Blue Devils close the season with the Brawl


Kerry Naylor

Bellwood-Antis is looking to keep the Backyard Brawl trophy in Bellwood. The traveling trophy has been a part of the annual rivalry game since 2006.

Zach Miller, Photo Editor

Tonight Bellwood-Antis takes on Tyrone at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field in the annual Backyard Brawl. This game is one of the biggest games in the area and is a historic rivalry.

Both teams are recovering from devastating losses in the playoffs.

BluePrint Sports

Tyrone (6-1) is coming off of a tough loss in the District 6 3A championship against a tough Central team and is definitely looking for a redemption win. The Golden Eagles have a good passing game led by receiver Damon Gripp, who averages 120 yards a game. The Tyrone rushing game is also solid with Tommy Hicks leading the charge with 67 yards a game.

Tyrone is a very balanced team, with the defense growing along with the offense. The Eagles have a very good pass rush totaling 14 sacks on the season, as well as 9 interceptions.

It will be a tough game for the 6-1 Blue Devils but B-A does a lot to concern the Eagles. The offense starts with the running game, and that’s led by senior Zach Mallon, who has a chance to make it to 1,000 yards for the second straight season. He enters tonight’s game with 901 yards on 100 carries – an incredible average of 9 yards per carry – as well as 16 rushing touchdowns. Mallon has also 7 receptions for 111 yards and two more scores.

But Mallon is not a one-man show. Nick Plank has chipped in 302 yards on the ground, and Zach Pellegrine has completed 37 of 68 yards for 418 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Tyrone is allowing 136 yards per game on the ground and was torn apart by Central for more than 200 yards last week. B-A, meanwhile, was shredded by Richland’s aerial attack.

Can Tyrone rebound and defend the run? Can B-A improve in its pass defense? It’s likely the answers to these questions will decide the game tonight.

Tyrone leads the overall series with B-A with 51 wins to 28 losses and a tie, but the teams have split their last four meetings. The Blue Devils were victorious last season with a 35-32 win in double overtime.

The winner of the game will take home the Backyard Brawl trophy, a traveling trophy that has been awarded to the winner every year since 2006.

B-A hasn’t won in Tyrone since 2012.