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This week in Blue Devil football

Bellwood-Antis was a member of two conferences in 1946, the Inter-County Conference, Eastern Division and the Western Conference, Class B.
On September 27, 1946, Bellwood-Antis scored a pair of early touchdowns on the way to a 20-0 victory over Jersey Shore.
The two early scores took the starch out of The Bulldogs, who were members of the Susquehanna League.
Lemont “Duke” Burkholder was the head coach in 1946, which would be the first undefeated season for Bellwood-Antis. Lewis Myers, back from the Navy, was Duke’s assistant as well as head basketball coach, and Jim Campbell, who left school to join the Navy after playing halfback for the Blue Devils in 1943 and 1944 and had been team captain in ‘44 ran the equipment room, while completing requirements to finish high school.
In a game originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, at Jersey Shore, but moved up a day to Sept. 27, the B-A defense turned in their third straight shutout after Tyrone had scored a single TD in a 26-6 Bellwood-Antis win in the season opener. Bellwood-Antis would count 10 straight shutouts and an 11-0 mark before the 1946 season ended.
On the second play from scrimmage, Tommy Conrad recovered a Jersey Shore fumble at the Shore-25. Sophomore Roy Pickens skirted left end for 15 yards, Paul Garrahan picked up eight more and Ron Raugh broke through right tackle for the two-yard touchdown. Raugh also added the extra point kick.
The B-A defense stuffed Jersey Shore for zero yards on three plays, with Charlie Barr making one tackle and Billy Campbell two.
Ken Woodhall fielded the punt and lateraled the ball to Pickens, who returned it to the BA-40. Another quick drive resulted in points. Raugh tossed a pass to Woodhall for nine yards and then scooted for 10 more two plays later. Woodhall, who local sports writers and coaches had been calling the best passer in the state as early as his freshman year at B-A, capped the drive with a 34-yard TD pass to senior end Dick Thomas. Woodhall has several B-A passing records and would have more if we had accurate records from those years.
In the third quarter, B-A put the final tally on the board. Woodhall, a complete player, who could pass, run, play defense, return kicks and punt with the best Bellwood-Antis athletes and was the equal of any in the state in the 1940s, ran a punt back 25 yards to the JS-35. Raugh completed a pair of passes to Pickens and had his number called six times for all the remaining yardage, including the two-yard TD and then kicked the PAT.
Bellwood-Antis shut out Williamsburg 41-0 at Bellwood Memorial Stadium on Sept. 27, 1963.
The potent Bellwood-Antis offense smashed the Blue Pirates, rushing for just under 200 yards and passed for 140 more for coach Chet Dillen.
The Blue Devils drove 63 yards for their first score. Bill Cherry dashed 27 yards for the key play and then scored the TD on a 14-yard run.
In the second quarter, John Hirt scored on defense for B-A returning an interception 20 yards for a TD. The second tally of the quarter followed on a Walter Rhoades to Ron Edmiston 48-yard pass play. Rhoades rushed for the PAT.
On their first series of the second half, Cherry capped a 62-yard drive that took just six plays, by smashing two yards for the score. Rhoades passed to Warren Wilson for the extra point.
Bellwood-Antis scored twice more in the final quarter. Rhoades took a 19-yards jaunt for the first score of the period and Cherry rushed for the PAT. Wilson scored the final six-pointer, gathering in a pass from Cherry on a play that overall covered 80 yards. The same duo then connected for the PAT.
Cherry carried 15 times for 97 yards and Rhoades had 107 yards on 17 carries. B-A would go undefeated in 1963 (10-0) for the first time since 1954. Cherry led Blair County in scoring with 148 points and rushed for 1,218 yards, while Rhoades finished second in scoring in the county and rushed for 1,195 yards.
Bellwood-Antis crushed Mount Union 34-7 on Sept. 27, 1985 at Bellwood Memorial Stadium.
For most of the 18 minutes, it seemed as if the Blue Devils were the 1-3 team and Mount Union 4-0. Mental mistakes proved very costly early for the Blue Devils of head coach John Hayes.
B-A was able to manage just 30 yards of total offense in that first quarter and a half, but finally did awaken to post their fifth straight win of the season.
Don “Booker” Moore, who finished the night with over 200 yards rushing for the second straight ballgame was the workhorse toting the ball 35 times for 235 yards, all but 19 in the last three quarters.
Bellwood-Antis did get into the endzone at the 5:58 mark of the second quarter with quarterback Don park going in for the score on a one-yard sneak and Shawn Bailey’s PAT kick knotted the score at seven-all. The big plays were a 27-yard jaunt by Moore and a nine-yard pick-up by Bob Noye.
The second half was more vintage Bellwood-Antis as More ran wild and scored twice from the one- and the six-yard lines. Adam Claar slammed in from the one for the other TD, completed a pass for 11 yards and added one 2-pt. PAT. Shawn Bailey booted two PATs overall.
• Editor’s note: In an oddity, all three years in this edition of This Week in Blue Devil Football went undefeated. Each had their special coaches and special players. Each should be given a lot of consideration for the “greatest B-A football team ever.” Eras change and it’s always hard to compare different teams so far apart from each other and it’s practically impossible for any one person to see all of them in action. Just think about these Blue Devil teams when comparing past, present and future “Best Lists.”

