MANLIUS — Parker Neuhalfen put it out there.
And then he didn’t back down.
After the Bureau Valley football team beat Hall 42-21 in a convincing fashion — and after Three Rivers Athletic Conference North Division favorite Sterling Newman lost earlier Saturday — the Storm’s junior quarterback said he believes BV is one of — if the not the best — team in the conference.
“I’m glad that we came out and showed everyone in the conference that we’re here this year. I’m really excited for the rest of the year,” said Neuhalfen, who reiterated his belief. “I think we can be as good as any team in this conference. As long as we play four quarters and play like I know we can, I think we can be pretty good.”
Against Hall, the Storm proved Neuhalfen may just be right.
In a game that started Friday night, was suspended and then completed Saturday night, the Storm never trailed as they built a 16-0 early-first-quarter lead and then turned a 16-13 contest into a blowout as BV outscored Hall 20-0 in Friday’s second quarter before lightning came.
On Saturday, the Storm put the finishing touches on the season-opening win.
And Neuhalfen had a lot to do with it.
The second-year starting quarterback ran for 79 yards and three touchdowns and in the air was 5-for-6 for 136 yards and a touchdown.
In all, he either threw or ran for 46 percent of the Storm’s offensive yards, and it helped BV build a 36-13 halftime lead on Friday.
“We wanted to start the season on the right note and we wanted to do some good things, which we did,” said BV coach Jeff Ohlson, who didn’t let his team watch first-half game film on Friday night or Saturday. “As we told the kids, it’s hard to come back after any type of delay, let alone 24 hours, so to come back, get lined up, go out and play and get ramped back up is just hard.”
While the Storm won Friday’s first half and the game, the Red Devils won Saturday’s second half.
After BV’s Tucker Schoff scored on a 42-yard third-quarter touchdown run, Hall’s defense shut out the Storm the rest of the way, while a 10-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run by Hall sophomore running back Chris Hammonds and a two-point conversion run by Jake Byczynski allowed the Red Devils to outscored BV 8-6 on Saturday.
“I think we could’ve come over here and laid a complete egg and did nothing in the second half, but we came out and actually won the second half 8-6,” Hall coach Randy Tieman said. “We made some adjustments (Saturday) morning, the kids saw what they were doing wrong and I think we played a lot better defense.”
Byczynski ran for a team-high 122 yards and a touchdown for Hall, while senior quarterback Taggart Venegas was 3-for-9 passing for 99 yards and an interception. Hammonds rushed for two touchdowns for Hall.
For the Storm, Schoff finished with a game-high 138 yards and two touchdowns, while Tommy Johnston ran for 71 yards and caught three passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Note: In Friday’s sophomore contest, Hall’s Tony Keeney caught the go-ahead touchdown from quarterback Drew Pullam with 51 seconds left and then the Hall defense made a stand inside its 15-yard line to give the Demons a 20-16 win over the Storm.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.