TYRONE - Bellwood-Antis quarterback Seth Worthing qualified for the PIAA track meet in four events, but none of them were in jumping events.
When Worthing found the corner on fourth-and-8 with the game tied in the fourth quarter of Friday night's Backyard Brawl against Tyrone at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field, Worthing jumped to avoid a defender.
And instantly regretted it.
Photo for the Mirror by Manning Photography
Bellwood-Antis’ Casey Gray runs into Tyrone’s Seth Welch as Ben Makdad pursues.
"I got up in the air, and I said 'This is a mistake. I don't want to get hit. If I get hit, I'm out,'" Worthing said laughing.
Instead, Worthing landed on his feet, gathered his balance, saw green grass in front of him and raced to the end zone. That, combined with a late defensive stand, lifted the Blue Devils to a 22-15 win before a very large and emotional crowd.
"It was a designed run play for me," said Worthing, who ran for 118 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns.
"One of our players, I think it was Haden DeGennaro, had a great block in front of me. I give all the credit to my blockers. I just have the fast legs on the team. I'm limited to how many moves I can do because Coaches Hayes put a limit on how many moves I can do."
The Golden Eagles, state runners-up last season, have had the upperhand in the series they lead 50-27-1, so the B-A win was pretty special.
"This is great," B-A coach John Hayes said. "You know this is going to be a tough football game. [Tyrone] has lots of talent, they're well-coached. A play one way or another and the result could have been the opposite. Now we can go into the weekend and start preparing from a level of confidence rather than trying to recover and fix psyches."
"Any time you lose a rivalry game, everyone takes it hard," Tyrone first-year coach Steve Guthoff said, "especially when you've had so long to gear up for it emotionally. But, it was a great football game. Bellwood is an excellent football team. I think some of our inexperience showed tonight. Their quarterback made some unbelievable plays at critical times for them."
The play Worthing scored on was just another right button that Hayes pushed. The first fourth-and-8 play conversion came late in the second quarter when Hayes called a fake put. Up-man Owen Worthing, the backup QB, hit Matt McMillan for a 15-yard pass to the 19. Five plays later, Seth Worthing scored on a 3-yard run to give B-A a 9-7 lead.
"You feel good about that," Hayes said. "More times that not, it's just instinct, and you press a button. Sometimes they work, and there are many times where you look like dirt. Tonight, the sophomore made the big catch on the fake punt, and the backup quarterback got him the ball. Credit to the kids. They made plays."
Tyrone had a big-play back in junior James Oliver, who ran for 221 yards on 27 carries and scored on runs of 4 and 12. His 12-yarder 1:10 in the fourth tied the score, 15-15.
"He played his heart out tonight," Guthoff said. "I thought the offensive line did a really good job, and James ran tough. He showed speed to get outside and showed power inside. But we have to become more balanced."
At that point, the momentum started shifting to Tyrone.
It shifted back to Tyrone after Worthing's long TD. Using Charles Wilson-Adams as the triggerman in the wildcat, the Eagles moved from their 37 to the B-A 15. But a Tyrone offsides penalty on fourth down moved the ball back to the 20. B-A defensive end Ethan Hunter tracked down QB Erik Wagner and threw him for a 4-yard loss. The B-A celebration was on.
"It was scary," said Worthing after helping hoist the Brawl trophy. "I thought for certain they were going to score a touchdown until that last penalty. We lucked out on that."
"[Hunter] came free," Hayes said, "and he's a good athlete. He made the big hit. It was exciting to the end."
Both teams will now try to recover from such a big game.
"This team Tyrone, I love playing against this team," Worthing said. "I like all the players on the team. Nobody gets me upset. This game makes it so sweet because the [schools] are so close together. This is a great game.
"This is nothing I've felt before. I played here my sophomore year, but I missed this game last year with an ankle injury. Being under the lights and having everybody yell for you is amazing."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis3 6 6 7 - 22
Tyrone0 7 0 8 - 15
BA-Campbell 27 FG, 4:01.
T-Oliver 4 run (Umholtz kick), 7:40.
BA-S. Worthing 3 run (kick failed), :29.1.
BA-Gray 41 run (run failed), 8:25.
T-Oliver 12 run (Oliver run), 10:50.
BA-S. Worthing 35 run (Campbell kick), 4:49.
RUSHING: Bellwood-Antis-S. Worthing 11-118, Gray 20-108, Campbell 5-10, T. Snyder 1-6, Beech 2-5, DeGennaro 1-1, TEAM 2-(-2). Tyrone-Oliver 27-221, Wilson-Adams 3-23, Muir 2-18, Wagner 2-0.
PASSING: Bellwood-Antis-S. Worthing 5-13-0-64; O. Worthing 1-1-0-15. Tyrone-Wagner 3-9-1-20.
RECEIVING: Bellwood-Antis-Gray 1-25, Campbell 2-23, McMillan 1-15, O'Shea 1-8, DeGennaro 1-8. Tyrone-Zook 1-13, Muir 1-5, Wilson-Adams 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bellwood-Antis-C. Worthing. Tyrone-none.