Blue Devil Junior High football team claims MAFC title with win over BG

The Bellwood-Antis junior high football team wrapped up one title and is waiting for confirmation of another title after closing out their 2006 season on Thursday night with a 30-6 triumph over the Bishop Guilfoyle junior high at Bellwood Memorial Stadium.
The Little Blue Devils finish their Mountain Athletic Football Conference (MAFC) 4-1 with their only loss by a TD (16-8) to Philipsburg-Osceola. Although technically ties with Penns Valley who also recorded a 4-1 slate, by virtue of their 24-8 win over Penns Valley, Bellwood-Antis claims their second straight MAFC championship.
Bellwood-Antis Coach Charlie Burch acknowledged that he may get the news sometime today if the Blue Devils also had won the Inter-County Conference junior high championship, which was uncertain at press time.
“We came out from the get-go,” explained Burch about his team, which finishes 7-2 following an undefeated 9-0 mark a year ago. “Travis Taylor had the two big runs to set the tone early. I can’t say enough about him. He took advantage of the opportunity in midseason and has performed like we expect from a Bellwood-Antis tailback Dylan Shultz was able to rip off four or five yards at a clip and has really come up big this year at fullback.”
Taylor, an eighth grader who unofficially ran for 223 yards, scampered 61 yards for the first Bellwood-Antis touchdown after the Blue Devils stuffed Bishop Guilfoyle and marched for a score on their first possession. Then a series later, Taylor got loose for a 40-yard gain to the BG-6. One play later night grade fullback Dylan Shultz smashed six yards for the score.
Buddy Shaw ran the first two-pointer in from his quarterback spot and the Blue Devils failed for just the second time all season on the second attempt following the Shultz score.
Shultz added his second score on a three-yard blast after BG had scored to cut the lead, and Danny Noye scored the two-point conversion run.
Taylor got through the line and was gone for a 53-yard touchdown to close out the scoring and trey Campbell grabbed a two-point PAT pass from Shaw.
The B-A defense held BG pretty much in check and came up with several big stops on the few occasions that the Little Marauders tried to mount a threat.
Taylor recovered a fumble at the BA-21 after Bishop Guilfoyle had marched inside the BA-25 in the opening half. When the BG offense drove to the BA-9 in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devil defense turned the Marauders away without a score on back-to-back sacks, eventually taking the ball away on downs, back at the BA-21.
“It feels really good to get the back-to-back MAFC titles and to be possible getting the ICC as well, especially after all the turmoil we have gone through the second half of the season,” said Burch. “Our defense has been performing well, we had a couple breakdowns, but they were able to overcome them.
“We will be returning tons of lettermen, a lot of eighth graders have gotten so much experience over the last five games. We will relax during the off-season, but I am looking forward to next year.”