BA offense enjoys record setting season


Ali Wagner

Lots of hype for a game against 3-1 Mo Valley. (Ali Wagner)

Joe Padula , Staff Writer


A 15-12 week one loss for the Blue Devils against rival Tyrone looked made it look as if B-A was on its way to a mediocre season. One reason is because the team had virtually no rushing attack, running for a season low 19 yards in the game.

However, after that game the team became as strong in the run as any in the ICC during its impressive 10-game winning streak.

The rushing attack turned things around in large part because of senior Duke Brunner’s efforts. Brunner led the B-A rushing attack by running for 1,116 yards and an impressive 20 touchdowns.

All in all, the football season was filled with positives: B-A won the ICC, they were the second seeded team in the regular season in District 6-AA, and they played in the District 6 semifinals against Bishop McCort.

Ultimately B-A came up short against McCort in a hard-fought contest, 35-28. The Devils were unable to top 100 yards on the ground in that game for only the second time all season.

Many stood out individually, like senior quarterback Jarrett Taneyhill, who broke nearly every passing record he could.

He threw for the most passing yards in a season and a career at B-A, along with most touchdowns in a season and career; he also completed the most passes in a season and career.

Head Coach John Hayes realizes the impact that Taneyhill  had on the team this season, and that he was responsible for a lot of the offense’s success, but he also realizes it is a testimony to teammates around him allowing him to prosper.

We were very pleased with the players and we believed they performed at the top of their abilities.”

— Coach Hayes

“Jarrett’s impact was extremely big, he had a great year. The numbers he was able to put up will put him in the record books,” said Coach Hayes. “But no one player can put those numbers up alone. He had a couple guys doing an outstanding job on the receiving end with Brendan Kowalski leading the way and setting the receiving yardage record. But I think that everyone knows that a quarterback needs a good line to allow them to do what they do, and our line was able to do a good job in allowing Jarrett to do what he does best.”

Senior wide receiver Brendan Kowalski emerged as Taneyhill’s favorite target during the quarterback’s 2,080 yard 23-touchdown season. He led the team with 750 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Nate Friedenberger stood out, as well, with 33 catches for 480 yards, while Ethan McGee and Sawyer Kline each had more than 200 receiving yards.

Kline also contributed to a resurgent running game, finishing with 465 yards on the ground.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Blue Devils were carried by a trio of seniors that included Austin Desch, Adam Bowers, and McGee who led the team with 97, 72, and 68 tackles this year. McGee, Brunner and Kowalski all tied for the team lead in interceptions with three apiece, while Desch had 6 sacks and 7 tackles for loss.

The ICC was as competitive as it has ever been in 2016, and the Devils had several signature wins, including victories over Moshannon Valley, Juniata Valley, Everett, Mount Union, Claysburg-Kimmel, Northern Bedford, and Williamsburg, all of which made the postseason.

Coach Hayes believes the team accomplished many of the goals the team set for itself at the begging of the season, and understanda the disappointment that will follow any team that doesn’t finish their season without winning a District tittle.

“Losing to Tyrone was obviously a disappointment, but it was a game we should have or could have won,” Coach Hayes said. “Going undefeated in the league and winning the league tittle was a big deal. Being able to make it to the playoffs and find success by winning the first game, and then playing in a tough, hard-fought contest against Bishop McCort in a game where we ultimately came up short. But at the end of every year there is a little disappointment if you don’t go all the way, but there are only six teams that can go all the way. We were very pleased with the players, and we believed they performed at the top of their abilities and steadily improved throughout the year.”

Several players were honored with post-season awards, including five – Adam Bowers, Brendan Kowalski, Jarrett Taneyhill, Austin Dech, and Ethan McGee – who were named first team ICC all-stars.