Bellwood-Antis hosts Bishop Guilfoyle Friday in what could be last contest in heated rivalry

Bishop Guilfoyle first appeared on the Bellwood-Antis schedule in 1941, when the school was named Altoona Catholic. AC won the first game 13-0 and the Blue Devils returned the favor a year later with a 13-0 triumph. Altoona Catholic led the series 4-3, with a scoreless tie in the wind and rain in 1944. The series was discontinued from 1947-59, and again from 1962-70. By the time, the series resumed, the name had been changed to Bishop Guilfoyle to honor one of the area’s early religious leaders.
Bishop Guilfoyle took the series lead in the 1980s, with BG’s 21-6, 1985 district championship victory one of the most important for the Marauders. Since that district final win, however, Bellwood-Antis has won 14 of 19 games to take an overall 18-13-1 advantage in the all-time series. In 2005, the Blue Devil defense led the way to a 33-13 B-A win, holding BG to a minus 29 yards net rushing total in 28 carries, as well as intercepting four passes when the Marauders went to the air.
Bishop Guilfoyle has a a roster of 43 including 14 returning letterwinners. There are 15 seniors, 14 juniors, 13 sophomores and one freshman in A. J. Kitt (5-8, 170).
With Bishop Guilfoyle opting out of the Mountain Athletic Football Conference to join the Laurel Highlands Conference in 2007, this will probably be the final meeting between these two Blair County foes, at least during the regular season. Although the B-A/BG rivalry has rapidly become one of the Blue Devils most entertaining rivalries, Bishop Guilfoyle thought they would be left without a conference when the MAFC seemed to be falling apart last spring. Ten of the 12 schools in the league at that time met to form an all-sports conference with the demise of the gigantic Mountain Athletic Conference, which was separate from the MAFC, which was a football-only league. Bellwood-Antis and Bishop Guilfoyle were the only two original schools not invited to the meeting. When Central who dropped out of the Laurel Highlands, and previously independent Quad-A Central Mountain and Triple-A Hollidaysburg were admitted to the MAFC, Bishop Guilfoyle took advantage of the opening to join the Laurel Highlands Conference, effective in 2007. Laurel Highlands member schools are divided into two divisions, but play teams in their league exclusively, which would leave no place for BG to play other teams, such as Bellwood-Antis. The MAFC has since voted to continue, at least through the 2007 season and perhaps beyond, the members realizing it is too much of a good thing to dissolve.
Bishop Guilfoyle opened the 2006 season for third-year head coach Marty Georgiana with a 26-14 win over Chestnut Ridge, then took the lead in the next four straight ballgames, only to lose both the lead and the game in the second half. Losses were to Indian Valley 42-15, Central Mountain 28-21, Philipsburg-Osceola 21-7 and Bald Eagle Area 21-20.
The Marauders held on to down Penns Valley 14-10, before getting steam-rolled by Tyrone 42-0. Finally in week eight, playing a school in their own Single-A classification, for the first time this season, BG outmanned and overpowered Mount Union 42-6 to improve to 3-5.
“Bishop Guilfoyle runs a type of Wing-T offensive set,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes. “They line up with a double-slot and two wideouts. There is motion on just about every play. They run a lot of misdirection and try to outflank you, to get to the outside. Everything comes off the threat of the fullback going up the middle and they will try to get the halfbacks to the outside.
“They have been alternating quarterbacks, some by choice and some earlier in the season by necessity due to injury. The younger guy (Chris Brown) seems to be the better thrower, they will bring him in when it’s an obvious passing situation. Passing is always off play-action. We will prepare for what they do, it really doesn’t matter which one is pitching.”
Bishop Guilfoyle averages 18.1 points, and 247.1 yards per game, divided up into 174.8 yards rushing and 72.3 yards passing per game.
The BG defensive unit has given up 23 points per game and 289.6 total yards, with an average of 228.6 yards rushing and 61 yards passing per game.
Senior speedster Jacob Librizzi (5-1, 175) leads the Marauders with 551 yards and a team best six touchdowns on 66 carries. Librizzi is also the place-kicker with a 21-yard field goal and 12 of 18 PAT kicks for a team-high 51 points.
Senior Nick Perehenic (5-11, 200) has run 86 times for 352 yards and three TDs.
Senior quarterback Brent Milliron (6-0, 180) has completed 30 of 63 passes for 351 yards, with two TD passes and three interceptions. Brown (6-0, 175), a sophomore, has completed nine of 22 throws for 142 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Milliron has 213 yards rushing and five TDs on 63 carries. His 30 points is second to Librizzi. Of Milliron’s five scores, only one is longer than three yards.
Junior split end Logan McDannell (6-3, 180) has caught five passes for 172 yards and one TD, and classmate Jim Sommer (5-11, 190) has 10 receptions for 118 yards and two scores. Librizzi has eight catches out of the backfield for 72 yards. Perehenic adds four catches for a minus two yards and senior Evan Fraundorfer (6-1, 200) has four grabs for 50 yards.
“On defense, BG mostly will line up in a 5-2 using Librizzi as the monster who will go to whatever they decide will be the strength of the formation. Librizzi is a good athlete, who they line up in different positions on defense to get better use of his athleticism.
“BG is not big, but are pretty good athletes. Defense has been the strongest part of their game recently. They haven’t allowed a lot of points, even in their losses. They hustle and play hard and get to the football.”
Josh Kleinfelter chalked up his seventh 200 plus yardage rushing game last week scampering for 213 yards and five TDs on just eight carries against Moshannon Valley. Kleinfelter has 1,253 yards rushing this year on 144 carries and a total of 21 TDs. Josh needs just 104 yards to eclipse the 5,000-yard career rushing mark with 4,896 yards and is within five TDs of tying Albert “Chub” Dillen’s B-A career record of 66 TDs. With a total of 398 points, Kleinfelter is still well short of Dillen’s point total of 454.
Senior fullback Jon Davila has rushed 48 times for 208 yards and one score, while spending most of his time blocking for Kleinfelter.
Senior quarterback Evan Hughes has completed 41 of 84 passes for 505 yards with seven interceptions and five TD passes. Devon Clapper is the Blue Devils leading receiver with 12 receptions for 151 yards and one TD. Senior classmate David Burns has six catches for 74 yards and one TD. Blaze Winterstein has four catches for 51 yards, Brandon Pruznak has four for 80 and one TD, Alan Wertz has four for 47, Davila has four for 47, and Justin Manning has four catches for 32 yards.
The Bellwood-Antis offense has been averaging 27 points per contest, along with 304.1 yards of total offense, including 241 yards rushing and an additional 63.1 yards passing.
The Blue Devil defense has given up 9.5 points and 191.4 yards total offense per game on 136.4 rushing and 55 yards passing.
“We are trying to eliminate the mistakes we made last week,” said Hayes “and to find things which we think will work this week.”