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Bellefonte Downs BEA 32-14 To Recapture The Curtin Bowl

 

Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 6th, 2010

By BILL ALBRIGHT

WesternPAFootball Writer

 

BELLEFONTE — For Brad Grieb, Torin Miller, Nate Schultz, Tyler Lucas, Corey Ross, Brandon Quay and the rest of the Bellefonte Red Raider seniors, the wait is finally over.

 

During their careers as a Red Raider football player, the Bellefonte seniors were never on the winning side of the Curtin Bowl game with Bald Eagle Area. That was until Friday night at Rogers Stadium.

 

With their last chance to end the frustration facing them, the Raider seniors seized the final opportunity as they defeated the Eagles, 32-14, in the regular season finale.

 

“It has been their season and they have worked their butts off to earn everything they have gotten,” said a jubilant Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch. “This was the last one little thing they needed and it has been bothering them. It is something they wanted for a long time. We were able to come back and weather their storm because they (BEA) are a good, solid team that wouldn’t give up. We were able to answer them and make the plays. Again, this is a senior class that wanted it (the win over BEA) so bad they weren’t going to be denied and tonight, they went out and got it.”

 

With the win, the Raiders move their record to a fine 7-3 and they are headed to the District 6 Class AAA playoffs. For Besch, a graduate of Bellefonte, the victory means a whole lot more than the other six “Ws”.

 

“When you always have this rivalry it makes it a little more special,” Besch said. “Take nothing away from coach (Jack) Tobias because his kids played hard, but it is always special to beat Bald Eagle. This is a good jump start for us heading into the playoffs. We have been playing for 10 weeks now, but we have another tough game next week. Every week we had to come in and step up and our kids have risen to the challenge. I am so proud of them.”

 

As for turnarounds, check this one out. In 2009, the Raiders finished 1-9 before going 7-3 this season.

 

“I had faith in these kids that they would able to turn things around,” Besch said. “Honestly and truthful about it, we were all just hoping to get a winning season to be able to put ourselves in this position. We all thought to finish 7-3 might have been a little bit of a stretch, but as we started and played through the season it just became more realistic. We just focused in on our schedule week by week so that we would be able to play our best every week. Each week has become more and more important and there is no exception to that.”

 

Although disappointed with losing the game, BEA coach Jack Tobias felt his players gave everything they had in them.

 

“We had our chances and opportunities to get things done,” said Tobias. “They made plays when they had to make plays and at times, we couldn’t stop them. They were able to hit a couple of big pass plays and we didn’t tackle well at all tonight. We had them bottled up at times, but somehow they were able to get out and go for 25 or 30 yards. That (tackling) is a fundamental of winning football games and we just didn’t tackle well at all tonight.”

 

Trailing by a 20-7 count, the Eagles came out to score a touchdown on their first possession of the second half to cut the Bellefonte lead to 20-14, but they couldn’t stave off the efforts of the Raiders to get any closer.

 

“I told the guys at halftime, hey, we are down by two scores, but if go out there and score, it is a one-score game and if can score a couple, we could go on top and go home on the bus a winner, said Tobias. “But again, we couldn’t score after, they made plays and scored points and in the end, we just came up short.”

 

While the win propelled the Redmen into the playoffs, the loss ended the season for Tobias and his Eagles who finished at 4-6. Players like Justin Taylor, Kyle Womer, Coleman Hoffman and Brice Beals played their final game as BEA gridders, and although their presence will be missed, their contributions to the Eagle program will never be forgotten.

 

“I told the seniors I was proud of the way they performed,” said Tobias. “I have been here three years and they have been here with me all of that time. J.T. (Justin Taylor), (Kyle) Womer, Ruger (Brower) and (Cody) Hicks are all kids who have been committed to the program. They played hard and did what they needed to do. They play with heart and I just told them that if they ever need anything in their life, I’ll be there for them.”

 

En route to their win, the Raiders had excellent balance in their offensive attach as quarterback Tyler Lucas threw for 165 yards and four touchdowns, while Raider scatback Nate Schultz, although he didn’t reach the end zone, carried 23 times for another 174 yards to set up the Raiders in the red zone.

 

“Our offensive line was just great all season and there are always holes in there,” said Schultz. “Once I got past the line, I was able to make some moves to get to the second level. Our coaches preach to us to run hard and tonight, that is how I ran the ball to pick up extra yards.”

 

In addition to the outstanding individual efforts of Schultz and Lucas, Brandon Quay proved to be Mr. Efficient as he hauled in three passes for 70 yards, scoring a touchdown on each of his receptions. Jonas Holderman scored on Lucas’s fourth TD aerial in the game.

