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Written by: Tristan Klinefelter on Friday, October 30th, 2020
The Richland Rams punch their ticket to the District 6 AA championship game with a 29-0 win over Bellwood-AntisPhoto by: Suzanne Leitenberger
Friday nights district six double a semifinal between the top-seeded Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils and the fourth-seeded Richland Rams were dominated by a touch running Rams running game along with a very good defense leading them to a 29-0 win and punching their ticket to the district championship game. Leading the Rams rushing attack is Junior quarterback Kellan Stahl who finished the night with 94 yards rushing and a touchdown and added 190 yards passing and two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense allowed almost no offense on the night and stopped the Blue Devils on three different fourth-down attempts. However, through the game, the Bellwood defense caused more turnovers on the night.
Sophomore Sam Penna finished the game with 5 catches for 89 yards and 2 touchdownsPhoto by: Suzanne Leitenberger
To start the game off the Blue Devils return man Connor Gibbons took the ball down into Rams territory but this would be the only offensive spark for the Blue Devils on the night. The first Rams fourth-down stop would come on the first possession of the game on a fourth and six from the 36-yard line the Blue Devils failed to convert. The Rams wasted no time as on this possession they converted on three different fourth-down attempts and the third-fourth down resulted in a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Stahl. The point-after attempt was good giving the Rams a 7-0 lead with 4:26 to go in the first quarter. The following Blue Devil possession was a struggle as they couldn’t find any breathing room. After a penalty on a third-down the Richland, defense got to quarterback Zach Pellegrine for a huge sack down to the three-yard line. This sack would be the last play of the first quarter.
To start the second quarter the Rams received the punt but couldn’t convert on a fourth down from right outside the red zone. On a fourth and five, the Blue Devils came up big and were able to get the ball back. However, again the offense struggled and they were forced to give the ball back. On the Rams next possession Stahl would find Sophomore receiver Sam Penna from 33 yards out. The two-point conversion was successful when Penna threw it to Stahl in the corner of the endzone. This pushed the Rams lead to 15-0 with 4:08 to play in the half. The Blue Devils finally found a spark on offense but were quickly shut down again on a fourth-down attempt being shut down by the Rams defense. The Rams would take the ball with 1:42 to go in the half and try and score. The Rams were driving but Stahl would end up fumbling the ball at the 17-yard line, stalling the offense and making the halftime score 15-0 Rams.
Photo by: Suzanne Leitenberger
To start the second half the Rams received the ball but wouldn’t hold onto it long as Stahl would heave the ball downfield only to be intercepted by Sophomore Gaven Ridgway. The following Blue devils drive just like many others in this game stalled after a fourth-down attempt failed to give the Rams the ball on the 49-yard line. This drive the Rams were able to find the endzone. On a fourth and one from the 12-yard line Stahl found Junior Demont Johnson on a crossing route down to the five-yard line. Two plays later Junior Griffin Larue rushed in on a jet sweep from five yards out. The point-after attempt was good giving the Rams a 22-0 lead.
The fourth quarter would be dominated by Richland. To cap off the scoring in the game Stahl found Penns again this time from 40 yards out. The point-after attempt was good making the score 29-0 Richland which would be the final score of the game. After the game, Penna was asked how he felt having two big touchdowns to help his team advance to the championship game and he said, “ It feels pretty great, I’ve been wanting to do this since last year seeing this program do what they do, it feels good to be a part of it”. The Richland Rams will face the winner of the Marion Center and Cambria Heights game next week. As for the Blue Devils, their postseason run comes to an end but they have two remaining games on their schedule against Moshannon Valley and the Tyrone Golden Eagles.
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