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home : sports : sports   July 9, 2014

10/10/2013 10:51:00 AM
NT Prep Football Game of the Week preview

St. Bede (4-2, 1-2 TRC South) at Hall (3-3, 1-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Radio: WAJK-FM 99.3, WSOG-FM 88.1

Last week’s results: Rockridge 55, St. Bede 20; Hall 47, Sherrard 24

SBA players to watch: RB Justin Shaw (880 yards, 12 TDs this season), RB/LB Michael Bellino (TD Week 6), QB Jack Brady (area-best 1,336 yards, 14 TDs this season)

Hall players to watch: QB Taggart Venegas (713 yards, 7 TDs this season), RB Collin Aimone (2 TD runs, TD catch Week 6), FB Aaron Kerr (TD Week 6)

St. Bede Academy and Hall High School are located just 3.2 miles apart.
Both teams, however, probably feel even closer to the playoffs.

As the Rt. 6 rivals prepare for Friday’s Week 7 Three Rivers Conference South Division game at Nesti Stadium in Spring Valley, both teams know a win would likely get them into the playoffs.

A victory by St. Bede (4-2, 1-2 TRC South) would make it playoff-eligible with two weeks remaining, while a win by Hall (3-3, 1-2 TRC South) would give it four wins with a Week 9 game with Princeton, which has lost 17 straight games.

“The kids have something to play for this year, where last year at this time it was a battle,” second-year Hall coach Randy Tieman said. “Last week (at Sherrard), we tried to stress how important that game was because I don’t think they realized at the beginning of the week how important a win was. Our No. 1 goal is to try to play Week 10 because anything can happen when you get into the playoffs.”

The Red Devils are looking to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the post-Gary Vicini era, and a fourth win would be the program’s most since 2010.

“Everything has just changed,” Hall senior fullback Aaron Kerr said of last year to this year. “The intensity is just different. Last year, we wanted to win, but not as bad as this year.”

The Bruins are aiming to bounce back after last week’s blowout loss to Rockridge on Homecoming. A win would help SBA’s goal to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season and for the ninth time in the last 11 years.

“I think it’s a really big game,” SBA senior fullback/linebacker Michael Bellino said. “Coming off a really tough loss last weekend, it’d be nice to bounce back with a win, especially against a team like Hall, which is going to be all hyped up. It’ll be a huge game and a big atmosphere given it’s their Homecoming and that there will likely be a lot of people there.”

Bellino and the Bruins will face a Hall squad led by senior quarterback Taggart Venegas, who led SBA to the Class 3A playoffs last season before he transferred to Hall in February.

“We don’t want our kids to be concerned about (playing Taggart),” SBA coach John Bellino said. “We’re not playing him. We’re playing Hall and he just happens to be the quarterback.”

The Red Devils are led by Venegas, who has thrown for 713 yards and seven touchdowns this season, including three scores last week.

“They’ve gotten better, and are playing with a lot of enthusiasm right now,” John Bellino said. “Taggart has opened the game up for them, so they are very versatile. I think we’re just going to have to get past the big crowd and forget last week and play our game.”

After scoring just 13 points on offense last week, the Bruins will look to bounce back. SBA is led by junior quarterback Jack Brady, who has thrown for an area-best 1,336 yards and 14 scores.

On the ground, junior running back Justin Shaw is eighth in the area with 417 yards rushing and is tied for fourth with eight touchdowns.

“We saw them on film, and they run a lot of double wing, double spread with tight splits,” Tieman said. “They like to run (Michael) Bellino in the middle and they like to get Shaw on the edge. We have to contain him and slow down their passing game a little bit.”

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

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