“What I was most concerned about tonight,” said Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes, “was their physicalness and Penns Valley came right out with it on defense in that first series. The pick and the field position and then the touchdown were real disconcerting. A team like that was looking for confidence and that was just what they needed.”
Penns Valley kicked off to Bellwood-Antis and stuffed the Blue Devils for three yards in losses on the first two plays. B-A senior quarterback went back to pass on third down and long. The ball sailed on Graham, right into the hands of Penns Valley safety Matt Brubaker, who returned the pick 31 yards to the BA-25.
Mike Wise picked up nine yards on two carries and then just barely made the yard on third down to move the sticks. A play later, Wise was on the receiving end of a Sean McCaffrey pass for a 14 yards TD and Carl Anderson’s PAT kick gave the Rams a 7-0 lead.
“There is nothing like a big touchdown run to regain momentum,” Hayes explained in about the same time it took Cory Daly to motor 68 yards for the tying TD. “That’s what those big-play guys give us. It’s a great momentum shifter.”
Dan Houser returned the following kickoff 15 yards to the BA-32. Daly had his number called, got to the outside and outraced everybody down the left sideline for a score on the first play of the drive. Dan Graham booted the first of seven straight PAT kicks. Daly led all runners with 112 yards on seven carries, scored twice from scrimmage and once on a pass completion.
Bellwood-Antis kicked off and Curt Royer fumbled the ball with the Blue Devils recovering at the Ram-28. Adam Plummer lost two yards on the first carry, then went over the left side, spun to avoid a tackle and scooted 30 yards for a TD. In the space of three offensive plays, B-A had stopped Penns Valley’s momentum and put 14 points on the scoreboard.
The Blue Devils punted on their next series, before putting another pair of TDs up in the second quarter.
Jesse Graham began to warm up, connecting with Ryan McCartney for 19 yards, Damion Miller for 19 more and Adam Plummer for eight as Bellwood-Antis marched 56 yards for a score. Daly capped the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run. Jesse completed eight of 14 passes for 136 yards and two TDs and was intercepted once.
“Jesse seems to start out a little tight,” said Hayes, “but once he loosens up and gets going, he threw the ball well and the guys up front had to make some holes and our backs ran well obviously.”
The Blue Devil defense forced Penns Valley to punt and Bellwood-Antis marched 62 yards for their fourth tally of the opening half of football to take a 28-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Daly ripped off a 30 yard gain around the left side and Jesse Graham completed a 19-yard toss to Ryan McCartney, then a 14 yarder to Adam Plummer, who juked the one defender in his way and stepped into the endzone for the TD.
Penns Valley received the second half kick, but went backward thanks to the B-A defensive unit and had to punt.
Graham threw a 34-yard completion to Danny Houser, who came back to make a great catch on the ball which was thrown short. Jesse then fired a pass to Daly for his third TD of the game and a 42-7 Blue Devil lead.
Penns Valley cut the score in half with a pair of TDs by McCaffrey, first on four-yard run after setting up his own score with a 37-yard scamper on a keeper over the right side, then on an 11-yard run after the Rams had forced a B-A punt from the one-yard line.
The Blue Devils scored once more, again on a big play that made for a short drive. Adam Plummer lost a yard on first down, before Jesse Graham and Ryan McCartney, who had three catches for 50 yards, combined to move the sticks with a 15-yard pass play. Plummer, who gained 109 yards on 13 carries, and scored three TDs on the ground and one receiving, had his number called for the final time and responded with a 41-yard scamper for the TD and Dan Graham added the PAT for a 49-21 final score.
“Penns Valley came hard on defense all game” explained Hayes. “Sometimes when you gamble like that, you open the door for some big plays and we have the kids who did just that. Offensively we did a good job. Defensively other than those two quick series with the option, we played well defensively too.”
Bellwood-Antis 49, Penns Valley 21
Score by quarter
Bellwood-Antis – 14 14 14 7 – 49
Penns Valley – 7 0 7 7 – 21
PV – Wise 14 pass from McCaffrey. (Anderson kick) 7:20
BA – Daly 68 run. (D. Graham kick) 7:04
BA – A. Plummer 30 run. (D. Graham kick) 6:11
BA – Daly 7 run. (D. Graham kick) 10:17
BA – A. Plummer 14 pass from J. Graham. (D. Graham kick) 5:29
BA- Daly 11 pass from J. Graham. (D. Graham kick) 6:49
BA – A. Plummer 29 run. (D. Graham kick) 4:00
PV – McCaffrey 4 run. (Anderson kick) 1:01
PV – McCaffrey 11 run. (Anderson kick) 9:08
BA – A. Plummer 41 run. (D. Graham kick) 7:37
First Downs 14 7
Rushes 2 32
Rush yards 226 74
Pass Att. 14 7
Pass Comp. 8 3
Pass Yards 136 29
Interceptions 1 0
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalty yards 5-31 8-56
Punts/Avg. 2-24 5-28.2
Total Offense 362 103
Bellwood-Antis: Daly 8-112, A. Plummer 13-109, Der. Miller 1-11, Mar. Rogers 1-8, Sneath 1-1, Tomchick 1-(-3), Houser 2-(-3), J. Graham 2-(-9) .
Penns Valley: Leitch 11-30, McCaffrey 7-27, Wise 9-12, Ridenour 3-6, Royer 1-2, Brubaker 1-(-3).
Bellwood-Antis: J. Graham 8-14 136 2TD, 1 Int..
Penns Valley: McCaffrey 3-6 29, 1TD, 0 Int, Shawver 0-1 0 0 TD, 0 Int..
Bellwood-Antis: R. McCartney 3-50, A. Plummer 2-22, Houser 1-34, Dam. Miller 1-19, Daly 1-11..
Penns Valley: Wise 3-29.