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This week in Blue Devil football

In a battle of two winless teams, Bellwood-Antis emerged as the clear-cut victor, on Sept. 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 Edmondson 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 th 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 Edmondson (six for 54 yards) and Dan Davisizer (six for 50) led the B-A receivers. Davinsizer led the runningbacks with 570 yards on 141 carries, closely followed by Edmondson 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.
Bellwood-Antis won their third straight shutout victory of the season on Sept. 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) aand 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.
On Sept. 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 overr Southern Huntingdon and then alowed 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 fortheir 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.

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This week in Blue Devil football

An infantile paralysis quarantine forced man area wide high school football teams to cancel or postpone their early season schedules in 1942.
Bellwood-Antis didn’t open their season until Sept. 13, 1942 for head coach Bob Killen and assistants Lew Myers and Tim Nolan. A dozen boys had been lost to graduation, but there was still 45 on the squad.
The Blue Devils opened the season with a convincing 21-0 win over Bigler Township of Madera. Playing at Bellwood, Killen inserted Steve Hatfield into the lineup, up from the junior varsity, after a scoreless first three quarters.
Hatfield who would later be awarded the Trophy for the Most Valuable Player in Canadian Football after a career at Bellwood-Antis and Shippensburg State Teachers College and a try out with the New York Giants, provided the spark for the Blue Devils. Hatfield pulled down a pass and dodged and twisted his way for a 40-yard touchdown for the season’s first score.
A few minutes later, Hatfield had his number called from scrimmage and promptly ran 11 yards for his second score.
The final tally came when fullback Joe Garman intercepted a Bigler pass and with some fine blocking from his teammates, lugged the ball 65 yards for the final TD. Garman also booted perfect placements after all three TDs.
Bigler had the ball inside the BA-20 in the second quarter when they blocked a Blue Devil punt, but the B-A defense stiffened and prevented a score.
On Sept. 13, 1963, Bellwood-Antis avenged a 13-0 loss the year before by defeating Cresson High School by a 21-6 count. Bellwood-Antis used a big second-half effort to subdue the Indians for head coach Chet Dillen and assistants Bob Fowler, Russ Kowalchick, Mike Hoffer and Earl Henry.
Blue Devil lineman Don Chile recovered a Cresson fumble at the Indians-29 midway through the opening quarter to set up the first TD. Bill Cherry, who would lead Blair County in scoring in 1963, had the key play with a 12-yard gain before finishing the drive with a two-yard TD. Cherry rushed for the PAT and a 7-0 lead.
Cresson narrowed the lead to 7-6 in the second quarter with an 85-yard scoring drive.
Bellwood-Antis took the second half kickoff and promptly rolled 75 yards in 15 plays for their second score. A Cherry to Walter Rhoades pass for 15 yards culminated the series and Bud Colyer added the PAT rush for a 14-6 margin.
In the fourth quarter, the Blue Devil defense led by their big front line forced a Cresson punt from the Indians own 10-yard line. Setting up at the Cresson-35, B-A used just five plays with Cherry running the final 12 yards for the score and adding his own extra point. Cherry rushed 20 times for 113 yards to lead the B-A attack.
Playing before a large home crowd at Bellwood Memorial Stadium, Bellwood-Antis repaid some more past-due lumps by handing Penn Cambria of Cresson a 31-0 defeat on Sept. 13, 1974. B-A was coming off a 20-0 win over backyard rival Tyrone, the first win in the series in eight years for the Blue Devils.
Ambidextrous quarterback Gary Hribik passed to Tom Jackson for one score and ran 15 yards for another, while bruising 205-pound fullback Jerry Taylor and halfbacks Pat McGinnis and Jim Evans punched in three other scores in the Blue Devils’ home opener under head coach Mike Hoffer and assistants Steve Hayes and Darrell Claar.
The Blue Devil defense held Penn Cambria to just 58 yards rushing and with three pass interceptions caught more Panther passes than Penn Cambria did (3-0).
Hribik hooked up with Carl Crider for a 49-yard pass play that highlighted the Blue Devils first drive capped by a three-yard smash by Taylor. Later in the first quarter, a muffed Penn Cambria punt attempt gave B-A the ball at the PC-14. Hribik hit Jackson with a three-yard TD pass for an early 12-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Bellwood-Antis marched 90 yards for a score. McGinnis had four carries for 39 yards and Evans burst in for the three-yard score.
B-A upped the lead to 24-0 at the half with Joe Orolin picking off a pass and McGinnis breaking off a 30-yard touchdown scamper.
The Blue Devils then put the finishing touches on their victory with one more third-quarter score.
Evans intercepted a Penn Cambria pass and Bellwood-Antis marched 37 yards for the six pointer. Taylor got the ball close with a pair of runs for 15 yards and Hribik scooted for the 15-yard TD. Jim Riley booted the PAT following the final Bellwood-Antis score.
Penn Cambria’s most serious threat was stopped at the BA-27 by a Hribik interception.
Hribik and Taylor would be the top vote getters at their respective defensive positions on the Inter-County All-Star Team at the end of the season-Hribik at defensive back and Taylor at linebacker and Joe DelGrosso would be selected Honorable Mention at offensive tackle.