BEA claims the Iron Bell
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, September 8th, 2018
WINGATE – In a game that saw Bald Eagle Area and Penns Valley combine for 748 yards in offense , it was a defensive play that was the key to BEA’s 49-28 romp over Penns Valley in the annual Iron Bell game.
But the score was a little misleading. After BEA had taken a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter the Rams got their offense untracked and scored twice and were driving again, reaching the BEA 15. But on third down Aaron Tobias’ pass was picked off in the end zone when BEA’s Kaden Bittinger out jumped the receiver for the interception to kill the drive and prevent the Rams from making it a one-score game.
“That was huge,’’ said BEA coach Jesse Nagle. “We knew they were going to try to run the fade route but Kaden is a great high-point guy. He was going against a 6-foot-2 guy (Logan Snyder) and we were worried about that.’’
BEA won the toss to start the game and chose to take the ball. It was a good choice as Blake Roberts returned the kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown.
The Eagles added two more scores before the end of the first quarter as Gage McClenahan scored from two yards out and then hooked up with quarterback Jaden Jones for a 48-yard TD strike with 5:55 still to go in the quarter. Early in the second quarter Jones connected with Bittinger for a 75-yard scoring strike with 8:46 still to go in the half and the BEA fans were tinkinig about the mercy rule.
The Rams weren’t as they got a nine-yard scoring play from Tobias to Ryan Ripka with 6:52 left, then recovered an on-sides kick on the BEA 45 and Tobias and Ripka teamed up again for a score to make it 28-14 with 6:43 still to go in the half.But BEA answered immediately as Jones hit Tommy Snyder for 68 yards and a score to make it 36-14 at the break.
The Eagles scored on their first possession of the third quarter when Jones and McClenahan teamed up again, this time from 10 yards out and on the first play of the fourth quarter Roberts scored from the 8-yard line to kick in the mercy Rule.
Jones finished the night completing 14 of 18 passes for 313 yards and five touchdowns. The Rams scored twice in the final three minutes to set the final score.
“Penns Valley is a good team. Don’t kid yourself,’’ Nagle said. “Their offense is explosive. That’s why we wanted the ball to start the game. We wanted to get on them quick. We didn’t want them hanging around.’’
BEA is off to a 3-0 start and has scored 147 points in its first three games. It will face Bishp Carroll Friday. Penns Valley is 1-2 and will visit Central Friday.
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