Nobody could have seen this one coming. Not even the most faithful Bellwood-Antis fan could have anticipated what the Blue Devils did Saturday night.
The Blue Devils won the District 6 Class A football championship by beating Bishop McCort at frigid Mansion Park, but no one could have expected the score - 54-3.
That's no mistake. It WAS 54-3, with a running clock the final 10:48.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Bellwood-Antis’ Haden DeGennaro runs left to score a touchdown and give the Blue Devils a 33-3 lead over McCort.
"We prepared well," B-A coach John Hayes said. "We've been playing well and, obviously, getting off to a good start is important.
"In big games, if momentum goes your way, you can loosen up," Hayes said. "Once we scored, and when they came back and scored, the big thing was we answered and came back again."
That was the first-quarter sequence.
Bellwood marched 82 yards in just five plays on its first possession with Casey Gray scoring from the 6. McCort answered, but had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Jordan Spangler.
It took the Blue Devils only a minute to retaliate. Haden DeGennaro's 28-yard reverse led to Gray's 3-yard TD and a 15-3 lead after one quarter.
"That was important," Hayes said. "The kids were confident and felt they were in control of the situation."
That they were.
With Seth Worthing providing the spark, both offensively and defensively, the Blue Devils dominated the rest of the game.
Worthing racked up 128 yards rushing and passing, and was even more impressive from his safety spot. He broke up a pass which forced McCort to settle for a field goal. He also he intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. He returned one pick 92 yards only to see a penalty nullify the TD, and he returned the fumble 39 yards to set up a B-A score.
A track standout, Seth Worthing is the fastest of a fast group of Blue Devils. Running backs Casey Gray and Haden DeGennaro are speedsters, too. Gray scored three TDs last night, on runs of 6, 3, and 1, while DeGennaro scored on a 4-yard run and a 38-yard punt return.
B-A racked up 342 yards rushing - backup running backs Jake Stapleton [66 yards] and Cameron Wood [12 yards] both scored - and Seth Worthing passed only three times all night.
With those kind of numbers, it's obvious the offensive line dominated the trenches.
"They've been playing great all year," Worthing said. "I should start taking those guys out to dinner."
"Things went well," Hayes said. "We have a lot of playmakers, and they made some big plays tonight.
"We're blessed [with a lot of speed]. I can't apologize because they're there," he said. "Some years you get them and other years you don't.
"I had a pretty good feeling they were pumped tonight."
McCort coach Kevin Sheridan was impressed.
"They won every phase of the game,"McCort coach Kevin Sheridan said. "They won nearly every battle, and they certainly won the war handily.
"We knew they had speed, and they sure did - at every position," Sheridan said. "They execute their schemes and their speed is difficult to deal with."
Game notes: It was the sixth overall D6 championship for the Blue Devils. ... B-A will host Delone Catholic of District 3 next Friday at 7 p.m. at Mansion Park.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop McCort3 0 0 0- 3
Bellwood-Antis15 12 7 20 - 54
BA-Gray 6 run (Campbell kick), 8:35.
BM-Spangler 30 FG, 1:32.
BA-Gray 3 run (DeGennaro run), :14.
BA-Snyder recovered fumble in end zone (pass failed), 8:28.
BA-Gray 1 run (kick failed), 0:00.
BA-DeGennaro 38 punt return(Campbell kick), 4:06.
BA-DeGennaro 4 run (Campbell kick), 10:48.
BA-Stapleton 66 run (run failed), 5:54.
BA-Wood 12 run (Creppage kick), :17.
RUSHING: Bishop McCort-Belskey 13-40, Rugg 3-23, Jackson 6-17, Hutzell 4-8, Spangler 1-6, Tomkowski 3-5, Thompson 1-2. Bellwood-Antis-Gray 25-104, Stapleton 5-94, S. Worthing 9-80, DeGennaro 5-48, Mock 2-9, Campbell 3-7.
PASSING: Bishop McCort-Tomkowski 10-26-3-122. Bellwood-Antis-S. Worthing 2-3-0-48.
RECEIVING: Bishop McCort-Spangler 4-64, DiFrancesco 4-53, Rugg 1-6, Neiderhiser 1-(-1). Bellwood-Antis-O'Shea 1-38, C. Worthing 1-10.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bellwood-Antis-S. Worthing 2, C. Worthing.