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home : sports : sports   May 29, 2016

10/7/2013 10:49:00 AM
Prep football: St. Bede loses to Rockridge

St. Bede junior wide receiver Matt Szczepaniak dives for a ball Saturday in a 55-20 loss to Rockridge in a Three Rivers Conference South Division matchup.NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
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St. Bede junior wide receiver Matt Szczepaniak dives for a ball Saturday in a 55-20 loss to Rockridge in a Three Rivers Conference South Division matchup.
NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
St. Bede junior running back Justin Shaw cuts upfield to avoid the Rockridge defense Saturday.NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
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St. Bede junior running back Justin Shaw cuts upfield to avoid the Rockridge defense Saturday.
NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Jared Bell
NewsTribune Sports Writer

John Bellino doesn’t want his St. Bede football team to forget Saturday.

After the Bruins allowed three touchdowns on Rockridge’s first three offensive series and were blown out 55-20 by Rockridge in Saturday’s Homecoming game at the Academy, the SBA coach hopes his team remembers and uses the loss in the future.

“Hopefully, this will motivate us,” Bellino said. “We’ve got to play better than we did today. I think we just got beat by a really good football team.”

The Bruins struggled from the start of Saturday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division game.

On the first play of the game, Rockridge quarterback Darren Southwell threw for a 35-yard completion.

Fours plays later, he found receiver Luke Johnson for a 10-yard TD pass to give the Rockets a 6-0 lead just 1:25 into the game.

Following a three-and-out by the Bruins (4-2, 1-2 TRC South), the Rockets (6-0, 4-0 TRC South) needed just two plays to find the end zone as Johnson caught a 55-yard TD pass from Southwell to give Rockridge a 14-0 lead just 3:08 into the game.

After a second three-and-out series by SBA, Southwell scored again on Rockridge’s next possession as he ran for a 53-yard touchdown to give the Rockets a 22-0 advantage with 5:31 left in the first quarter.

“We’ve done that a couple of weeks in a row — started fast,” said Rockridge coach Sam Graves, who has family in Putnam County. “That got us in a good position because I’m sure it got them off their game plan.”

The Rockets — ranked No. 5 in Class 2A — added a fourth first-quarter score and a fifth touchdown midway through the second quarter as they built a 34-0 lead with 6:18 left before half.

“They executed well and there’s not a flaw in them. We tried a lot of different things,” Bellino said. “They are strong and fast and just a good football team, and we expected everything that happened, but we just were not able to do what we needed to do.”

The Bruin offense finally broke through in the final minute of the first half as junior quarterback Jack Brady threw a 12-yard touchdown to freshman receiver Braidy Shipp to cut the deficit to 34-7 with 48.2 seconds to go.

St. Bede continued the momentum as it marched down the field on the opening series of the second half. The Bruins went 60 yards on six plays and scored a 3-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Michael Bellino.

On the Rockets’ next series, senior running back Dalton McManus fumbled away possession and St. Bede’s Joey Acosta recovered the loose ball to give SBA possession at Rockridge’s 45-yard line.

“I can’t give it a candy coating and say that was good for us,” Graves said of the start of the third quarter. “We were dead at halftime. It was almost like our kids thought the game was over. You could tell watching the kids warm-up and stretch that we were a little quiet and it was almost as if they thought the game was already over. We told them at halftime, ‘This team is going to come out with everything they have. St Bede is not a team that is going to lay down for you.’”

However, Rockridge rebounded as it recovered a fumble by Brady, and the Rockets intercepted three Brady passes in the game.

“In the second half, we drove the ball a little bit, but we had a couple of key mistakes,” John Bellino said. “But when you get behind, you’re going to try and force things.

“Now we know what a good team looks like and we’ve got to come out and execute a little better than what we did today.”

Brady finished 12-for-24 for 186 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, while Justin Shaw was held to just 57 yards rushing but did catch three passes for 72 yards.

Southwell finished 8-for-19 for 176 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 117 yards and a score.

McManus rushed for 181 yards and two TDs. 

Notes: Retired WLPO-AM sports director Lanny Slevin received the IHSA Distinguished Media Award at halftime. … Also at half, the Academy acknowledged its class reunions, and before the game, held a ceremony honoring its  Hall of Fame inductees. … Rockridge the sophomore game 40-6.

Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: rolex

seems a highlight early in the 3rd quarter was overlooked , Ham (25) ran on a punt return for 60 or more yards for one of the three touchdown.. yet no mention?

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