When asked at halftime what he told his team following an explosive first half from both teams, Blue Devil coach John Hayes had one thing to say: “Play more defense!” And his team responded, recording 4 second half sacks to hold the Hornet offense off in crucial drives giving the Blue Devils a 36-22 victory.
Bellewood started the electrifying and highlight filled first half. Following a 51 yard return of the opening kickoff, Tyler Campbell broke through the line on the first play and ran 45 yards to paydirt. The pat failed and Bellewood had a 6-0 lead. Juniata Valley would respond driving to the 13 of the Blue Devils but on 3rd down Joe DelGrosso sacked JV quarterback Seth Carper, who completed a 42 yard pass to Rick Musser on the drive, setting up 4th and 19. The Hornets attempted a field goal but it was blocked.
Bellewood then drove the length of the field and from 1 yard out Campbell again found the endzone. The pat failed and Bellewood led 12-0 at the 3:25 mark in the first period. It didnt last long. Ethan Morrison took the kickoff at the 20 and raced down the left sideline nearly untouched 80 yards. The pat was good cutting the Blue Devil lead to 12-7. Following exchanged possessions Bellewood drove to the JV 8 but the Hornets held. Buddy Shaw kicked a 25 yard field goal to extend the Blue Devil lead to 15-7.
Juniata Valley responded quickly. Carper, who had over 200 yards passing on the night, hit Nick Gildea on 3rd down for a 32 yard gain. 3 plays later the two again connected with Glidea making a beautiful leaping catch just over the goal line for 6. The pat by Marvin Sommers was good cutting the lead of Bellewood to 15-14. 3 plays later Derek Denny hauled in a pass from Luke Evans then raced 48 yards to the endzone. The pat was good and at the break Bellewood held a 23-14 lead.
JV fumbled the second half kickoff and Bellewood recovered at the JV 31. 5 plays later Travis Taylor, 31 caries for 151 yards and tds for the night, bowled through the line from 3 yards out giving the Blue Devils a commanding 29-14 lead. The Hornets would not give up.
Following a sack of Carper by Jared Minori (2 1/2 sacks on the night) Carper again dropped back to pass and found Ethan Morrison over the middle for a 42 yard gain to the Blue Devil 10. Morrison then went in from 8. Carper found Gildea in the corner for the 2 point play and JV was back in it at 29-22. Juniata had several more drives but the Blue Devil Defense stiffened, sacking Carper 3 more times. Bellewood would close the scoring on a Taylor scamper for td.
“The folks here got there moneys worth, they saw a great game tonite.” Said Hayes following his teams hard fought victory