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Blue Devils travel to Houtzdale Hilltop Stadium to take on Moshannon Vs alley in Week 8 tilt

Long-time Moshannon Valley head coach Howie Camberg is gone. In his place, with a decided Tyrone atmosphere on the mountain is first year head coach Murray Fetzer. A Tyrone grad where he played quarterback under Tom Miller, and later came back to help John Franco as an assistant, Fetzer also has Miller and Michael and Patrick McNelis as three of his five assistants. It is a long rebuilding process that has just begun this season, but will in the long run, bring the Black Knights back to the prominence that Camberg enjoyed in the 1990s, when Mo Valley played their way into the PIAA Class-A semifinals in 1996 after an undefeated 10-0 regular season.
On Friday evening Bellwood-Antis travels up the mountain to play Moshannon Valley at Hilltop Stadium.
The series between the two schools began way back in 1938, when the school was then Bigler Township. In 1949, They became the Moshannon Joint “Green Raiders.” Finally in 1955, Moshannon Joint merged with Woodward-Brisbin-Houtzdale (H-W-B) to form the Moshannon Valley School District. B-A leads the entire series 45-9, including 11-0 against Bigler, 6-0 against Moshannon Joint and 28-9 against Moshannon Valley.
Last year, Bellwood-Antis and Moshannon Valley were locked in a tight battle with the Blue Devils leading just 17-16 in a wild and woolly first 20 minutes. The Blue Devil defense then stepped it up a gear and the offense ripped off 38 unanswered points and finished with 464 yards of total offense to thrash Mo Valley 55-16.
The 2006 edition of the Black Knights opened the season dropping a 43-14 decision to Southern Huntingdon, lost to West Branch 28-21 and Mount Union 21-6 and were edged 14-13 by Glendale. Wins over Everett 34-6 and Williamsburg 14-7 followed, before the Knights took Juniata Valley into overtime before falling 28-21 last week.
“Moshannon Valley runs primarily a split back-veer offense, either with double tight ends and a flanker, or twin receivers and a tight end away,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “They will also mix in a little bit of I-formation from time-to-time, depending on the situation. They have through the course of the season, become a little more basic in the split back-veer than in some of the other things that they were doing.
“They seem, at least in the last two weeks, be going from the older quarterback to the younger quarterback, to the older quarterback. I think it’s a situation of trying to get better and getting caught in the idea of playing kids, who have been there. It’s kind of a tough dilemma to be in. They threw the ball and were a little more wide open earlier in the year, but they seem to be coming more run oriented and more simplified or basic or uniform in what they are doing. I believe they are cutting back and tried to get better at a few things and in the process have improved from the beginning of the season until now, and that’s a good sign.”
Senior fullback Kyle Smith (6-0, 210) leads the Knights with 636 yards and a team high six TDs on 103 carries. Smith has gained 461 yards and scored three touchdowns in Mo Valley’s last three games. Junior tailback Anthony Kruise (5-10, 168) has run 73 times for 316 yards and four TDs, and backup tailback Shane Murarik (Soph. 5-10, 165) has 182 yards and one score on 42 carries.
Senior Eric Duderich (5-11, 170) and sophomore Tyler Neff (5-9, 155) have shared the quarterbacking chores. Duderich has completed 21 of 49 passes for 237 yards with two TD passes and one interception, while Neff has completed 14 of 29 passes for 138 yards with two interceptions and one TD.
Senior flanker Michael Zendek (5-9, 140) has 16 catches for 165 yards and two TDs to lead the Moshannon receiving corps. Senior Lucas Duttry (5-8, 155) has 10 catches for 147 yards and one TD. Kruise has five receptions for 32 yards.
“It (Moshannon Valley offense) definitely has a Tyrone flavor to it,” reminded Hayes. “Murray played there in the ‘80s, and they were very successful with that split back-veer, and also would get into the “I” in certain situations. With coach Miller being up there and the McNelis kids, it definitely has a Tyrone flavor, both offensively and defensively.”
Moshannon Valley has rushed for 1,226 yards (175/ game) and passed for 365 yards (52.1/game), while opponents have rushed for 1,401 yards (200/game) and passed for 368 (52.6/game).
“The Moshannon Valley defense is not a whole lot different than what they have been doing. They run a 5-2 primarily, with a cover two- two deep safeties and the corners kind of up close in run support. In the old days they just called that the “Oklahoma” defense, but now they have sophisticated it with other descriptions. It was the old 5-4, now it’s the 52-cover two. They will also line up in a 6-1, where they just take one of their linebackers and drop him to get an extra guy on the line, and just leave a middle linebacker back. That is not a lot different from what Moshannon Valley has been doing, it hasn’t changed a great deal.”
Josh Kleinfelter, bothered by an injury was limited to 73 yards rushing on 19 carries against Chestnut Ridge, his lowest total since the season opener against Tyrone in 2005. Kleinfelter’s rushing total was his fifth lowest in 32 career games, three of which came as a sophomore. Josh did manage to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third straight season, a B-A record and scored his 16th TD of the year on a one-yard plunge. Kleinfelter has 1,040 yards in 2006 on 136 carries and is averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
The Blue Devils spread the offense around with senior fullback Jon Davila recording his best game of the year with 81 yards on 14 carries to lead the way. Senior quarterback Evan Hughes completed seven of 10 passes for 100 yards and a career-best three touchdowns with no interceptions. Hughes has completed 38 of 70 tosses for 463 yards with five TDs and seven interceptions. Hughes has completed touchdown passes to five different Blue Devils.
Devon Clapper, who was on the side line in civilian clothes the entire second half last week leads B-A in receiving with 12 catches for 151 yards and one TD. David Burns had six receptions for 74 yards and a TD, Blaze Winterstein has five grabs for 51 yards and Brandon Pruznak (80 yards and one TD), Justin Manning (32 yards) and Alan Wertz (49 yards and one TD) all have four catches.
Bellwood-Antis has made a bunch of mistakes, silly penalties and missed tackles, that the Blue Devils don’t often miss. It has led to a single point loss to Philipsburg-Osceola and a very tenuous first half against Chestnut Ridge, before pulling it out against the Lions last week with a much better, stronger second half.
Hayes indicated both Kleinfelter and Clapper should be healthy and in the lineup on Friday night.
“It’s the same old story for us,” said Hayes. “We are just trying to eliminate mistakes from the week before. Our focus is to maintain concentration, try to eliminate the mental mistakes. We have been guilty of making too many of those. Two weeks ago, it probably ended up costing us the game and last week, it certainly made the first half a lot more arduous than we hoped it would be. In both cases, Philipsburg-Osceola and Chestnut Ridge were pretty good football teams. A lot of times in facing a better opponent forces those mistakes out. We are just trying to get healthy and not make those kind of mistakes, get through the season in good shape and make it into the playoffs.”