 

For BEA, the Taylor boys, Justin and Jacob each scored, Justin on a 2-yard run and Jacob on a 17-yard jaunt.

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For Garnet Valley to make the Playoffs in the final week of the regular season it was out of their hands. The Garnet Valley Jaguars needed to win and needed some help from other teams. Entering this final week the Jaguars sat at number 17 in the District One rankings; only 16 teams make the playoffs.

 

            The Jaguars needed at least one of the two teams ahead of them to lose, either West Chester Henderson or Penn Wood. Last night West Chester Henderson won their game against Downingtown East by six points, 30-24. The Jaguars only hope was for Penn Wood to lose their game against Chester. The Penn Wood and Chester game started at 2:00pm. A half an hour later the Jaguars kicked off their game against the Lower Merion Aces at Lower Merion.

 

            Just one minute and forty five seconds into the game the Jaguars scored. On fourth down at the nine yard line senior quarterback Jake Helmes threw a nine yard touchdown pass to Justin Pyle for a 7-0 lead.

 

            At halftime the Jaguars led the Aces 7-0. The halftime score at Chester began to look hopeful for the Jaguars. Chester led Penn Wood 8-0. Going into the second half the Jaguars were looking for more touchdowns and they were hoping Chester continued to win.

 

            In the last couple of games the Jaguars began to play their senior, Jeremy Irving both ways; linebacker and fullback. Irving scored back to back touchdowns in the third quarter. His first was a 17 yard carry. The Jaguars went to him again and Irving scored on an 11 yard run to put the Jaguars up by three scores, 21-0. “Our right guard crushed the defensive player in front of me (on the 11 yard touchdown run) and I just scored easily” said Irving.

 

            The Jaguars biggest defensive stand came in the fourth quarter. The Aces began driving down the field into Jaguars territory using their senior running back Josh Novak and senior running back Jimmy Chimekas. On fourth down and one yard to go on the Jaguars 16 yard line, junior quarterback, Desmond Ellis handed the ball off to Chimekas and he was stuffed by the Jaguars and short of the first down which turned the ball over to the Jags. Head coach of Garnet Valley, Mike Ricci said, “We played well defensively and consistently and created a couple of turnovers. I just thought we played a good solid game on defense.”

 

            Late in the game the 6’2, 180 pounder Chimekas did finally find the end zone on a 1 yard dive with only 2:25 to go in the game. Lower Merion needed a miracle to come back down two scores. Jaguars’ defensive back, Austen Conrad ended all hope as he intercepted Ellis ‘pass and ended the game and the regular season with a 21-7 Garnet Valley win.

 

            Halfway through the fourth quarter the Jaguars received bad news. Penn Wood came back and beat Chester by a score of 18-8; which means for the first time in four years the Garnet Valley Jaguars would not be competing in the Playoffs. The Jaguars did though end the regular season with a 7 and 3 record. “I am proud of these guys. We had a couple things that didn’t go our way during the course of the season and it never stopped us from giving everything we had. It’s just a great group to coach and be around.”

 

            Mike Ricci commented about his senior class and said, “We have great, seniors…we always have great kids, at Garnet Valley.”

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PEN ARGYL – Pen Argyl’s defense set the tone early when Mike Racciato put a big hit on Bangor’s wide receiver Ryan Hester. The defense forced five turnovers as Pen Argyl defeated Bangor Area 17-7 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

 

After both teams started off slow, Pen Argyl took their second possession and drove down the field. Quarterback Nathan Hood connected on two big pass plays to Joe Wagner to setup the field goal attempt.

 

Wagner kicked a 22-yard field goal to give the Green Knights a 3-0 lead with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.

 

Bangor answered right back. It would only take four plays for Josh Wing to score from 38-yards out. Bangor led 7-3.

 

The Green Knights countered with a right punch. It only took one play. Hood handed off to Dylan Evans who gave it back to Hood for the flea flicker. Hood found a wide-open Wagner who broke free from two defenders for the 65-yard bomb.

 

With 1:52 remaining in a wild first quarter Pen Argyl led 10-7. Evans ended Bangor next drive when he picked off a Drew Nicholas pass.

 

The first quarter would end with Pen Argyl leading 10-7. The Green Knights were on the move again. They were inside the 10-yard line when Hood fumbled the ball.  Bangor’s defensive lineman Robert Naylor recovered it.

 

There would be no scoring in the second quarter. Both teams came up with key stops as Pen Argyl went into halftime leading 10-7.

