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Weiand sets B-A passing record in 41-0 win over Mercyhurst Prep


B-A Blue Devils: 41

Mercyhurst Prep Lakers:0

Saturday, September 6, 2003 • Bellwood-Antis Memorial Field • Bellwood, Pennsylvania

By BOB MILLER | Daily Herald Sports Editor

Records are made to be broken, although the one senior quarterback Shawn Weiand broke on Saturday night had lasted 28 years. In the 41-0 Bellwood-Antis triumph over Mercyhurst Prep, Weiand, who hasn’t played football since junior high, completed 10 of 12 passes for 249 yards to shatter the mark of 230 yards set by Scott Hunter against Claysburg-Kimmel during the 1975 season. Hunter still holds the mark for touchdown passes in a game, notching five in that same game, all in the opening half. Chuck Benton eclipsed the 200-yard mark three times in 2001, with a personal best of 221 against Marion Center in the playoffs. Gary Hribik’s 204 against West Branch in 1973 is the only other 200-plus performance for B-A.

— Weiand did throw two TD passes and Dan Houser backed up the B-A aerial attack with 99 yards rushing on just 11 carries.

— Bellwood-Antis kicked off to Mercyhurst Prep, who hail from Erie, and forced the Lakers to punt after moving the sticks for one first down, an 11-yard pass completion from quarterback Todd Kinnear to running back Rob Barger.

— “He was really great out there,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes referring to Weiand. “He and underclassman Zach Tomchick, his backup, had a real battle to see who would start. Those kids have really handled that situation better than the professionals do. They help each other, they complement each other. We’ve been very fortunate. It’s not a lot that I have done, the kids have handled the situation extremely well. We are going to be better for it. We have a kid who is working hard as a backup. He had to play a lot last week and this is going to help him be a better player for us next year.”

— Houser set the tone by scampering 22 yards on the opening call for the Blue Devils, then dashed 12 more on the second play. Houser hit the line for a third straight time, picking up three yards. Senior fullback Matt Sneath bulled for a gain of 11 and Houser capped the drive with the four-yard TD. On the PAT attempt, B-A faked the kick and holder Weiand threw to Matt Plummer in the right corner of the endzone for a 2-point PAT and 8-0 lead.

— Bellwood-Antis, who would score twice in each of the first two quarters and once each in the third and fourth stanzas, came right back on their next possession for a quick score.

— Mercyhurst Prep marched to the BA-5 in 10 plays before the Blue Devils forced a incomplete on fourth-and-goal at the five. Big plays for the Lakers were a 12-yard gain by Kale Fisher and a 12 yard pass completion from Kinnear to Adam Macrino.

— Bellwood-Antis picked up five yards without a play when Mercyhurst was flagged for an offsides penalty. On the first play, Weiand spotted Plummer all alone behind the Prep secondary and the senior tight end raced 85 yards for a one-play TD drive. Houser booted the PAT for a 15-0 lead with just over a minute to go in the opening quarter.

— Junior tailback Mark Rogers broke loose for a 25-yard pickup on the next series, but Weiand’s pass was intercepted to halt the drive.

— Near the end of the first half, Bellwood-Antis took over at their own 37. Houser capped the 67-yard march with a seven-yard TD scamper after Weiand had run for 11 yards and completed passes of eight yards to Sneath and 32 to Houser to get three key first downs earlier in the series.

— B-A took over on downs near midfield at their own 48 with time running out in the first half. Despite a 12-yard holding penalty, the Blue Devils behind Weiand’s arm moved in for one more score. Weiand connected with Sneath for 24 yards. Then after the holding penalty, Weiand hit Aaron Geis for 11 yards to the 20. On the final play of the half, Weiand lofted a perfect fade-away to Derrick Hoffer in the endzone with no time left on the clock. Houser’s PAT kick gave the Blue Devils a 29-0 lead at the intermission.

— “We couldn’t play soon enough this week,” said Hayes. “We would have liked to have played Tuesday or Wednesday, coming off last week when we had our butts kicked pretty well by a good Tyrone football team. We are struggling right now with lots of little mistakes that really hurt offensively. It was nice tonight to do some things offensively, although we are still not anywhere near where we want to be. We are still making some dumb mental mistakes, but these kids have some ability. If we can get them to be more consistent and not hurt themselves with their own mental mistakes, I think we are going to get better.”

— The Blue Devils scored in the third quarter, going 71 yards in eight plays. Houser began the series with a 15-yard jaunt, Sneath carried three times for 13 yards and Weiand connected with Plummer for eight yards and Hoffer, who grabbed three tosses for 79 yards, for 42 yards. Weiand went over the right side for a three-yard TD on a quarterback-keeper.

— In the fourth quarter, Ian Crist picked up a Mercyhurst fumble and carried the pigskin 11 yards for the final score of the game.

— “We may be struggling with this eight weeks from now,” said Hayes, “but we are working hard and moving forward. Tonight was a real positive step in that direction. I think it’s going to help us this week. It won’t put any points on the board for us next week however. We are coming up against a team that is pretty hot right now. I think we need to work hard this week and go into that game without any thought of what we did tonight, except for the confidence we built and the knowledge that we can do it. We ran the ball pretty well tonight, but I think we could have run better. We took advantage of the things we saw. That’s the challenge of the game, to do that. Shawn did a good job and his receivers got open. We pitched a shutout and that’s always a goal. They got some movement, but we hung tough when we had to.”

— Bellwood-Antis hosts undefeated Everett (2-0) on Friday night for the third of four straight opening season games at Bellwood Memorial Stadium. Everett defeated Claysburg-Kimmel 30-8 on Friday and knocked off Glendale 23-13 in their opener.

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