Blue Devils still seeking first win
Bishop Donahue coach John Durdines wanted his team to keep the chains moving Friday night in Beallsville, as the Green-and-Gold kept it mainly on the ground in a 39-14 win.
Utilizing the 1-2 backfield duo of seniors Jordan Bonar and Saquan Hill, the Bishops never trailed in earning their second win in seven career meeting with the Blue Devils.
The game was stopped with 10:41 to go after a second Beallsville player was taken from the field by ambulance. Durdines and BHS coach Paul Kanzigg agreed to play jayvees the rest of the game, but school officials made the call to halt the contest.
“We’ve got two horses (Bonar, Hill) we can run plays through,” said Durdines, as his club moved to 2-1. We stressed running the ball all week in practice, something we didn’t take advantage of (vs. Clay-Battelle).
“If we’re to reach the next level, we need to run the ball and have success when the other team knows we’re going to run it.”
Both coaches agreed the turning point of the game may have come on a 3rd-and-9 on the opening series.
From his 35, Donahue sophomore QB Jesse Padlow calmly found Bonar for a 16-yard gain to the Blue Devil 49. Nine running plays ensued with Bonar crashing in from a yard out at 7:02. Lavonte Hampton’s PAT made it 7-0.
“(Jesse) was a little jittery on that first drive,” said Durdines, “but he made a good pass to keep the drive going and put us on top.”
Kanzigg added, “the opening drive and the first down completion kept the momentum with (Donahue), but we simply aren’t making our tackles.”
A 3-and-out by the hosts led to a second Bishop TD drive starting at its 41.
Padlow threw a short toss in the flat to Bonar, who did the rest, weaving his way 56 yards for the score at 3:58. The PAT failed, but it was 13-0.
A muffed punt by a BD player led to a 66-yard scoring march for Big Blue. Tubaugh pulled in two catches for 14 and 21, and Bruce Sefert added another for 10. Sefert’s one-yard TD run, and Tristan Palmer’s PAT on the opening second quarter play, made it 13-7.
Hill, who accounted for 122 yards and two TDs, made it 19-7 at 6:49 on a two-yard run, and the Bishops closed the half at 27-7 when Bonar hauled in a 14-yard Padlow aerial with :14 showing. Hill added the bonus run.
Beallsville opened the second half with a 66-yard TD march capped by Sefert’s two-yard dive. QB Teryn Jarrett completed passes of 18 (to Mikey Palmer) and 32 (to Gage Steele) on the drive.
Donahue chewed up the majority of the third quarter on the ensuing series, but the drive stalled at the Blue Devil 10.
The hosts punted and six plays later Hill found pay dirt from two yards out at 11:07 of the fourth fir a 33-14 edge.
After the kickoff, Big Blue ran two plays, but the second resulted in an interception and 29-yard return by Hampton, which would be the final play of the contest.
The Bishops received major contributions on the defensive line from seniors Nick Fallova and Gino Aquilino, junior Lane LeMasters, and sophomore Chase Padlow. Sophomore Brett Moore was solid from his linebacker slot.
Beallsville’s Dalton Secrest and Robert Valentine made their presence felt on the defensive side.
“We’re struggling despite having a solid week of practice,” said Kanzigg. Big Blue, now 0-3, will celebrate homecoming, Friday, versus Cameron.
Donahue returns home Saturday in Moundsville when St. John Central invades.