Bellwood Antis runs over Juniata Valley
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
The skies over Memorial Stadium in Bellwood were clear on this night, but for Juniata Valley the field was covered with streaks of Gray. As in Casey Gray. The junior running back accounted for 5 scores tonight on runs of 34, 61, 51, 2 and one yards to lead the Blue Devils to a 47-34 victory. Add in a 46 yard reception that gave the Blue Devils the ball at the Hornet one and you end up with this: 279 yards on 17 carries, one reception and 5 touchdowns. “He’s just a tremendous athlete, and we’re lucky to have the players here that allow us to spread the ball around on offense not allowing the defense to key on him,” said Blue Devil coach John Hayes about Gray’s performance.
This wasn’t an easy win as the Hornets hung tough the entire game. The game started slowly with each team feeling the other out but once they did it became a sprint to the finish. With 4:17 left in the first quarter and the score tied at 0-0 these two teams would score on the next 12 out of 16 possessions. Bellwood drew first blood on a six yard Gray run. The point after attempt failed and the score, with 1:02 left in the first quarter, was 6-0.
It didn’t take long for Juniata Valley to answer. Starting at their own 41 the Hornets rode the legs of Brett Grissinger on six of seven plays. Grissinger found the endzone and the point after gave the Hornets a 7-6 lead.
Three plays later Gray went 51 yards untouched. The Blue Devil defense, led by Tyler Campbell (17 tackles, 4 for loss) and Keith Shawley (12 tackles, two for loss), would next take the stage. Haden Degennaro intercepted a halfback option pass thrown by Grissinger at the Blue Devil 43. It took just two plays for the Blue Devils to score this time, a 20 yard run to the 36 by Campbell and a 36 yard touchdown strike over the middle from quarterback Seth Worthing to a streaking Cameron Worthing who, with two great moves, made several Hornet defenders look like they were standing still.
Bellwood pulled away with another short drive, this one a 46 yard reception and a one yard run by Gray to cap the first half scoring at 26-7. “We couldn’t stop the big play and that’s what Bellwood brings, big play ability,” said Hornets coach Mike Smith.
The second half would see these two teams score on seven of eight possessions. Juniata started by going 65 yards to pay dirt. The drive featured a nice 29 yard catch and run from quarterback Caleb Taylor to Grissinger and a nifty run from fullback Jesse Claar for 19 yards and a score.
Worthing then hit Degennaro deep in the endzone from 20 yards out. Degennaro made a beautiful leaping catch on the play to take the score to 34-13. The Hornets wouldn’t give up. Led by Grissinger, they marched 59 yards and capped the drive on a three yard run by fullback Zach Beam. The point after failed which made the score 34-20. But the big play ability of the Blue Devils struck again. Gray scored from 34 yards, then following a defensive stand to hold the Hornets on downs, he scored from 61 yards out. The game looked like a runaway with the score at 47-20 and 5:44 left in the game.
The Hornets scored to make it 47-27, then recover their kick off and score once more on a 24 yard pass to Grissinger but it was not enough. “I’m proud of the way our kids played at the end of the game there. They never gave up,” said Smith.
With the win, Bellwood improves to 4-0. Juniata Valley falls to 3-1.
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