Bellwood-Antis senior Zach Mallon spent his final football campaign nudging his name up the list of the elite backs to play for the Blue Devils.
There’s no telling how much farther he could have gone with a complete regular season, but what is certain is that football writers across the commonwealth recognized the importance of a runner with the unique skills Mallon possesses.
Last week Mallon joined another select group when he was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers 2A All-State team.
Mallon made the team as an athlete, not surprising considering the diverse package the 6-2 tailback with sprinter’s speed rings to the table.
“Zach had a great year for us and it is nice to see him be recognized as an all-state performer,” said Bellwood-Antis coach Nick Lovrich. “Zach will be the first person to say that he would not be able to have accomplished this without the help of his teammates and that says a lot about the type of person that he is.”
After a senior year in which he rushed for 1,145 yards and scored 21 touchdowns despite playing only eight games, Mallon was sure to be in the mix for one of the spots on the 2A team, which includes two other players from District 6. Mallon also had 111 receiving yards and 210 yards in kickoff and punt returns.
Few Blue Devil rushers since Josh Kleinfelter have had as big an impact over two seasons as Mallon. He ran for 1,136 yards as a junior and finishes his career with 2,386 yards, good enough to move into eighth place on B-A’s career rushing yardage list, just ahead of Walter Rhoades, who had 2,360 from 1961-63. His 3,270 yards of total offense place him seventh all-time, bumping ahead of Roy Pickens, who totaled 3,201 from 1945-48.
In 2020, Mallon ran for 100 yards six times, including a high of 244 against Tyrone in the season finale.
Mallon becomes the second B-A player in as many seasons to be named to the sportswriters first team after Evan Pellegrine made the list as a lineman in 2019.