TORONTO - The Beallsville Blue Devils used a little defense, a little power running, and a lot of Gage Steele to spoil Toronto's Homecoming Friday.
Led by Steele's 128 yards rushing, 60 yards receiving, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on defense, the Blue Devils controlled the Red Knights from start to finish en route to a 27-7 win at Clarke Hinkle Stadium.
"Gage is capable of having games like that," said Beallsville head coach Paul Kanzigg. "He's had a couple of other games where he just stood out. That's the type of ballplayer he is. He's capable of doing all that.
BEALLSVILLE’S Gage Steele turns the corner against the Toronto defense Friday night. Steele had a huge game in leading the Blue Devils to a 27-7 victory.
"He's a hard runner, he was injured earlier in the year, and we're lucky to have him and some others back."
Added Meek about his team's loss, "First off I want to give credit to Beallsville. I'm a little embarrassed offensively and defensively.
"I thought that was probably our worst played game of the year, which at this time of year there's no excuse for that. We played well the last two weeks, and tonight we didn't play well.
"It's just one of those nights, but at this time of year there's no excuses to perform like that."
Beallsville had things moving from the night's opening possession. Starting things off with great field position at their own 44-yard line, the Blue Devils marched down to score on eight plays.
Steele and quarterback Teryn Jarrett were the main forces on the drive with Steele garnering a run of 11 yards, Jarrett breaking off a 22-yard run, and the two connecting on an 11-yard pass and a three-yard score. Mason Campbell kicked the point after for the 7-0 Beallsville lead.
"Give Beallsville credit," said Meek. "They had a long bus ride, came in, played well, and we didn't. It was not a good performance on our part."
After a Red Knights' three-and-out, the Blue Devils went back to work. This time they marched 78 yards on 13 plays for the score. Jarrett and Steel connected three times on the drive for 35 yards and Steele carried the ball five times for 26 yards.
Bruce Sefert got in the mix, carrying the rock three times for 14 yards, including a two-yard score to cap the six minute, eight second drive. Campbell's point after gave Beallsville the 14-0 advantage late in the first quarter.
"It feels fantastic because they have a quality ball team, and they have a lot of speed," said Kanzigg. "We've been scoring a lot of points, but we've given up a lot of points too.
"We thought if we could come out and control the ball to keep their offense contained a little bit it would be a good strategy. Even though we score a lot of points, we knew how much they could score."
Sefert scored again with just over five minutes left in the first half, this time from eight yards out to cap a five-play, 49-yard voyage. The extra point bounced off the crossbar no good following a five-yard penalty, but Beallsville led 20-0.
Toronto found a little life about midway through the third quarter. Chez and Blaze Glenn made up the entire scoring drive with Chez Glenn carrying the ball twice for 38 yards, Blaze Glenn twice for seven yards, and the two hooking up for a 20-yard score on a screen pass. Joey Chadwick's PAT cut the lead to 20-7.
On the ensuing possession the Blue Devils answered. Marching 80 yards in 12 plays, Beallsville finished off the Red Knights. Sefert and Steele were the main cogs in the drive with Sefert gaining 24 yards on 5 touches while Steele tallying 26 yards on four carries, including a scoring run of four yards. Jarrett completed two passes for 30 yards on the drive as well, and Campbell's third point after set the score at 27-7.
"The line stepped up and played tonight," said Kanzigg. "We've had lots of injuries, but they came together, and played well tonight against this team."
Offensively the Blue Devils garnered 22 first downs on the evening. Sefert joined Steele with a nice game on the ground, tallying 84 yards on 17 rushes to go with his two scores, as Beallsville racked up 244 yards on 43 run plays.. Jarrett completed 13-of-24 passes for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"The last two weeks we were very aggressive," said Meek. "Tonight we were not. We went back to tackling and playing against the run like we did earlier in the year.
"I've done this a long time, and I've never really been baffled, but I'm not happy with our performance."
The Red Knights were held to just 146 yards of offense. Chez Glenn led the team with seven carries for 43 yards and two catches for 29 yards and a score. Nate Stewart caught three passes for 21 yards. Blaze Glenn was 9-for-20 for 91 yards a touchdowns and two picks.
"We contained them pretty well," said Kanzigg. "That was our focus all week, to contain the quarterback.
"We wanted to make him run up the middle where we had help because from what I'd seen if he got outside he was going to kill you."
Toronto (2-5) travels to Conotton Valley Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Beallsville (2-5) travels to Bridgeport Friday.