Beallsville upends Bulldogs for second victory, 35-13
MARTINS FERRY — Beallsville doesn’t have a lot of pieces.
But, the ones available to first-year coach Rusty Lucas are highly versatile. That was on display Saturday night against Bridgeport.
The Blue Devils had four different players score at least one touchdown and their defense turned back a late Bulldogs’ red-zone trip to regain momentum and go on for a 35-13 victory at the Dave Bruney Football Complex.
The win improves the Blue Devils to 2-4 entering a Friday night home game against Madonna this week. Bridgeport, meanwhile, is now 0-6 and begins a three-game road swing Friday at Morgantown Trinity.
“We’ve been close in a few games, but I think this is a big step in getting over the hump to the point where the kids believe they can win,” Lucas said.
The Blue Devils flashed their offensive versatility early and often. They accumulated 356 yards of total offense with 225 coming on the ground against a Bulldogs’ defense, which continues to give up large chunks of yardage.
“Defensively, it’s been a struggle all year,” disappointed Bridgeport head coach Fred Ray said. “We’ve had some guys banged up, we have some guys in spots they probably should be in, but because of our depth and stuff, we have to use them there and when we go up against a team with a lot of older guys, like Beallsville, it’s tough. It’s one of those things we have to continue to grow through.”
One of those older players who Ray was speaking about is also one of the Blue Devils’ most versatile.
That being senior Dakota Phillips, who did a little bit of everything for his team.
Phillips’ stat line included two rushing touchdowns, which covered 7 and 5 yards. He rushed 17 times for 118 yards. He threw a beautiful strike to Kollin Ludwig for a 45-yard touchdown, which actually served as the first knock-out blow in the fourth quarter.
On top of those stats, Phillips picked off a pass. He connected on four PAT kicks and had a two-point conversion run.
“I was proud of the offense because they really executed well,” Lucas said. “Dakota is a great athlete, but I knew Bridgeport would try to key on him, so we had to get some other guys involved.”
As well as Beallsville played, Bridgeport still found itself down just a score with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.
The Bulldogs marched to the Blue Devils’ 6 yard line in 12 plays, eating more than five minutes off the clock. However, on a fourth-down play, the ball was snapped over the head of freshman quarterback Collin Jackson and pounced on by Beallsville’s Dyson Duvall.
“Our defense came up big,” Lucas confessed. “We’ve been moving people around and not giving the same look every time. We got a huge turnover, which was a big momentum swing.”
Nine plays and almost five minutes later, Phillips and Ludwig hooked up for the aforementioned touchdown.
“It seems like I say the same things every week, but it’s the unfortunate part of not learing from our mistakes,” Ray said. “We have talented kids, but they’re just not there yet because a lot of them are first and second-year kids. Whether it’s not converting in the red zone, turnovers or penalties, those are things we’ve been battling all year.”
Beallsville defense held on downs and the Blue Devils delivered the final knock-out blow when Phillips plunged in for his second touchdown.
On top of Phillips’ exploits, Beallsville received a steady performance from Wyatt Brown, who rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 35-yard touchdown to James Schnegg.
Bridgeport’s offense showed some flashes, accumulating 314 yards. The Bulldogs scored on the first play from scrimmage when Jackson found Skylar Hatten for a 54-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs’ offense moved the ball well at times, but Beallsville bent, but didn’t break. Cayden Williams was solid running the ball. He finished with 157 yards and scored on 5-yard run.
At halftime, Jessa Stockwell selected the odd colored flower and was crowned homecoming queen.