JOHNSTOWN - After trailing by scores of 14-0 and 21-7 in Friday's game at Richland, Bellwood-Antis seemed to grab the momentum late in the first half.
The Blue Devils stopped the Rams on downs in Richland territory late in the second quarter, and took possession in Richland territory. Bellwood capitalized, scoring in the final minute of the half to cut the Richland lead in half.
Bellwood continued that momentum in the third quarter, moving the ball deep into Rams territory. However, Richland stopped Bellwood on four runs inside the 5 to keep the Blue Devils off the scoreboard. The Blue Devils seemed to quickly bounce back, intercepting a Matt Shaffer pass on the next play at the Richland 18 to give Bellwood back the ball.
However, the Blue Devils were called for roughing the passer, negating the interception and giving Richland back the ball. The Rams took advantage, driving the ball 99 yards to score and then controlled the game from there, securing a 35-14 home win.
"The goal line stand, and them going 99 yards off that was big," Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes said. "We had the ball back. Obviously, momentum is a huge part of the game. With us being stopped and then not getting the interception, our kids get down and they [Richland] smell blood. They are an excellent football team and have a lot of weapons."
The game started to turn in Bellwood's favor late in the first half. Richland led 21-7 late in the half, but still decided to go for a fourth-and-7 at its own 35-yard line. Shaffer threw an incomplete pass, giving the Blue Devils a short field with 2:32 left in the half. A 21-yard pass from Jake Burch to Tanner Snyder set up Bellwood at the Rams 3-yard line. Two plays later, Matt McMillan scored to cut the Richland lead to 21-14 at halftime.
Bellwood got the ball to start the third quarter and quickly marched into Richland territory, thanks to the Rams.
On third-and-6 from the Richland 44-yard line, Kyler Lardieri was thrown for a loss of 4 yards. However, Richland was flagged for a 15-yard penalty, giving the Blue Devils a first down.
While the officials were straightening out the penalty, Richland was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty, adding another 15 yards to the march off. The penalties allowed Bellwood to go from a fourth-and-10 from near midfield to first-and-10 at the Rams 15-yard line.
However, Richland's defense atoned for its penalties. The Rams stopped four runs, three of them coming inside the 2-yard line. On fourth and goal from inside the 1-yard line, Burch tried to sneak into the end zone, but the middle of the Richland line pushed Burch back to turn the ball over on downs.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis7 7 0 0 - 14
Richland14 7 7 7 - 35
R - Shaffer 25 run (pass failed), 8:49.
R - Shaffer 3 run (Solarczyk run), 3:56.
B - Snyder 1 run (Creppage kick), :06.
R - Solarczyk 1 run (Gindlesberger kick), 7:20.
B - McMillan 1 run (Creppage kick), :47.
R - Shaffer 9 run (Gindlesberger kick), 1:50.
R - Shaffer 5 run (Gindlesberger kick), 8:24.
RUSHING: Bellwood-Antis - Snyder 14-51, Wood 11-25, McMillan 5-18, Gray 3-18, Stapleton 2-3, Lardieri 1-(-4), Burch 2-(-8) . Richland -Solarczyk 19-139, Shaffer 9-69, Naglic 2-13, Warshel 1-13, Urban 1-6, Somiari 2-4, Farina 1-1, team 1-(-15).
PASSING: Bellwood-Antis - Burch 10-19-0-145. Richland - Shaffer 13-22-0-176, Pecora 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Bellwood-Antis - McMillan 3-68, Snyder 3-38, Stapleton 2-17, Gates 1-12, Lardieri 2-10. Richland - Pecora 2-33, Joy 2-31, Flick 1-29, Ball 3-28, Rizzo 2-25, Urban 1-13, Warshel 1-9, Naglic 1-8.
First downs 1321