By BOB MILLER
Daily Herald Sports Editor
— On September 20, 1996, Bellwood-Antis celebrated Homecoming and had to go into overtime before pulling out a 17-14 win over Southern Huntingdon at Bellwood Memorial Stadium.
— After three straight losses to open the season for head coach John Hayes, Bellwood-Antis delighted a large Homecoming crowd that saw 1996 Homecoming Queen Wendy Garner crowned at halftime by 1995 Queen Elsa Parks, and stayed around for two overtime periods. B-A has been involved in three overtime contests, since the rules were changed to eliminate ties and have won all three-defeating Bishop Guilfoyle 14-7 during the regular season in 1995 and Bedford 34-28 in the 2000 Semifinals of the District 5/6 playoffs, also in two OTs in addition to the Southern Huntingdon game in 1996.
— Each team tried three field goals, with Tim Noonan, junior lineman, who would be selected to the Second Team AP Small School All-State squad as a senior in 1997, almost being the goat, after missing a 28-yard field goal with 0:28 left in the fourth quarter, before stepping back and booting the winner from 22 yards away in the second overtime.
— Bellwood-Antis jumped out to a two-touchdown lead over Southern Huntingdon and then allowed the Rockets to come back and tie the game in regulation.
— B-A took a Rocket punt after Southern Huntingdon was unable to move following the opening kickoff, at the SH-39. Fullback Don Lingenfelter had his number called for five yards and tailback Jeremy Guyer picked up 14, but was hurt and did not return. Matt Miller picked up nine big yards on a reverse and Lingenfelter smashed in for the one-yard TD. Noonan kicked the PAT for a 7-0 lead that was all the scoring in the first half.
— Bellwood-Antis took the second-half kick and promptly drove 65 yards for their second score. Quarterback Steve Conlon connected on four straight passes for 56 of those yards, including a 31-yarder to senior classmate Brad Wertz for the TD. Noonan’s PAT gave the Blue Devils a 14-0 advantage.
— Southern began the fourth quarter with a drive deep into Blue Devil territory, but was turned away by a Matt Miller interception at the BA-2. Unable to move the ball, Bellwood-Antis was forced to punt with Southern Huntingdon getting the ball at the BA-35. Quarterback Mark Moline completed a 34-yard pass play to Chet Clark on the first call and followed that with a one-yard sneak for the score. The PAT was no good, so B-A led 14-6.
— Southern recovered a B-A fumble two series later at the BA-25. The Rockets ran a trick play, lining up freshman quarterback Scott Covert at halfback. Covert fired a pass to Clark for 22 yards. Jeff Grissinger added both the one-yard TD and 2-pt. PAT to tie the game 14-14.
— After Noonan’s last second miss in regulation, both teams flubbed field goal tries in the first overtime.
— Bellwood-Antis came up with a big interception to quickly end Southern’s second overtime. From the 10, Lingenfelter smashed up the middle three straight times to set the ball at point-blank range for Noonan, who was true on the 22-yarder as B-A gutted out their first win of the campaign.
— Bellwood-Antis won their third straight shutout victory of the season on September 20, 1974, with a 34-0 triumph at West Branch.
— Led by hard-hitting linebacker Jerry Taylor and cohorts Mike Endress, Tom Jackson, Joe DelGrosso, Dan Maidl, Joe Riley, Gary Hribik, Jim Evans, Brian Marasco and the rest of the Blue Devil defensive unit, West Branch was demoralized with another superb effort. The Warriors became the fifth straight team, including two preseason scrimmages that failed to dent the Blue Devils’ endzone for coach Mike Hoffer and assistants Steve Hayes and Darrell Claar.
— Gary Hribik, a Big 33 Nominee who passed for 127 yards and two TD passes and scored another on the ground, found Tom Jackson with a 39-yard toss in the opening stanza for a touchdown to open up the floodgates.
