Bellefonte Downs BEA 32-14 To Recapture The Curtin Bowl
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 6th, 2010
By BILL ALBRIGHT
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.