Bellaire comes back from 23 down to stun SCC
As Al Michaels once so famously declared: Do you believe in miracles?
Jose Davis and his Bellaire Big Reds needed one big time miracle after another Saturday night at Steubenville’s Harding Stadium.
Left for dead after trailing the host Catholic Central Crusaders 42-19 in the second half, the Reds pulled off a rally for the ages, scoring 25 unanswered points, including the game-winning score as time expired.
Bellaire quarterback Spencer Badia connected on a four-yard out pattern to Nick Patrone with the clock reading 0:00 providing the Big Reds with an emotionally-charged – not to mention heart-stopping 44-42 victory in front of a stunned turnout.
“Obviously, this is huge,” an exhausted Davis related. “Of course, our game plan wasn’t to get behind 23 points, but our kids found a way. We’ll really enjoy (this) bus ride home.”
Bellaire’s improbable comeback began with a Badia to Quinton Crosby TD hookup covering 11 yards with 3:12 remaining in the third period. Dalton Conroy conversion made for a 42-26 lighting.
The Reds quickly regained possession, covering a Crusaders’ fumble.
The turnover eventually led to a 1-yard Nick Maffe scoring blast, 12 ticks into the fourth quarter. Though the two-point conversion failed to connect, it was 42-32.
Bellaire’s defense, shredded early and often, would come back to force a punt and the Reds’ offense was at it again.
Badia, who unleashed 62 passes in the three-plus hour marathon, found sophomore Hunter Westlake on a 45-yard TD aerial with 5:51 still to play, leaving the scoreboard reading, 42-38.
Again regaining possession with 3:52 left, Badia produced a dramatic game-winning drive, converting a clutch 4th down and 11 pass to keep his club afloat.
Using their final two timeouts along the way, a Badia hookup reached the Central four with six seconds remaining.
Following a quick spike, Badia and Patrone clicked on the game-winner, resulting in a wild end zone celebration while the Crusader players looked on in near disbelief.
“We had plenty of confidence in our ability to score points. We just didn’t want to have do it the way it turned out,” Davis smiled. “Hopefully, this momentum carries over for our home opener next Saturday.”
In addition to Badia’s 421 aerial yards, Patrone amassed 160 receiving yards. Davis saluted the entire Reds’ receiving corps and Badia for standing tall in the face of major adversity.
Bellaire welcomes John Marshall in a 12:30 kickoff on Saturday.
A complete report and final stats of Saturday night’s game will be published in Monday’s Times Leader.