— Three minutes later, a quick four-play drive that covered 78 yards was capped by a 53-yards pass play from Hribik to Joe Orolin for another score.
— A second quarter interception by Jim Evans put the Blue Devils in business again at the West Branch-14. Evans bolted a dozen yards and then bruising fullback Jerry Taylor slammed in for the two-yard score. Hribik and Orolin, a converted quarterback, reversed their roles with Orolin passing to Hribik for the 2 pt. PAT and a 20-0 B-A lead.
— Taylor keyed the first of a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns with five carries for 31 yards, and then banged in for the one-yard score. Hribik blasted in for the final TD from three yards out after setting the score up with a couple pass completions to Evans and one each to Orolin and Taylor. Jim Riley booted extra points after both fourth-quarter scores.
— The defensive shut out streak would continue through five regular season games, although Tussey Mountain did score on defense, returning a pass interception 100 yards in game five and Mount Union would hold Bellwood-Antis to a 0-0 draw in game four. Finally in game six, a powerful Southern Huntingdon team not only would score, but handed B-A their first loss of the 1974 season 24-6.
— Hribik passed for 1,033 yards and completed 91 passes as a junior in 1973, but would spend all or part of several games on the bench due to injury during his senior season in 1974. That contributed to his throwing for just 33 completions and 498 yards as a senior. Hribik holds B-A records for completions (185) and pass attempts (400) and is tied for third in TD passes (22) and is one of just three Blue Devil quarterbacks to pass for 2,000 yards at B-A.
— In a battle of two winless teams, Bellwood-Antis emerged as the clear-cut victor, on September 20, 1968, smashing West Branch 35-0 on the loser’s field at Lanse.
— After a scoreless first quarter, Dan Davensizer raced 14 yards to cap a 70-yard drive and Jim Singler, who had a key 19-yard gain during the march, added the extra point and the rout was on.
— One year later, the PIAA would add the two-point conversion for any extra points that were run or passed for. Until 1969, all extra point tries were only one point, no matter how they were scored,
— With less that a minute to play in the first half, Chris Edminston blasted in for a one-yard touchdown that culminated a 68-yard march. Davensizer ran the PAT for a 14-0 lead at halftime.
— West Branch tried to surprise Bellwood-Antis with a quick kick, but it didn’t work with the Blue Devils winding up with the ball at the Warriors-15. Three plays later, Jim Singler dashed eight yards for the TD and Davensizer rushed for the PAT and a 21-0 advantage.
— In the fourth quarter, B-A added the final two scores.
— First, Bellwood-Antis quarterback Jim DelGrosso ran the ball in from the seven to cap a 70-yard drive. Then backup quarterback and Jim’s younger brother, Bo DelGrosso, blasted in from a yard out following Ron Roulic’s pass interception that set up the TD. Gary Vandevander and Mike Hoffer ran in the extra points to set the final score at 35-0.
— The Blue Devils would turn the season around and win five and tie one of the final eight games to finish the season 5-4-1 for head coach Chet Dillen after an 0-2 start. Dillen’s assistants in 1968 were long-time aide Bob Fowler and Fred Jones, an IUP grad, who replaced Mike Hoffer, who became the Director of Athletics. Ken Peterson was the junior high head coach and was assisted by Richard Underwood.
— Bellwood-Antis pretty much disdained the pass under coach Dillen, throwing just a total of 47 passes in 10 games in 1968 and no touchdown passes. Jim DelGrosso did most of the passing when the Blue Devils did throw the football completing 18 of 38 passes for 207 yards. Dan Davensizer and Bo DelGrosso completed one of nine passes between them.. Chris Edminston (six for 54 yards) and Dan Davensizer (six for 50) led the B-A receivers. Davensizer led the runningbacks with 570 yards on 141 carries, closely followed by Edminston with 546 yards on 123 carries. Jim Singler added 203 yards on just 41 carries, leading the rushers with a 5.0 yards per carry average.