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Bellefonte wins Curtin Bowl over Bald Eagle Area, 17-7

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Bellefonte players celebrate with the Curtin Bowl Trophy after defeating rival Bald Eagle Area on Friday night

BELLEFONTE — Bellefonte notches back-to-back Iron Curtin Bowl wins against rival Bald Eagle Area, 17-7, on its home turf with a strong defensive effort.

Defensively, the Red Raiders and Bald Eagles dug deep in the trenches as each came up with clutch plays when called upon.

But the Red Raiders allowed just seven points as its defense recovered a fumble and allowed just 139 yards rushing.

“I thought it was the first time this year I thought the intensity matched that of the offense,” said Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning. “I thought they were intense. I thought they wanted to win the football game.”

Offensively, Bald Eagle got a strong effort from Eric Burns who threw for 225 yards. Bellefonte’s ground it out attack stood out as it cranked out 162 yards rushing.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Red Raiders started to drive as the period came to an end. They started back up in the second quarter continuing on a 14-play drive.

After setting up for a field goal attempt, the kick sailed wide, sending them away empty handed. But the defense would get the ball back to Bellefonte after it forced a punt.

Taking back possession, Bellefonte marched back down the field and this time Dan Persiko hit a 26-yard field goal, making it 3-0 with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in the half.

They weren’t done yet as the Bellefonte defense forced the Eagles to punt the ball away once again with less than 1:46 left. Starting at its own 11, Ryan Fitzgerald broke out around the end for a 17-run.

Rossman took the next two runs and got his team to its own 44.

The Red Raiders went to its bag of tricks to get its first score.

Bellefonte scored when it went for double reverse. After the reverse, they tossed the ball back to Rossman and he found a wide open Fitzgerald who was flying down the field for 46 yards. The score gave the Red Raiders a 10-0 lead at the half.

The Eagles defense stiffened in the second half. It didn’t allow a first down to deep in the the third. It would be a defensive play by the Bellefonte defense that would lead to its team’s next touchdown.

Bald Eagle was pinned down at its own 24 when Burns went back and was sacked causing him to fumble. As the ball bounced backwards, it would be Bellefonte that jumped on it.

When the dust settled, the Red Raiders had a first-and-10 on the Bald Eagle 9. Three plays later, quarterback Logan Houser found Jalen Emel in the end zone, upping the lead to 17-0.

However, the Eagles battled back to make a game of it as it scored early in the fourth quarter.

Burns found a wide open Owen Irwin for the touchdown and after the extra point, the Eagles trailed just 17-7 with over five minutes left.

But the Bellefonte defense took over and shut the door on the game.

“It was a game of inches. Honestly, we lost the game. They (Bellefonte) played well, but we lost the game,” said Bald Eagle coach Jesse Nagle. “We had so many guys that were overthrown or under thrown. We just couldn’t finish.”

Bellefonte 17, Bald Eagle 7

BEA 0 0 0 7 – 7

Bellefonte 0 10 7 0 – 17

Second Quarter

BEL – Dan Persiko 36-yard FG,2:40

BEL – Ethan Ross 46-yard TD pass to Ryan Fitzgerald (Persiko kick), :34

Third Quarter

BEL- Logan Houser 11-yard TD pass to Jalen Emel (Hayden Walker kick), :34.

Fourth Quarter

BEA – Eric Burns 57-yard TD pass to Owen Irvin (Carter Stere kick),

TEAM STATISTICS

BEA Bel

First downs 9 8

Rushes-yards 24-139 40-162

Passing yards 225 124

Total yards 364 286

C-A-I 14-35-0 7-17-0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0

Penalties-yards 6-62 7-83

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BEA – Hayden Vaughn 10-52, Eric Burns 8-36, Owen Irwin 1-6, Gavin Eckley 5-35. Bellefonte – Ethan Rossman 13-42, Jamal Saunders 8-23, Jalen Emel 8-83, Ryan Fitzgerald 5-25, Logan Houser 6-(-11).

PASSING: BEA -Burns 14-35 225. Bellefonte – Rossman 6-16 113, Houser 1-1 11.

RECEIVING: BEA – Vaughn 4-46, Eckley 2-24, Irvin 6-123, 2-34. Bellefonte – Emel 2-18, BLandon Hawkins 3-55, Fitzgerald 1-46, Nic Capperelle 1-5.

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