Glendale travels down the mountain for quaterfinal matchup with Blue Devils

The last time these two schools met on the gridiron was 2000. Bellwood-Antis would finish 11-1, losing only to Tyrone in a rematch of an opening season win for the Blue Devils, at Mansion Park in the District 6-AA championship game. The Blue Devils, two boys over the Single-A limit, had to play Double-A in both 2000 and 2001 before dropping down to Single-A again, even though by the time the football season rolled around, the school population had dropped below the limit.
The Blue Devils bombed Glendale 42-0 on Sept. 15, 2000, utilizing a defense that would shut our eight opponents before the season was over. Dave Miller (nine for 96, 1 TD) and Matt Garner (eight for 86, 2 TDs) both averaged 10 yards a carry and scored three TDs between them, and Chuck Benton was six of nine passing for 120 yards, and two TDs in the rout.
Glendale won the first game played between the two schools by a single point (22-21 in 1980) and Bellwood-Antis has won the last seven to take a 7-1 series lead.
While Bellwood-Antis has compiled four 10-win or better seasons since then, including 2000, Glendale has had their troubles.
When the 2006 edition of the Vikings finished the regular season at 7-2, they became the first Glendale team to post a winning record since 1984 (6-4) and the first non-losing record since a 5-5 in 1985. The Vikings bettered their win total in 2006 for their last THREE seasons.
Glendale (8-2), under second-year head coach Rick Kozak, opened the season with a 28-7 win over Everett before getting shut out by Juniata Valley 26-0. The Vikings posted wins over Williamsburg 20-0 and Moshannon Valley 14-13, then dropped a 35-14 decision to Chestnut Ridge, the only Double-A opponent on their schedule. Then came four wins in a row to finish out the regular season, over Northern Bedford in a wild shootout 33-29, Tussey Mountain 49-15, West Branch 20-0, and Claysburg-Kimmel 35-0 to finish 7-2. Last week in the first round of the District 6-A playoffs, sixth seed Glendale dusted off No. 11 seed Conemaugh Valley 36-14 to earn the school’s first playoff victory and a trip down the mountain to Bellwood Memorial Stadium for a quarterfinal game with Bellwood-Antis on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“Glendale has a multiple look on offense,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “Most of the time they run out of a Pro-I with a fullback and tailback. They run a lot of power, isolation, off tackle, will throw out of that. Glendale will also use a double slot and use what is referred to as a Wing-T Jet Sweep series out of that-quick sweeps to the motion back, fullback counters and things of that nature. That use that a good bit of the time as well. That gives us two different looks that we need to prepare for.
“I think they are about five to run ratio run to pass plays. I think that is probably because they have been successful running the ball. If you are running and scoring and you don’t need to pass, I guess you don’t.”
Junior tailback Derek Nash (5-9, 180), who began playing football in the Bellwood-Antis Youth League, is the Vikings leading rusher with a new school record 1,424 yards and 13 touchdowns on 244 carries. Senior fullback Gary Walstrom Jr. (5-11, 195) has rushed 160 times for 765 yards and a team-best 16 TDs.
Senior quarterback Shane Kimberly (5-11, 175) has completed 27 of 69 passes for 352 yards with three TD passes and six interceptions. Leading the receiving corps for the Vikings is junior wide receiver Brock Kauffman (5-10, 160) with 14 catches for 215 yards. Senior tight end Brandon baker (5-9, 200) has seven catches for 32 yards. Nash (4-66), Walstrom (2-34) and sophomore Vance Kimberly (3-45) each has one TD catch.
Junior Tyler Thomas has kicked 28 of 30 PATs.
“I know the Nash boy had his football beginnings here in Bellwood and that’s probably an advantage for him to get started at that young age,” said Hayes, “but what he’s doing right now is because he has matured into a talented young athlete. He runs well, has decent size, good speed and runs hard. He is very deserving of his accomplishments. The other back, Walstrom is a fine compliment. He’s a good inside runner and in that Jet series, he is kind of more the feature back in that particular look and gets a lot of carries there and is a good double threat for them running the football.”
The Glendale offense has averaged 24.9 points, 236.2 yards rushing and 39.4 passing, while opponents have scored 13.9 points, rushed for 124 and passed for 90.1 yards per game against the Vikings.
“On defense Glendale runs a 5-3 defense primarily, with a three-deep secondary” said Hayes. “They show a few other looks against certain teams. Their success is that with most teams they have been able to shut the other team down and score points on offense. They have had a good year on both sides of the ball.”
Bellwood-Antis (7-2) has averaged 26.2 points, 246.2 yards rushing and 58.7 yards passing per game during the regular season. The Blue Devil defense has allowed 7.6 points per game along with 132.9 yards rushing and 55.2 yards passing.
Senior tailback Josh Kleinfelter has rushed 178 times for 1,471 yards. In his three years at Bellwood-Antis, Kleinfelter has rushed for a total of 5,114 yards and a total of 69 TDs and 416 points. His rushing yards and TDs are at the top of the B-A ladder in those categories, while Josh trails Albert “Chub” Dillen in points 454-416.
Jon Davila has rushed 53 times for 242 yards. Brandon Humphreys (146), Devon Clapper (113) and Justin Manning (103) also have rushed for over 100 yards.
Senior quarterback Evan Hughes has completed 43 of 90 passes for 528 yards with five TDs and nine interceptions. Devon Clapper has 13 catches for 158 yards and one TD, David Burns has caught six for 74 yards and one score and Brandon Pruznak (five for 96 and one TD) and Blaze Winterstein (five for 51) both have five receptions. Alan Wertz has four grabs for 47 yards and one TD, Jon Davila has four for 46 and Justin Manning has four receptions for 32 yards.
Evan Celmo has booted 22 PATs and two field goals.
On offense the Blue Devils will start Evan Hughes at quarterback, Josh Kleinfelter at tailback, Jon Davila at fullback and Devon Clapper at wingback. Brandon Pruznak, David Burns and Alan Wertz alternate at split end, and Blaze Winterstein is the tight end. On the offensive line, Cody Smith will be the right tackle and Anthony Jenkins the left tackle. At guard. Chad Coho and Caleb Stephens. Josh Peters in the center.
On defense, the outside linebackers will be Winterstein and Humphreys, the ends will be Peters and Coho. The tackles are Jenkins and Tyler Narehood. The inside linebackers will be Davila and Bruno DeGol. The secondary will be Kleinfelter, Clapper and Danny Campbell.
Wertz, Manning, Humphreys, DeGol, Smith and Jenkins are juniors. The rest are seniors.
“Glendale plays in a Single-A league,” explained Hayes. “Chestnut Ridge is the one Double-A team that’s in the league. They played their schedule and they played it pretty well. I would say, yes we had some bigger schools on our schedule. The game still comes down to a 100-yard field on Saturday night, who goes out and performs the best, and who avoids making the costly mistakes that usually play a big part in playoff games.”