Blue Devils retain Backyard Brawl trophy for third consecutive year


Victoria Jenkins

The B-A football team won their third consecutive backyard brawl trophy, the first time since the late 80’s.

Jack Luensmann, Editor in Chief

The 2020 Backyard Brawl steered away from tradition as the Blue Devils faced off against the Tyrone Golden Eagles in the last game of the season after both teams were eliminated from the playoffs. And with COVID limitations on spectators, the setting wasn’t quite right for one of the biggest games of the year.

However, with a packed Memorial Stadium and thousands of fans, this year’s Brawl was back on track as the first game of both team’s seasons. It was denoted on WTAJ’s Sports Beat as the local football game of the week.

After a first-drive score from senior Connor Gibbons, tough defense from both teams would leave the score 7-0 after the first quarter. The Devils would eventually break through before the half with quarterback Zach Pellegrine finding fellow senior Sean Mallon with an open lane for another touchdown to make it 14-0 at halftime.

Gibbons and senior tight end Cooper Keen opened the second half with two more touchdowns to give B-A a sizeable lead going into the fourth quarter. Tyrone finally found some offense in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns from junior Zack LeGars, but a another score from Sean Mallon would seal the deal for Bellwood with a victory of 33-13.

Coach Nick Lovrich knew the passing game would be open when Tyrone chose to stack the box to defend the run and play man coverage on receivers.

BluePrint Sports

Pellegrine and Gibbons lead the offensive charge for the blue and gold; Pellegrine completed 8 passes on 11 attempts with three touchdowns and 228 passing yards, while Gibbons compiled 97 rushing yards on 24 carries and scored twice for the Devils. Pellegrine was also named WTAJ’s Sports Beat Player of the Week.

Seniors Brandon Cherry and Cooper Keen took care of business on the defensive end with two sacks and 15 tackles between the two.

”It was a big win,” said Cherry. “I’m glad I got the experience of playing my final Backyard Brawl in front of a great crowd. We definitely need to build off of this victory.”

Head coach Nick Lovrich was proud with the boys’ performance, and is looking to build on the team’s success.

”These guys have put in the work this off-season and their hard work paid off. You have to tip your hat to Tyrone being such a young team and playing with the amount of confidence they did. This is such a big rivalry with both communities so close to each other, and there’s a lot of respect between two teams. And with the crowd and the student section, tonight was just a special game.”

The Devils travel to Moshannon Valley this Friday to take on the Black Knights. For more from the Backyard Brawl, check out our photo slide show taken by Victoria Jenkins.