Second-half effort gives Bellwood-Antis big win
GAME SEVEN B-A Blue Devils: 33 Chestnut Ridge Lions: 22 Friday, October 13, 2006 • Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania
By Bob Miller | Daily Herald Sports Editor
— For much of the first half against Chestnut Ridge on Friday night, Bellwood-Antis continued their penchant for stopping themselves with silly mistakes, terrible tackling and penalties.
— “We gave up a lot of big plays,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “We were there in position to make the plays, but we didn’t. We had fundamental breakdowns that shouldn’t happen with the amount of experience we have. We hurt ourselves.”
— The lead changed hands back and forth through most of the first three quarters, before Bellwood-Antis scored an insurance tally and found a way to stop Chestnut Ridge.
— The Blue Devils came out of the locker room to begin the third quarter with a slim 19-16 lead and put together two quarters of much better football to emerge at Bellwood Memorial Stadium with a 33-22 victory over the Chestnut Ridge Lions.
— With Josh Kleinfelter not at 100 percent and Devon Clapper in street clothes for the entire second half, Bellwood-Antis spread the offense around. Kleinfelter still was able to rush for 73 yards on 19 carries to push his season total to 1,040 yards, the first Blue Devil in the history of the program to have three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
— Chestnut Ridge won the coin toss and elected to defer, choosing to kickoff to start the ballgame. Kleinfelter returned the kick 25 yards to the BA-41.
— Senior quarterback Evan Hughes, who completed seven of 10 passes for an even 100 yards, tossed a 10-yard completion to David Burns to move the sticks for a big first down and then threw a 28-yarder to Clapper for the TD. Evan Celmo booted the PAT for a 7-0 B-A lead with 8:34 remaining in the quarter.
— Ridge then moved from their own 33 to score and take the lead. Mike Tomovich got loose for 24 yards and Josh McDannell, who was back for the first time after having been injured in the Lions’ opener against Bishop Guilfoyle after rushing for 100 yards and a TD in just one quarter, scooted for 12 and back-to-back first downs. Chestnut Ridge pulled out all the stops, going to the trick play book with Tomovich taking a pitch from quarterback Jase Diffibaugh and the spotting Jordan Soliday down the middle. With two defenders draped around him, Soliday tipped the ball up and flat on his back, made an outstanding catch just inside the end zone for a score. With yet another trick play, Ridge converted a two-point PAT when Tomovich caught a pass from holder Max Kauert to put the Lions up 8-7 with just over five minutes in the opening quarter to play.
— Clapper returned the following kick for 36 yards to the BA-48 to give the Blue Devils a short field for the second straight series. Kleinfelter (seven yards) and Clapper (six yards) each took a turn at carrying the ball for a first down to begin the march. Hughes hit senior fullback Jon Davila coming out of the backfield for a 12-yard gain. Davila ran twice for five yards each carry and then Justin Manning ran a reverse around the left side for the 15-yard TD. Celmo’s kick was blocked for the second time in two games and Bellwood-Antis had a slim 13-8 advantage with a minute to play in the quarter.
— Several series later, Bellwood-Antis was forced to punt from their own 19 after Kleinfelter picked up eight yards on the first play and two penalties cost them a first down.
— On the first call of the following series, Tomovich romped for 36 yards to the BA-5. Two plays later Tomovich bulled four yards for the TD. Diffibaugh tossed the two-point pass to Nick Herncane to give the Lions a 16-13 advantage.
— With time running out in the half, the Blue Devils drove 52 yards to regain the lead. Kleinfelter ran four times for 13 yards and Davila, who had his best game of the year on both offense with 14 carries for 81 yards and defense where his number was called numerous times on tackles, came through with a huge 11-yard run for a first down. Hughes connected with Burns for 10 yards and then found Bruno DeGol for the eight-yard TD. The two-point try failed to give B-A a 19-16 lead at the half.
— “We did a much better job on defensing their tailback,” said Hayes. “We played more under control, played it smarter, after overplaying him in the first half.”
— In the first half, Tomovich carried the ball six times for 81 yards, but the Blue Devil defense limited the Ridge senior to just an additional 14 yards on six more second-half carries.
— Chestnut Ridge took the lead one more time in the third quarter, taking the opening kick and marching 68 yards for their third TD. McDannell had the key play when he stepped out of several bad tackle attempts on a third-and-26 and rambled 64 yards to the BA-10. Diffibaugh threw a six-yard TD pass to Herncane for the TD and a 22-19 lead, but Brandon Humphreys blocked the Ridge PAT kick to keep the Blue Devils just three points down.
— That would be all the scoring that Chestnut Ridge would generate. After the team exchanged punts, Bellwood-Antis scored on consecutive series to ice the victory.
— Beginning at midfield, the Blue Devils’ Kleinfelter picked up nine yards in two carries and Davila slammed through the middle for 13 yards and a first down. Hughes found DeGol near the goal line and the B-A junior turned and slipped into the end zone for the TD. Celmo’s PAT gave the Blue Devils a four-point lead 26-22.
— The Bellwood-Antis defense then forced Chestnut Ridge to turn the ball after a punt at the BA-39.
— Kleinfelter broke a run for a dozen yards, Justin Manning scampered 13 yards and Davila got loose for 16 yards before Hughes completed a 26-yard TD pass to junior wide out Alan Wertz. The third TD pass of the game for Hughes, who had just two in his first six games, was thrown while getting plastered by the Ridge rush. Hughes picked himself up and found out the pass had been completed in the end zone. Celmo booted the PAT for a 33-22 lead after the Blue Devils had eaten nearly five minutes off the fourth-quarter clock.
— “I was very proud of them, especially the way we played in the second half,” commented Hayes. “This is a very good football team. We were very disappointed last week, we let one get away. That is tough to come back from, but we had good practices this week. Our fullback did a great job. We spread our offense around, because we needed to—that will pay off down the road.”