 

In the second half the Green Knights defense bent but didn’t break. They forced turnovers and came up with the big plays.

 

After a scoreless third quarter the Green Knights were on the move again after a Josh Wing fumble.

 

The Green Knights ate up the clock on their 16-play drive that was capped by a two-yard score by Evans.

 

With 6:58 remaining they led 17-7.

 

Bangor drove down the field and looked like they would cut the lead to three on a touchdown run by Wing. But a penalty wiped out the play.

 

Evans would come up with his second interception in the end zone to end Bangor’s drive.

 

Bangor got one more crack in the end. Nicholas threw another interception. Racciato cut in front of wide receiver Ben Ammermann for the interception to seal the win.

 

With the win Pen Argyl (9-1) will host undefeated North Schuylkill next week in the District 11 Class 2-A playoff game.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – There’s a large, white banner spanning Market Street a few blocks west of Bishop McDevitt High School that reads, “Be a friend, not a bully.” The sign is part of an anti-bullying campaign in Harrisburg area schools.

 

But there was just one problem. Bishop McDevitt’s ferocious defense obviously was unaware of said campaign.

 

Bishop McDevitt (8-2) forced four turnovers and turned the gifts into 14 first half points to defeat Harrisburg (8-2) 21-7 from a sun-splashed Severance Field at Harrisburg High School Saturday afternoon.

 

The victory gave McDevitt the #3 seed in the upcoming District 3 AAA playoffs, where the Crusaders will face Big Spring. Harrisburg, meanwhile, will face Penn Manor in the D3 AAAA bracket.

 

But the Cougars have bigger problems than what youthful Penn Manor brings to the table in a week’s time.

 

“We need to find a quarterback,” said Harrisburg head coach George Chaump.

 

The Cougars had ridden the coattails of senior quarterback Jalen Fitzpatrick, a three-year varsity starter who entered the McDevitt game with 1,700 passing yards and more than 1,000 rushing yards. #4 had been lighting things up for the silver and black all season, especially during their 7-game winning streak since a Week 2 loss to Pennsbury.

 

But in the second quarter, Harrisburg’s dreams of a possible District 3 championship may have come crashing to a halt. On his seventh keeper of the game, Fitzpatrick gained a yard, but was injured. He needed to be helped off the field, and received extensive attention on the sideline for the duration of the half. After halftime, Fitzpatrick emerged from the locker room sporting a pair of crutches.

 

Fitzpatrick, who ran for 95 yards and didn’t complete a pass in six attempts, did not return to the game. And, as a result, most of the life was sucked out of Harrisburg’s offense.

 

“He may be lost for the rest of the year,” Chaump said of #4.

 

Backup field general Stanley Lumpkin Jr. replaced Fitzpatrick, and finished 0-for-3 passing with an interception and carried the ball five times for minus-11 yards.

 

“Lumpkin doesn’t get that much work,” Chaump said. “It’s a complicated offense we run (with the option and reads), and Jalen (receives most of the work each week). We need to lick our wounds and work out something for the playoffs. But that ruined a good ball game.”

 

Good if you were a fan of defense. The Crusaders and Cougars combined for five turnovers within the first 17 minutes of game clock (McDevitt -2; Harrisburg -3) and defense resulted in McDevitt’s first two touchdowns of the day.

 

After forcing a Fitzpatrick fumble on Harrisburg’s second play from scrimmage, McDevitt moved 18 yards in six plays, finishing the “drive” with a 4-yard scoring run from senior field general Matt Johnson. Another Cougar fumble, this with 7:00 left in the first half, was recovered in the end zone by linebacker Sean Barowski, giving the blue and gold a 14-7 lead.

 

Fitzpatrick got Harrisburg on the board with an 85-yard scoring run down the home sideline with 7:06 left in the first quarter, but that was one of the few offensive highlights this day for the Cougs, who finished with 134 yards of offense (all rushing) and just six first downs.

 

“Our defense, for the most part (aside from the Central Dauphin game) has played really well all year,” said Crusader boss Jeff Weachter.

 

And offensively, while Harrisburg was bent on shutting down Pitt commit Jameel Poteat (14 rush, 26 yards) pretty much all game long, McDevitt countered with an almost West Coast style passing attack, using screen passes and quick hitters to negate Harrisburg’s lethal defensive front seven.

 

McDevitt tallied five first downs on its first three possessions of the second half – the second of the three possessions yielded the game’s final touchdown, a Poteat 7-yard run on a toss around left end.

