to the Bellwood-Antis 15. When the Blue Devil defense halted the Knights there, Justin Smith attempted a 37-yard field goal that was wide left and short.

— On the final series of the second quarter, Bellwood-Antis drove from their own 20 to the Moshannon one before getting thrown back for a three-yard loss on fourth and goal.

— Dan Houser, who led B-A with 86 yards on 22 carries, ran six times for 23 yards and Weiand found Plummer for 12 yards and Derrick Hoffer for 20 more to lead the team down the field. On fourth down, Hayes disdained the possible field goal try and went for the touchdown. Moshannon Valley turned the Blue Devils away and the half ended on a bizarre play with both teams recovering then losing a fumble as the whistle sounded ending the half.

— In the third quarter, Bellwood-Antis and Moshannon Valley traded TDs.

— First the Blue Devils’ Matt Sneath bulled three yards for the first score of the game to cap a 72-yard drive. Weiand was four-for-four during the drive, completing a pair to Sneath for 32 yards and one to Plummer for 12. Houser ran five times for 16 yards against a tough Mo Valley defense to set Sneath up at the MV-3.

— Moshannon Valley came right back after Bellwood-Antis took nearly seven minutes off the clock with their touchdown drive, to put a score of their own on the board. Keith carried six straight times for 30 yards and quarterback Luke Martin tossed a pass to Craig Stodart in the endzone that was tipped and then caught by the Moshannon receiver for the TD. Justin Smith’s PAT kick tied the score with 0:32 on the third-quarter clock.

— The Blue Devils tried to come right down the field to answer the Knights again, marching from their own 34 to the MV-16, but lost the ball on a fumble.

— Derrick Hoffer picked up 11 yards on a reverse and Houser carried four times for 25 more, but the fumble ended the threat.

— Moshannon Valley then turned Keith loose. The junior tailback had his number called 11 straight times as Mo Valley rode Keith 84 yards into the endzone, including the five-yard TD that turned out to be the difference in the ballgame.

— “They are big and physical,” said Hayes commenting about the Moshannon defense. “The field conditions kind of favored that. They were pushing the line of scrimmage and Keith is a great back. He leads the area in rushing. He didn’t do anything surprising tonight, we knew he was good. He has a style that he doesn’t slip much, he’s kind of patient. He finds that crack and then he explodes. A lot of times you find yourself overrunning the play, which we did sometimes tonight.”

— Matt Sneath got the Blue Devils started on their last try by returning the kickoff 22 yards to the BA-42.

— Weiand picked up seven on the first call then Houser moved the sticks for a first down. Weiand connected with Plummer and Sneath to get the ball down to the MV-8. The Blue Devils were able to get another two yards in the final four plays against the Moshannon Valley defense and the game was over.

— “It hurts,” said Hayes, whose Blue Devils fall to 5-3 with a game at Bishop Guilfoyle next Saturday night. “We played hard and we played with a lot of heart. When you do that and lose, it stinks.”

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