Bellaire stays perfect after besting HC

BELLAIRE — Despite four turnovers and a couple of costly penalties, Bellaire is still undefeated after three weeks of high school football action.

The Big Reds used a strong running game and a staunch defense in posting a hard-earned, 14-7, victory over Harrison Central Saturday afternoon at soggy Nelson Field. It was the Buckeye 8 opener for each squad.

“I just told the kids congratulations on being 3-0. It’s been so long that I can’t even remember,” said Bellaire head coach Mark Spigarelli, who spent several years on the Big Reds staff before being elevated to head coach three years ago. “That’s a testament to these kids because they have been lifting since January. I wouldn’t change these kids for anything in the world. They play hard and never quit.”

The Big Reds scored on their first possession of the game after holding the Huskies (0-3) on downs near midfield. They converted a pair of third-down plays on the eight-play drive, including an 8-yard TD strike from quarterback Bobby Roth to wideout A.J. McCarthy. Roth rolled to his left before finding McCarthy all alone in the left corner of the end zone. Cole LaRoche tacked on the PAT, and it was 7-0 with 6:35 on the first-quarter clock.

Mistakes haunted the hosts in the second quarter, as Kobe Mitchell picked off a Roth pass and Tucker Coultrap fell on a fumble. However, the Bellaire defense was up to the task each time.

“We did what we had to do to score there late in the game for the win,” Spigarelli added.

Following three quarters of stagnant offense, Harrison Central got a spark on the first two plays of the fourth panel.

Senior tailback Tyler West, who didn’t see action in the first quarter, broke a couple of tackles and went 53 yards down the far sidelines. Job Positano evened the score with his placement with 11:39 left to play.

Bellaire came right back, marching 60 yards on seven plays. Trace Sechrest, who lugged the leather 14 times in the second half, was the main contributor. He finished with 17 carries for 181 yards, which included a 21-yard scamper untouched up the middle.

“He was a man among boys today,” Spigarelli said. “He was holding the ball with two arms and did a great job. Our line also did a super job of blowing them (Harrison Central) off the line, allowing him to get those yards.”

The line included center Daniel Lednik, right guard Joey Hoepfner, right tackle Connor Rosen, left tackle Levi Littell and left guard Chase Nolan.

Cole Porter added 77 on 16 trips for Bellaire.

The Huskies had a chance on the final play of the game, but Mitchell’s heave from midfield was knocked down.

Harrison Central could only manage 201 yards of offense, with West running for 96 on a dozen trips. Mitchell completed 12 of 21 for 86 yards.

“Field position is always a key in elements like this with the ground being torn up, but both teams had to play in them. I thought we won the field position in the first half,” Harrison Central head coach Anthony Hayes said. “I thought we tackled well but, in a game like this, if you miss a tackle it can be a big play, and it was.”

Bellaire 14, Harrison Central 7

Harrison Central 0 0 0 7 — 7

Bellaire 7 0 0 7 — 14

B: McCarthy 8 pass from Roth (LaRoche kick)

HC: West 53 run (Positano kick)

B: Sechrest 21 run (LaRoche kick)

RUSHING: Harrison Central 26-115-1 (West 12-96-1, Mitchell 7-18, Carpenter 6-2). Bellaire 44-256-1 (T. Sechrest 17-181-1, Porter 16-77, Pitchford 4-21, Albaugh 1-1, team 3-(-2), Roth 3-(-22).

PASSING: Harrison Central 12-21-86-0-1 (all by Mitchell). Bellaire 4-11-57-1-1 (all by Roth).

RECEIVING: Harrison Central 12-86 (Dalton 6-75, West 2-6, McAfee 2-4, Smith 1-6, Marbais 1-(-5). Bellaire 4-57-1 (Porter 1-21, LaRoche 1-19, T. Sechrest 1-9, McCarthey 1-8-1).

FIRST DOWNS: Harrison Central 9; Bellaire 15

FUMBLES-LOST: Harrison Central 1-0; Bellaire 6-3

PENALTIES: Harrison Central 5-40; Bellaire 6-60