Bellaire cruises by Creek, 41-19
WINTERSVILLE – With the meat of its schedule directly in front of it, unbeaten Bellaire traveled to Jefferson County and took care of its business Friday night, setting up a big county match-up with once-beaten St. Clairsville next week.
The Big Reds used defense in the first quarter and two long second quarter drives, both concluding with touchdown runs from junior quarterback Jake Heatherington, to take control and were never threatened in rolling to a 41-19 victory over Indian Creek, spoiling the Redskins’ Homecoming festivities and their first home game of 2021 at Kettlewell Stadium.
“I felt like we did a super job coming in here and taking care of our business,” Head Coach Mark Spigarelli said of his 6-0 Big Reds. “We didn’t do anything on offense early, but we played smart, and our defense played athletic and got things done.”
After a quick three-and-out to begin the contest, Heatherington’s 57-yard punt pinned the Redskins back at their own six. Creek’s first offensive play resulted in a loss of three yards and a fumble, recovered by Big Reds’ senior Jaiden Kesterson at the three. It took the visitors three plays to get the ball into the end zone with a wide-open Colt Sechrest hauling in a four-yard strike from Heatherington at 9:27 to get on the board. The PAT was blocked, and the score stood at 6-0.
Just three plays, and 1:16 later, another Redskins’ mistake increased Bellaire’s lead when junior Ray Ray Pettigrew stepped in front of an Eli Powell pass at the Creek 35 and sailed into the end zone untouched with 8:11 showing. Lucas Littell’s point-after pushed the lead to 13-0.
Spigarelli watched his offense finally get going late in the first quarter and into the second, moving 61 yards on 12 plays and collecting their initial four stick movers of the contest. Heatherington finished things off with a nine-yard run around left end three plays into the second quarter at 10:33 and it was 20-0.
Heatherington’s second carry, and second touchdown, of the night ended just as the first one did, capping another 12-play march that covered 74 yards and finished with a two-yard run with 56 seconds showing in the half that turned it into a 27-0 reading.
Thanks in large part to its final two drives of the half, the Redmen finished with 140 total yards in the first half, while Bellaire’s defense limited the Redskins to just 41 total yards and two first downs, one of those coming via penalty.
Indian Creek finally got the offense moving coming out of the locker room to begin the second half. The Redskins took the second half kickoff and traveled 61 yards on eight plays, including a fourth-down conversion following a Bellaire offsides penalty. Powell’s quick strike to the left to junior C.J. Spencer was hauled in, with Spencer dodging tacklers and tip-toeing down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown at 9:39. The pass for two failed leaving the margin at 27-6.
A Bellaire fumble, a 69-yard Powell keeper and another fourth down conversion pulled Creek to within two touchdowns late in the third quarter. After Powell busted loose on his big run to the Big Reds’ six, the defense clamped down and pushed them back to the 10. However, on fourth down Powell found senior Sam Coleman over the middle for the score at 2:52 to make it 27-12.
But things quickly went the other way for the hosts as Brayden Roth went straight up the middle for 76 yards on Bellaire’s very next plays, just 13 seconds later, to make it a 34-12 count before the Redskins fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up the visitors at the 27. That short drive resulted in a six-yard strike from Heatherington to Sechrest at 11:14 of the fourth for a 41-12 score.
Creek tacked on a late touchdown with a one-yard Zion McGee run with under a minute to play.
“I wasn’t very pleased with our play or the penalties in the second half,” Spigarelli said. “But we got it done. We are going to have to play a lot better over our next four games and into the playoffs, with more discipline and fewer penalties.
“Our defense has played well all season. The kids pay attention, they are great with each other and get along and we get stuff done. Again, we have four great games ahead of us and we are going to have to be prepared to play hard in all of them.”