Lots at stake for B-A against Mount Union

Defense+from+players+like+Austin+Desch+and+Adam+Bowers+will+be+big+against+Mount+Union.

Phoebe Potter

Defense from players like Austin Desch and Adam Bowers will be big against Mount Union.

Joe Padula, Staff Writer

With another dominant victory over an ICC foe last Friday the Bellwood-Antis football team improved its win streak to six games and is now 6-1 on the season and 6-0 in the ICC.

The Blue Devils will look to continue the streak as they turn their attention to the Mount Union Trojans, who are 5-2 overall but at 5-1 in the ICC are just a game behind B-A.

Needless to say, it’s a big game.

“It’s a big test heading into playoffs,” said senior receiver-defensive back Ethan McGee. “So we’re looking to make a statement. It’s also a big conference game for us to take the ICC.”

Our next three games are against the leaders in our league, so for us to achieve an ICC championship we need to step up to the challenge this week.”

— Coach Lovrich

Containing Mount Union’s two play makers this week will be B-A’s key to a victory. Daunte Martin has already ran for 871 yards on 112 carries, which is good for a remarkable 7.8 yards per carry. He has also found the end zone 10 times. The Trojans’ other weapon is their quarterback Devin Kushstos, who has 978 passing yards and eight touchdown passes this season.

“Mt. Union has a lot of very good athletes,” observed B-A assistant coach Nick Lovrich.   “Their running back is very tough.  He has a good combination of speed and power.  Their quarterback and the rest of their skill plays are very talented and have lots of explosive play capabilities.  We need to make sure we carry out our responsibilities on defense and play together as a group, trusting each other to do their jobs.  Getting pressure up front is a big key for our success tonight.”

In its last several contest B-A looked like a team that had found its identity offensively as the run game had finally picked up and complimented their always efficient passing attack.

The Blue Devils have even rushed for more yards than they have thrown for in three consecutive weeks. Considering that Week 1 against Tyrone, a game B-A lost, the team threw for 230 more yards than they ran for, it is a very good thing for B-A to get their run game going.

Duke Brunner (110 carries for 516 yards) and Sawyer Kline (52 carries for 332 yards) have led the charge of B-A’s ground attack, while Taneyhill has been solid as a passer all season, completing 76 of 132 passes for 1,324 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kowalski has caught six of those touchdowns and leads the team with 486 receiving yards, though Ethan McGee and Nate Friedengberger are both over 200 yards.

“Offensively, just like every other week, our line has to control the line of scrimmage,” said Coach Lovrich. “We have to move our feet and be the hitters up front.  The last few weeks we have progressed to a more complete offense with both our running and passing games clicking.  We need to continue that trend and make sure we do not become a one dimensional team.”

Austin Desch will look to continue his dominant play on the defensive side of the ball, as he leads the Blue Devils with 49 tackles and 3 sacks on the season.

With a win tonight Bellwood-Antis will control their own destiny and at least guarantee at least a share of the ICC north tittle.

Currently sitting comfortably at the three-seed for the District 6-AA playoffs, B-A will be guaranteed a home playoff game if the team wins out.

“Team-wise, this is a big step for us to reach our goals for the season,” said Coach Lovrich.  “Our  next three games are against the leaders in our league, so for us to achieve an ICC championship we need to step up to the challenge this week.”