B-A junior varsity edges Chestnut Ridge Lions

The more Bellwood-Antis and Chestnut Ridge play each other in football, the more it seems the scores are always close. After a 2004 season when the B-A varsity won by seven, the junior varsity won by three and the junior high lost by seven in games with the Lions, the Blue Devil varsity posted a 35-21 win on Friday and on Monday evening, the B-A junior varsity edged Ridge 14-6 on first and fourth quarter touchdowns.
Chestnut Ridge (4-2) won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, so the Lions kicked off to Bellwood-Antis to begin the contest. The Blue Devils drove 59 yards a for a TD after Bruno DeGol returned a short kick 15 yards to the BA-41.
Evan Hughes started the march by completing a 16-yard pass play to Justin Manning. Brandon Eger, who led all runners with 93 yards on 18 carries, had his number called twice for 13 yards and a first down and later in the series burst 20 yards to the CR-3. DeGol finished what he had started with the kick return by blasting three yards for the TD and Evan Celmo kicked the PAT for a 7-0 B-A lead with 6:37 to play in the opening quarter.
Defense took over for the rest of the first half and most of the second as well, after the B-A score.
Bellwood-Antis drove from their own-26 to the Chestnut Ridge-27 midway through the second quarter, but a 44-yard field goal try was well short after being partially blocked. Danny Campbell picked up 22 yards in three totes and Alan Wertz completed a pair of passes to Brandon Pruznak for a total of 20 yards to move the ball into position.
The B-A defense led by Ken Mattley with 10 tackles and Dalaun Carroll, with a quarterback sack and Caleb Stephens with a fumble recovery, kept the Little Lions from moving the sticks for a first down from their first offensive series of the game, until the third quarter was almost over.
Chestnut Ridge scored their only touchdown on defense, when Jordan Soliday returned a Wertz pass interception 37 yards for a second-quarter score with under a minute to play in the first half. Bellwood-Antis stuffed a two-point rush attempt to retain a 7-6 advantage.
Running back Danny Campbell gave the Blue Devils excellent field position, returning an early-fourth quarter punt 58 yards to the Ridge-2. A five yard penalty set Bellwood-Antis back to the CR-7, but Eger plunged for a one-yard TD and Celmo added the extra point kick for a 14-6 lead.
Chestnut Ridge attempted to rally, using a pair of first-down runs of 19 and 11 yards by Willie Harbaugh on his first two carries of the game, but the B-A defense limited Harbaugh to a minus one yard on his next three carries. Stephens fell on a Ridge fumble to stop one series and after Chestnut Ridge blocked a punt for one last-ditch effort from the BA-48 with 1:25 left, Justin Manning picked off a Ridge pass to ice the victory at the BA-6.
“Chestnut Ridge was a really good team, said Bellwood-Antis coach Randy Miller. “We feel fortunate to get away with the win, either team could have won a game like that. We played a good team and our boys stepped up. I’m proud of all of them. They stepped up and everyone contributed tonight.”
Bellwood-Antis (5-1) will play the Moshannon Valley junior varsity next Monday at 6 p.m. at Hilltop Stadium in Houtzdale