WINTERSVILLE - Coming into the Friday's match up between Indian Creek and Bellaire consensus was the Redskins had an advantage on defense and in the running game.
Those two things did not play out on the field as the Big Reds outgained the home squad 212-139 on the ground, and held the Redskins to 200 total yards and one offensive touchdown as Bellaire rolled to a 31-13 victory at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.
"I think it's just something where you have to play with a chip on your shoulder because that's what everyone lags us about, our defense," said Bellaire head coach Jose Davis. "They're so bad, so bad, so bad, and there comes a time where, as a man, you have to take that as an insult, and you've got to play with a chip on your shoulder. Our kids are getting that. They're playing with a chip on their shoulder, and we just have to continue. We'll celebrate this one tonight, and we're back in the lab in a few days."
Momentum was tipped into the Redskins direction after Tyler Lathem picked up a Cory Goodrich blocked field goal and raced 95 yards for a 13-7 Indian Creek advantage, and Goodrich stopped the ensuing Big Reds possession with an interception.
Brendon Ross sent momentum right back to Bellaire's sideline with a huge hustle play. Blake Roar broke loose for a 31-yard run, and Ross stuck with the play, ran down the ball carrier, punched the ball free from behind and recovered it at the Big Reds' 37-yard line.
"That's one of the things we teach the kids," said Davis. "Good things happen when you hustle, and that was a great hustle play right there. Obviously, something great happened there because he hustled, created the fumble, and that changed things.
"We were on the verge of some bad things happening, and that turned it around. He did a good job of hustling, creating the fumble, and we got the ball back."
Six plays later Bellaire found the end zone. It was the Badia and Brandon Laughman show on the drive as Badia completed two passes from 15 yards, including a 10-yarder to Laughman, and had a 22-yard scramble with Laughman adding a 29-yard run. Badia pushed in from 1-yard out and Cody LaRoche gave the Big Reds a 14-13 lead with the point after.
After the Bellaire defense forced a turnover on downs Laughman set up another touchdown with a 55-yard run down to the Redskins' 3-yard line. A pair of Hunter Westlake runs later Bellaire scored and LaRoche made the score 21-13 with the extra point.
That score stood at halftime.
"Some of that is we've been fighting what we have all year, inconsistency," said Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor. "Our worst enemy has been us. Take nothing away from Bellaire. They played well. Coach Davis did a great job. Some of the things you do when you miss an assignment fall squarely on you as a team. I can't go any further than to say if it falls on the team, I'm in charge of the team.
Indian Creek's defense came up big to start the second half with a turnover on downs at the Bellaire 44-yard line, and the offense proceeded to drive to the 6-yard line after 7 run plays.
The Big Reds defense stepped up from their dropping the Redskins for losses of 6 and 2 on the next 2 plays, and then forced and incompletion on third and goal from the 14. Ross picked off the fourth down pass into the end zone, and Bellaire went right back at it from its own 20.
Eight plays and a pass interference call later the Big Reds scored on a 34-yard Badia to Nick Patrone scoring toss. LaRoche was true again on the point after for the 28-13 score with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
LaRoche added a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the 31-13 final.
Each team scored on its opening possession.
The Redskins struck first with a 53-yard pass from Jonathan Woodbury to Zach Connor. Lee Utt made it 7-0 on the point after.
Bellaire tied the game with a 30-yard Badia to Patrone hook up followed by LaRoche's extra point.
The Big Reds had 225 passing yards to go with their 212 rushing yards. Laughman led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 162 yards. Badia was 15-26 for 225 with two scores and a pick. Patrone had 4 grabs fro 95 yards and caught both Badia touchdowns.
"When you have a quarterback like Spencer Badia people are going to think that," said Davis. "They think you're going to pass, pass, pass, but you have to be able to stay balanced.
"You have to be able to run the ball, and we've been able to do that the past three weeks.
"That's going to open things up for us throwing the ball, and that's what happened tonight. We're going to keep plugging away."
Indian Creek received 17 carries for 66 yards from Blake Roar and 10 carries for 43 yards from Michael Puorro. Woodbury had 61 yards passing on 3 completions with a touchdown and a pick.
Indian Creek (4-2) travels to Union Local next Friday at 7 p.m. while Bellaire (4-2) hosts St. Clairsville next Saturday at 12:30 p.m.