 

Johnson, battling a pretty sore hip in the second half, broke off a pair of 19-yard runs, booted two second half punts of 41 and 33 yards to pin Harrisburg deep, and finished 17-of-25 for 146 yards with an interception.

 

“Matt Johnson is one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” Weachter said. “He’s a warrior. He’s so competitive. I kept asking him, ‘Are you OK?’ and every time he told me, ‘Coach, I’m OK. I got it.’”

 

McDevitt finished the day with 229 yards of offense and 16 first downs. Johnson added 11 yards on 12 carries and Darnell Holland chalked up five carries for 39 yards for the gold domes.

 

Harrisburg’s ground attack was paced by Niam Williams (6 rush, 19 yards) and Ray Burnett (10 rush, 25 yards).

 

Asked to speak to McDevitt’s defensive effort this day, Chaump said succinctly, “They didn’t have much to defense (against).”

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While Downingtown West was playing for pride and a fifth straight non-losing season, Bishop Shanahan was playing for a whole lot more.

 

The first seven win season in school history, the first District One AAA football playoff game in school history and more importantly, the first .500 season in the Ches-Mont in school history. But they would have to do it without explosive star Keegan Lawton who was out with a hip pointer injury

 

Bishop Shanahan accomplished all the above and more with a 21-19 Ches-Mont win over Downingtown West Saturday afternoon at Jack Mancini Field in Downingtown.

 

The “more” that the Eagles accomplished was the fact that they will host their first ever playoff game next week at Mancini Field against Springfield (Delco).

 

“I told Keegan  before the game he wasn’t playing” said Eagle Head Coach Paul Meyers. “He didn’t even put his shoulder pads on in the second half”.

 

“This was a huge win for us,” said Eagle Quarterback Ryan Egolf who was 11-28 for 187 yards and two touchdown passes to Chris Cordivari and scored a rushing touchdown.  “Last year they beat us up a little” he added.

 

After a scoreless first quarter,  Downingtown West (4-6 overall, 3-3 league) got on the scoreboard first as Running Back Zach Barr scored on a 23 yard run with 10:29 to go before halftime for a 6-0 lead. The touchdown was set up when Mike Oddo recovered a fumbled punt that gave the Whippets the ball on the 23. Barr led the Whippets with 67 yards on only four carries.

 

Bishop Shanahan then answered as Egolf found Cordivari for a 16 yard touchdown with 5:38 left before halftime. Adam Kamanski then added his first of three extra points and Shanahan went into the locker room with the 7-6 lead. The touchdown was set up on an interception by J.T. Blyden that gave the Eagles the ball on the Whippet 25 yard line.

 

Shanahan then increased their lead to 14-6 as Egolf once again found Cordivari (3 receptions 45 yards) for 20 yards this time with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

 

But back came the Whippets.

 

On the ensuing kickoff, Peter Mulville returned it all the way down to the Eagle 35 and could have gone all the way if not for a touchdown saving shove out of bounds by kicker Kamanski.

 

West then only needed three plays as Barr scored his second touchdown of the game. This time from 27 yards out to cut the Eagle lead 14-12 with 3:05 to play in the third quarter. west then went for the two point conversion and Dontae Horrell was stopped just short of the goal line.

 

“We had 2 different seasons,” said Whippet Head Coach Mike Milano. “We struggled in the scrimmages and the first three games. Then we beat Quakertown and realed off four straight wins. Then we were down 35-14 to Downingtown East and scored two quick touchdowns to get back in that game. Then we had Coatesville the following week and it was 14-10 deep in that game and Shanahan today..

 

Shanahan then seemed to ice the game with 6:51 left as Egolf went over from six yard line to increase the Eagle lead to 21-19.

 

“I told the kids on the sideline that the game wasn’t over yet,”  Meyers. “I told them that they could score quickly”.

 

And that is what happened.

 

Dante Horrell scored on a nine yard run on a fourth and one play with 1:31 left in the game that capped a 80 yard 11 play drive that cut the Shanhan lead to 21-19. Quarterback Kenneth Fuhrmann (10-27 passing, 102 yards) was six of nine for 67 yards in the drive.

 

Shanahan then recovered the ensuing onside kick to run out the clock.

 

” We battled all year” said Milano, whose teams had won 42 games over the previous four years. We have a small senior class and we have nine kids returning on the offense.”

 

As for Shanahan, they now prepare for not only the first playoff game in school history against Springfield (Delco), but they get to play it at home.

 

“We hope to have a big home crowd next week”.  said Egolf.

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