B-A JayVees overcome slow start against Rams

It took awhile for the Bellwood-Antis junior varsity to get their offense in gear at Spring Mills on Monday night.
In fact, defense was in control for both teams before Bellwood-Antis scored at the end of the second quarter and then twice in two possessions in the second half for a 20-7 victory.
When the Little Blue Devils did finally manage the correct rhythm, they were able to put the ball in the end zone, just beating the first-half clock. The Blue Devils had to overcome a pair of penalties, but got several big plays to move the ball to the PV-10. First, it was Drew Saylor scampering 14 yards on the second play of the series, then Bruno DeGol smashed eight yards for another first down two plays later. Finally, quarterback Nate Gray connected with wide out Alan Wertz for a 20-yard pass play to the Rams-10. Saylor broke the ice with a 10-yard touchdown jaunt one play later. Tyler Geis kicked the PAT for a 7-0 B-A lead with only 36 seconds to play in the opening half. Saylor had his number called four times during the drive, his only carries of the game, for 34 yards and the TD.
The Blue Devils came out of the locker room after the halftime intermission and promptly drove for TDs on two consecutive series to ice the victory.
“It’s the first big trip for us- an hour and 15 minute bus ride-the first bus ride was only to Tyrone,” said B-A junior varsity coach Nick Lovrich. “With all our young guys, we weren’t sure how to react when we got here. Our warm-ups were real sluggish, hopefully we learned a lesson.”
Beginning at the BA-32, the Bellwood-Antis junior varsity marched to paydirt, using a time-consuming eight-minute, 17-seconds, 14 play drive, 13 of them on the ground, to score again and take a 14-0 advantage.
Gray found Justin Manning for a gain of 21 on a third down-and-nine on the only pass of the march. Randy Pfahler carried seven times in the series for 32 yards, including a big nine-yard gain for a first down inside the Rams-20. DeGol slipped through for 10 yards and a first down at the PV-33 and eventually scored the three-yard TD with 1:43 left in the third quarter. Geis booted the extra point.
After waiting nearly all of the 10-minute quarter, Penns Valley finally got their chance and made the most of it, driving 65 yards for a TD. Kyle Hockenberry, who completed five of five passes for the game, threw to Chris Weaver, who made a fantastic catch for a score, just in bounds in the far corner of the end zone for the 17-yard TD, after a Bellwood-Antis defender deflected the ball.
Bellwood-Antis, got excellent field position when Saylor returned the kickoff 31 yards to the BA-46. With an all-sophomore offensive line composed of tackles Ben Martinez and Cody Smith, guards Jeff Novak and Caleb Stevens, center Adam Kovac, and tight end Tyler Geis taking control, the Blue Devils moved 54 yards in six plays to score again.
“That goes with what we have been preaching to the guys,” said Lovrich. “ Our line has to be able to block, to drive people off the line. The first drive in the second half lasted nearly nine minutes. That just goes to show how well our line is blocking. We told then before the game – ‘the line is what makes the determination of whether we win or lose.’ Tonight our line won the battle and did a great job.”
After a penalty pushed Bellwood-Antis back to their own 49, Gray hooked up with Geis all by himself for 46 yards to the PV-5. Pfahler slammed four yards to the one and two plays later DeGol plunged one yard for his second TD of the night.
The Bellwood-Antis junior varsity (2-0) will travel to Wingate next Monday, for their first look at the new synthetic turf at the Bald Eagle Area field. Game time will be 6 p.m.