BY MIKE MACKE
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Winless so far on the season, Bellmont looked to pick up their first victory against Huntington North Friday, and they almost did it, coming up one point short in a 13 – 12 loss to the Vikings.
Bellmont dominated the game from a statistical standpoint amassing 266 yards of offense (241 rushing) and limiting the visitors to just 178 yards. Time of possession was heavily in Bellmont’s favor 45:20 minutes to just 12:00 for the game. Bellmont even led the turnover battle 3 to 4 though the three interceptions thrown by the Braves were critical to the outcome of the game. Both teams scored two touchdowns, the difference ultimately being a successful PAT by Huntington North.
The Braves won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. Starting on their own 20, a Christian Hatch 23-yard run got the Braves near midfield, but the drive stalled and Bellmont punted. After forcing a three and out, the Braves got the ball back only to punt again. However, the Beau Baker kick hit a Vikings player and Aiden Wemhoff recovered for Bellmont. Aiden Miller gained 15 yards and the Braves were in the red zone. At third and eight, two consecutive incomplete passes ended the threat.
It was the next possession where Bellmont broke through with their first score of the season. Taking over at their own 40, Hatch ran nine yards on third and 8 for a first down. Then Miller broke through the middle and rambled 43 yards to the three-yard line. Two plays later, he went in untouched from two yards out. The PAT failed and with 8:41 left in the second quarter, the Braves had a 6 – 0 lead.
On their next possession, a 41-yard run by Dylan Velez and a 13-yard run by Hatch had Bellmont knocking on the door once again at the Huntington 20. Will Franze’s pass intended for Job Hoffman was picked off, ending the drive. Stopped once more, Huntington had to punt the ball away with just under a minute left in the half. On the very next play, Franze was intercepted again, but this time it was returned inside the Bellmont 20. With 0:05 left in the half, the Vikings cashed in when QB Ian Wiley took it in from 3 yards out. The PAT failed and the teams were tied at six going into the locker room.
Huntington North received the second half kickoff but fumbled on the return and Bellmont took over at the Vikings’ 32-yard line. At fourth and eight, Franze connected with Michael Heyduk for a 22-yard pass to the 8-yard line. Velez took it in from two yards out to make it 12 – 6 Braves as the PAT failed and the Braves had their second lead of the game.
The Vikings then went on their best offensive drive of the night, a 64-yard scoring drive. A 40-yard pass and a roughing the passer penalty were key to advancing inside the five yard line. Wiley then scored his second TD of the game from four yards out. Teusch hit the PAT to make it 13 – 12 H.N. with 6:55 on the clock in the third period.
The rest of the game featured good defense from both teams along with a lot of penalties that killed drives. A defensive pass interference called on the Braves with just four minutes left in the game essentially ended their chances to mount a game-winning drive at the end.
Miller ended with 109 yards on 19 carries to lead the Bellmont rushing attack. Hatch ran 13 times for 69 yards and Velez had 65 yards on 14 rushes. Franze was 2 for 10 passing for 25 yards and three interceptions. The Braves travel to Leo next Friday night.
Q2 8:41 Bel Aiden Miller 2 yd run PAT failed 6– 0
Q2 0:05 HN Ian Wiley 2 yd run PAT failed 6 – 6
Q3 8:12 Bel Dylan Velez 2 yd run PAT failed 12 – 6
Q3 6:55 HN Ian Wiley 4 yd run Teusch PAT 13 – 12