Quick burst of offense in second propels B-A
MORRISDALE — Bellwood’s rushing attack proved to be too much to handle for West Branch as the Blue Devils routed the Warriors, 44-7, on Friday night at L.T. Drivas Memorial Field.
Although the final looked like complete domination, West Branch had it as a two-possession game in the last minute of the first half. But, the Blue Devils put up two touchdowns in that final minute of the first half, which led to a snowball effect for the Warriors as they trailed 24-0 at the break.
Play(s) of the game: With an 18-0 lead in the final minute of the first half, Bellwood’s Gaven Ridgway executed a perfect onside kick attempt and the Blue Devils recovered at the Warrior 45. Two plays later, quarterback Zach Pellegrine hit Zach Mallon for a 45-yard touchdown pass, giving the Warriors a 24-0 advantage and deflated West Branch’s energy.
Player of the game: Although he admittedly said it wasn’t his best effort of the season, Mallon still managed 116 yards on the ground on nine carries, and also hauled in two passes for 49 yards. He scored three touchdowns on the ground, and one more on the receiving end.
Unsung hero: The rest of the Bellwood backfield also had solid days, as did their punishing offensive line. Ty Noonan and Joe Dorminy each scored a rushing touchdown, and three other ball carriers had at least 40 yards.
Most vital statistic: West Branch did not reach positive yardage on the ground until the fourth quarter. They had 46 rushing yards, while Bellwood had 330.
B-A coach Nick Lovrich: “We’re really fortunate. (Backup running back) Connor Gibbons would probably start for a lot of teams in the ICC. He gave us a few sparks. And the line blocking was really, really good on a couple of those plays. It’s nice to know that you have that depth out there. When your starters aren’t in the game and you have other guys in there, they do a great job.”
B-A’s Zach Mallon: “When one of us isn’t doing well, we have so much skill that we’re able to pick up from there. Our line does really well no matter who is running the ball.”
Records: B-A is 5-0, while West Branch fell to 1-4.
Next week: B-A hosts Mount Union, while West Branch is at Williamsburg.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis 12 12 20 0 — 44
West Branch 0 0 0 7 — 7
BA — Shedlock 34 pass from Pellegrine (kick failed), 8:09
BA — Z. Mallon 1 run (pass failed), 1:59
BA — Noonan 2 run (run failed), :51
BA — Z. Mallon 45 pass from Pellegrine (kick failed), :37
BA — Z. Mallon 66 run (Wilson kick), 11:42
BA — Z. Mallon 19 run (Wilson kick), 6:30
BA — Dorminy 23 run (kick failed), :40
WB — Biggans 3 run (Betts kick), 4:13
TEAM STATISTICS BA WB
First downs 17 6
Att-Yards Rushing 34-330 28-46
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int. 4-9-1 4-14-1
Passing yards 92 52
Total yards 422 98
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 5-26 2-20
Punts-average 2-31.5 6-32.8
RUSHING–Bellwood-Antis, Z. Mallon 9-116, Plank 7-52, Noonan 4-47, Gibbons 4-43, Dorminy 3-26, Pellegrino 2-18, Pellegrine 1-13, Ridgway 1-8, Kost 1-5, Poorman 1-3, TEAM 1-(-1). West Branch, Biggans 11-27, Browne 2-11, Herring 13-10, Grubbs 1-1, Croyle 1-(-3).
PASSING–Bellwood-Antis, Pellegrine 4-8-1-92; Z. Mallon 0-1-0-0. West Branch, Biggans 4-9-0-52; Croyle 0-5-1-0
RECEIVING–Bellwood-Antis, Z. Mallon 2-49, Shedlock 2-43. West Branch, Hoffner 3-47, Martin 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS–Bellwood-Antis, Ridgway. West Branch, Kopchik.