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Red Raiders end losing skid

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – The losing streak is over!

After a trail of 19 losses in a row, the Bellefonte football team ended the streak in grand fashion defeating Centre County rival Philipsburg-Oscoela 36-0 Friday night at the Red Raiders home turf.

It was quite a defensive effort for the home team – holding the Mounties to 117 yards of total offense on the evening.

Leading the ground attack for Bellefonte was Austin Jackson finishing with a game high 105 yards. For Jackson, most of his excitement came in the first half –posting a 102-yard effort and added an interception as well.

Bellefonte forced the P-O offense into three turnover which the Red Raiders made the most of- scoring on each one.

“We got off on the right track. We were a little sloppy to start the second half but defensively we played a solid game the whole way through,” Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning said. “When you get down to the one yard line and we stop it well..We’re going in the right direction.”

After forcing the Mounties to punt in their first possession of the game, the Red Raiders wasted little time coming out and making a statement.

Starting at its own 40, it took just two carries by Jackson and a final 15-yard jaunt by teammate Nick Jabco to give Bellefonte the lead.

However, the extra point failed, giving the “Red and White” an early 6-0 advantage.

The defense remained tough in the Mounties second turn on offense, forcing a second punt and handing the ball back to the fiery offense.

Quarterback Mark Armstrong led his troops downfield and on the fifth play of the drive, he found a wide-open Kellen Moss for the Red Raiders second score of the game. The 2-point conversion was successful and Bellefonte held a 14-0 lead with 5:25 left in the opening quarter.

As the second quarter got underway, the Red Raiders were running like a well oiled machine and it took another defensive stand to keep the Mounties ground game at bay.

Two plays in for the Red Raiders, the team gave it to Jackson and he took it from their, scoring on a misdirection run. His blazing speed was too much for the Mounties’ defense as he blazed around the end and all the way in for the touchdown.

As things weren’t going bad enough for Philipsburg, they became turnover prone in the last two scoring drives of the half.

Leading 20-0, Bellefonte put a hit on receiver Levi Hughes causing him to cough up the ball.

Dillon Kephart’s 52-yard scamper on first down, put his team down at the two. Kephart’s name was called to finish things off on the following play and he did not disappoint, upping the lead with the conversion to 28-0.

Fumbleitis hit the Mounties on their next possession, giving the ball back once again to the Rumbling Red Raiders.

Runningback Storm Smith put the game into Mercy Rule territory when he pounded the ball in from the one with 8:30 left in the second.

Things did not change in the intermission as the Red Raider defense held on in the final two periods to secure the shut out. Most importantly, for the Red Raiders it provided them a relief that their losing streak would be just a memory.

“I guarantee all the kids over there will feel about 50 pounds lighter tomorrow,” Manning said. “It feels good! It feels good.”

Bellefonte travels to West Virginia next Friday night, hoping to add another victory to the win column.

 

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