This Date in Blue Devil Football : October 29
By BOB MILLER
Daily Herald Sports Editor
— The Blue Devils skied over the Juniata Valley Hornets 41-0 on October 29, 1999 to clinch a playoff spot with their seventh straight win after opening the season with back-to-back losses to a pair of Double-A opponents in Tyrone (24-0) and Penns Valley (25-24).
— Matt Garner scored three times, including 15 and 10-yard runs and a nine-yard pass reception from B-A senior quarterback Travis Martin. Dave Miller added a four-yard run and Joel Focht and Ray Dunmyer added TDs on short runs for the Blue Devils.
— After driving deep into Valley territory, but losing the ball on a fumble and interception, the third time was the charm for B-A. The Hornets tried a surprise quick-kick, which the Blue Devils partially blocked. With the ball at the JV-18, Garner covered the distance in two plays, including the 15-yard TD.
— Focht intercepted a tipped pass, while flat on his back at the Valley-21. Miller bulled twice for 11 yards and Garner went over the right side and cut back for the 10-yard score.
— A series later, Joe Bagley raced around right end for a 25-yard pick-up on his only carry of the game and Focht took it from there, going 16 yards on the first try and then getting the four-yard TD. Chris Miller booted the PATs after the first two scores and alertly passed to Focht on the third attempt, when the snap from center was high, to open up a 22-0 lead.
— Dave Miller bulled four yards for a score later in the second quarter and Martin completed a nine-yard toss to Garner to kick in the Mercy-Rule with five seconds left in the half. Martin completed passes of eight and 16 yards to D. Miller and 22 to Steve Cogan and finally to Garner for the TD in a 28-point second quarter.
— The Blue Devils added one more TD in the fourth quarter, with the B-A reserves in the game for most of the second half. Tyson Weiand scooted 21 yards to set up the score and Dunmyer capped the scoring with 1:30 to play with a one-yard plunge.
— On October 29, 1993, the Bellwood-Antis football team celebrated Senior Night by taking Curwensville apart 35-7 at Bellwood Memorial Stadium for coach John Hayes. The Trick and Treating took place early with the Blue Devils scorning the first three times they touched the ball.
— First, B-A marched 67 yards in 15 plays with three big pass completions key to the score. Chris Walker connected with slotback Justin McCall on a third-down-and-seven play at the BA-36 for 12 yards and a first down. Walker hit Darren Warner for 14 yards on a third-and-14 at the Tide-48. Finally, the senior quarterback tossed a 26-yarder to Tom partner that took the ball to the Curw-5. Shawn Ross bulled five yards for the score on the following play.
— On the Blue Devils next series, Ross lost a yard on the opening play, then Comanche Garcia exploded down the right sideline for 63 yards and a TD.
— Following a Curwensville punt, in the second quarter, Ross scampered for 21 yards to the Curw-23. Walker found Pete Stetter for nine yards and Partner for 13, then scored himself on a one-yard sneak.
— B-A scored twice in the third period to put the ballgame on ice.
— McCall recovered a Tide fumble at the Curw-44, and Garcia, who led all runners with 116 yards on 17 carries scooted the final 20 yards for the TD. A series later, Ross, who finished with 67 yards on 12 carries, toted twice for 13 yards, Walker and Garcia combined for a 38-yard pass play and Ross hit the middle, spun outside and rambled 15 yards for the final Blue Devils TD. Stetter was perfect on all five PAT kicks.
— Bellwood-Antis traveled to Alexandria on October 29, 1988 to play Juniata Valley. The Blue Devils showed why they were ranked number three in the state, shifting into another gear for a 26-6 victory. Juniata Valley coach Bill Clouse went on record in a pregame interview that his team was hoping to take away what Bellwood-Antis did best and force B-A into “something unfamiliar.”
— With every John Hayes-coached offense concentrating on a tailback-oriented attack, Juniata Valley held the Blue Devils to just 49 rushing yards in the first half.
— The Blue Devils, with senior quarterback Todd Hirt were not exactly in foreign territory with a passing attack however. Hirt, who passed for over 2,000 yards at B-A, found end Charlie Burch for 12 and 14-yard gains on the very first drive and ended the series by tossing a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jason Lamertina.
— Junior fullback Gordy Darnell burst through the line and dashed 51 yards for the second tally of the opening quarter, with just 13 ticks of the clock left.
— The 1988 Blue Devils allowed all of their first nine opponents to score a total of just one first half TD.
— B-A took the second half kick and drove 74 yards to up their advantage to 20-0. Hirt connected with Lamertina for seven and 40-yard pass plays to key the drive and Tobias Nagle slipped one yard for the TD. Scott Mirabella added the two-point conversion run.
— After Juniata Valley super-back David Hensor blasted two yards for the Hornets only TD, the Bellwood-Antis offense put the final score on the board.
— Valley coughed up the football with Mirabella recovering at the JV-25. Darnell picked up four yards on the first call, then Hirt, who was 10-for-17 for 155 yards in the game, found his favorite receiver, Lamertina in the right-hand corner of the end zone for a 21-yard TD pass.
— The win clinched the ICC Section I championship and the Mid-Penn Division I title for B-A, while improving their log to 9-0. B-A would finish the 1988 campaign with a school recortd 13-1 mark, losing only to Wilmington in the first round of PIAA playoffs after winning the District 6-A title.