GAME THREE Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties: 34 B-A Blue Devils: 6 Friday, September 14, 2007 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— The undefeated Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties rolled into Bellwood Memorial on Friday night looking to keep their number one District 6-AA rating. Although they only got 90 ratings points for beating the Single-A Blue Devils, they did so in a devastating manner.
— Philipsburg moved over, around and through the Bellwood-Antis defense, and never looked back in a 34-7 thrashing of the Blue Devils in a mild rain that made the footing a little slippery, but didn’t seem to affect much except the band and a the fans.
— In fact, the P-O defensive unit held the Blue Devils to a minus five yards rushing total and just 10 yards total offense. The previous record for least yardage rushing was a minus two yards effort by Portage in 1955, when B-A was beginning a stretch in which the Blue Devils were 1-29-1 from the middle of 1955 to the third game of 1959.
— Bellwood-Antis received the opening kickoff to start the ballgame and fumbled with Philipsburg-Osceola recovering at the BA-23. Huge P-O fullback Dimitri Sidorick bulled five yards on the first play. Then the B-A defense rose up to force the Mounties to use six more plays, including four from inside the BA-8, but on a fourth and goal at the four, quarterback Bo Reifer found Wyatt Pusey for the touchdown. The PAT attempt failed, but P-O led 6-0 with just 3:28 off the clock.
— “It went downhill from there,” said Bellwood-Antis coach john Hayes in describing the first fumble and subsequent events. “We had a real spirited defensive stand after that bad break. It was a fourth down play, they scored on, but that’s part of the game. Fourth down plays count.”
— The Bellwood-Antis offense, if that was indeed the right word was set up at the 50 following a 35-yard kick return by Randy Pfahler. Three plays netted three yards however and the first of three straight B-A punts gave the Mounties the ball at their own-38.
— Bellwood-Antis flashed their only sign of life several plays later when the Mounties fumbled and Nate Gray alertly picked the ball up on a bounce and raced 60 yards for the tying touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Blue Devils had new life and a 6-6 score.
— On the next series, Reifer found Jarrett Lancaste for a 40-yard TD pass and a Zac Czap PAT kick gave the Mounties a 13-6 advantage, they would build upon for the rest of the first three quarters.
— Bellwood-Antis would have the ball for just 11 total plays in the first half, not counting punts for a minus 10 yards.
— “Offensively, we just couldn’t move the ball, we couldn’t make a play of any kind,” stressed Hayes. “We just played too much defense. I think we only had the ball 10 or 11 plays in the first half and probably not many more in the second half.”
— While Bellwood-Antis was being held in check, by the P-O defense, the Mounties would put two more touchdowns on the first-half scoreboard. Sidorick went up the middle for six yards and a score to cap a 66-yard drive with three minutes to play in the second quarter, then Czap ran a Jet Sweep for 15 yards and another score with just 41 seconds left in the half. Czap also booted both PAT kicks to send the Philipsburg-Osceola squad into the locker room at the half with a 27-6 lead.
— Although there was only one score in the second half, Philipsburg continued their almost complete domination of Bellwood-Antis, holding the pigskin for 16 plays in the third quarter to eight for the Blue Devils. Czap scored his second touchdown of the night on a six-yard scamper over the left side and then followed that up with his fourth PAT kick.
— “They (Philipsburg-Osceola) are just a good football team that physically kind of pushed us around tonight,” explained Hayes. “They are balanced, which gives them a lot of weapons. They ran the ball, different people ran the ball. They ran inside, they ran outside and they threw the ball. And they did it all very effectively. They played ball-control, it was just demoralizing. Our kids, in their defense, as the game wore on, it was hard to keep standing in there and keep taking those punches without being able to counter without anything offensively.”
— Reifer completed seven of 12 passes for 104 yards and two TDs without an interception for Philipsburg, and Sidorick hammered at the B-A defense for 109 yards on 22 carries, to lead a ground game that accounted for 264 yards.
— With both teams playing reserves at the end of the game, it appeared the Blue Devils might have a spark with sophomore quarterback Nate Plummer connecting twice with Trey Mock for 12 yards and with Zach McCaulley scampering 13 yards for only two first downs the Blue Devils had all night. The game ended, however, with three consecutive sacks.