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Bellefonte tops BEA to take Curtin Bowl victory

BELLEFONTE – Bellefonte notches back-to-back championships capturing its annual Iron Curtin rivalry against rivalry game Bald Eagle Friday night.

With a strong defensive effort, the Red Raiders outlasted their cross county foes 17-7 on its home turf.

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 through the air.

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 2:40 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 lateraled the ball back to Rossman and he found a wide open Jalen Emel who was flying down the field. The hook up went for a 46-yard pass play.

With the Persiko kick, the Red Raiders went into the intermission leading 10-0.

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 nine.

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 PAT, the Eagles trailed only 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.”

Bald Eagle and Bellefonte both carry a 2-3 record into next week’s contest.

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 Rossman 46-yard TD pass to Jalen Emel (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),


                                    BEA     BEL

First Downs                9         8

Rushes-Yards     24-139 40-162

Comp-Att-Int     14-35-0 7-17-0

Passing Yards        225      124

Total Plays-Yards  38-364 47-286

Fumbles-Lost       3-1        3-0

Penalties-Yards   6-62    7-83



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: Bald Eagle Area -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.

Interceptions— BEA – 0. BEL – 0.

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