Panthers fall to 0-5

YORKVILLE – Bellaire senior quarterback Spencer Badia threw for two scores, but it was the ground game that put trio of six-pointers on the board and special teams that added another as the Big Reds notched their third win of the season with a 43-6 decision over Buckeye Local on the Panther turf at Memorial Stadium Friday night.

Jose Davis’ Big Reds improved to 3-2. They head to Indian Creek next week.

Coach Phil Pest’s Panthers continued their struggles falling to 0-5 on the season. Buckeye is on the road Friday, visiting Edison.

“When we looked at the films of their last two games and how they played at Indian Creek, we weren’t expecting this,” Big Reds coach Davis said after the win. “It seemed that whenever they turned the ball over it was inside the red zone, so that had to be doing something right to get there.”

“But my hats to our kids. They came ready to play and played very well.”

“A lot of people look at us and think the all we do is pass the ball and that we are passing 50-60 times a game, but we don’t. We try to be 60-40. This is the second straight game that we ran the ball more than we passed it.”

Davis showed a lot of class early on, by pulling his starters early and staying strictly on the ground.

“We’ve been there ourselves before and I know how it feels when you see how teams will react,” Davis noted. “We just tried to show more class than some of them showed us.”

“It’s going to be a long road for us,” Pest said after the setback. “They have a lot of speed, we didn’t tackle well and their quarterback is probably the best in the valley. Jose showed a lot of class out there.

“We just have to try to get better. Just try to stay the course, talk them up and remain positive. We’re not going to quit on them.”

Bellaire wasted very little time getting on the scoreboard after taking possession on the Buckeye 49 at the 10:50 mark. Badia opened with a 12-yard pass to Tyler West and on the next play Hunter Westlake broke off tackle and rambled 37 yards to the score with 10:11 showing. The PAT missed as they led 6-0.

Following Buckeye’s second punt and Brendon Ross’s 20-yard return, the Big Reds needed just three more plays to add to their lead. After Badia’s 14-yard toss to Kenny Hess, Westlake ran in from the eight with 7:54 on the clock. Cody LaRoche added the PAT for 13-0 lead.

A very short Panther punt set the stage for Bellaire’s third score as Badia capped short drive with seven-yard pass to Nick Patrone with 4:06 left in the first. LaRoche added the PAT.

Patrone intercepted a Buckeye pass with 3:16 on the clock and Badia followed that with a 38-yarder to Ross and then a 10-yard toss to Westlake for the score with 2:35 left. LaRoche again added the PAT for a 27-0 lead.

Buckeye’s lone score came with 11:50 on the fourth quarter clock as Chase Hopkins tossed a seven-yard scoring pass to Logan Dehnart.