Bellaire tops Edison
BELLAIRE – Edison ran 84 plays to Bellaire’s 38, did not turn the ball over while forcing three themselves, and tallied 19 first downs to the Big Reds’ 10.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Bellaire outgained Edison 392 yards to 326, and, more importantly, outscored the Wildcats 26-12 to bring home a victory on a rain-soaked Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Nelson Field.
“It had a pretty big effect on us,” said Edison head coach Derrick Stickles of the weather. “It took us out of a lot of things we like to do. Then we had a couple of injuries late in the game so a lot of the things we wanted to do offensively we weren’t able to do because the ball was soaking wet and there was mud all over the place.
“As much as we like to pass the football to establish our running game we just weren’t able to do that.”
Added Bellaire head coach Jose Davis of his team’s win, “It’s only the fourth game of the season, and you never like to say a game this early is a must-win, but this was a must win with two away games ahead of us.”
The game was tied at 6 apiece at intermission, and Bellaire received the ball to start the second half. The Big Reds also changed from the red jerseys they started the game with into their black jerseys.
The Big Reds took the second half kickoff 62 yards in five plays to score. Badia had a 21-yard run on the drive and ultimately connected with Kenny Hess for a 25-yard scoring toss. Cody LaRoche put home the extra point, and Bellaire led 13-6 early in the third quarter.
After an Edison 3-and-out, Bellaire took over at its own 45-yard line. It took seven plays to find pay dirt this time with Hunter Westlake scoring on an 18-yard run. LaRoche was true on the point after and Bellaire led 20-6 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
Westlake was heard from in a big way later in the game.
Edison started a drive from its own 15 with 1:34 left in the third quarter, and ran off 17 plays down to the Bellaire 5-yard line. On the 18th play, fourth and three, Nick Patrone broke up a Marcus pass to Tennant in the end zone for the turnover on downs.
“Our defense stepped up a couple of times when it had to,” said Davis. “That was big.”
On the next play Westlake busted loose for a 95-yard touchdown run. He looked like he was caught at the Edison 35, but he broke the tackle and raced the rest of the way for the score. The point after was missed, but Bellaire led 26-6 with 7:40 remaining.
“We came into this game understanding they like to throw the ball all over the place, that’s what we wanted to take away, and that’s what we took away so they had to make adjustments in order for them to find success against us,” said Stickles. “Defensively we did everything we could to contain the pass, and they started running the ball on us. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop the run.”
Edison scored quickly after as Tennant returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to the Bellaire 10, and Marcus ran in on the next play for the score. The pass for the 2-point conversion fell incomplete leaving the score 26-12.
Bellaire lost fumbles on each of its first three possessions, but the Wildcats were unable to take advantage, punting once and turning the ball over on downs twice.
“We just couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities we were given,” said Stickles. “We talk about opportunities all the time in practice, and there were opportunities today we let slip away.”
On the Big Red’s fourth possession of the game they were able to find success offensively. A pass interference call gave the Big Reds 1st and 10 at their own 39-yard line. Spencer Badia then hit Nick Patrone in stride and Bellaire had a 6-0 lead on the 61-yard pass play. The extra point was blocked.
Edison took five plays to answer. A holding call put the Wildcats at 1st and 22 at their own 49 when Nolan Marcus threw a strike to Devan Tennant, who broke a tackle, and escaped a face mask penalty, to go 51 yards for the score. The Edison extra point was blocked as well, and the score read 6-6 until halftime.
Offensively Edison ran the ball 51 times for 173 yards. Ethan Shannon, who left the game in the second half with an ankle injury, led the way with 27 carries for 104 yards.
“I haven’t got a report yet,” said Stickles of Shannon’s injury. “We’re going to send him to get checked and get some X-rays. Hopefully it’s a sprain, nothing real major, and we’ll be able to get him back soon.”
Marcus completed 21 of 33 passes for 153 yards and a score. Rich Springer caught 7 balls and Tennant had 84 yards receiving a a touchdown for the Wildcats.
Bellaire ran the ball 22 times for 217 stripes led by Westlake’s 191 yards and two scores on 12 totes. Badia was 13 of 16 for 175 and 2 scores. Hess had four catches for 76 yards and a score with Patron adding three for 75 and a touchdown.
Edison (2-2) looks to bounce back Friday when it hosts Union Local.
“We just stay focused on us,” said Stickles. “We will work hard to continue to do things the way we’ve been doing them, and find ways to improve.
“That’s what we’re going to do Monday, we’re going to sit down, we’re going to fix our mistakes, and move on.”