Bel Air gets early jump, doesn't let up on Aberdeen, 26-12 Riley posts first coaching victory

September 25, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

An aggressive Bel Air football team scored on the game's opening possession and throttled visiting Aberdeen for more than three quarters en route to a 26-12 Harford County League triumph last night.

The victory was the first for Bel Air and first-year head coach Bruce Riley in four starts. Aberdeen, with head coach Kevin Reilly in his first season at the school, dropped to 1-3 with a third straight county loss.

Senior backs Terry Vail (two touchdowns) and Dick Barwick (one touchdown) did most of the damage, running behind strong blocking.

The Bobcats' defense, led by senior Jason Krout and juniors Mike Ballard and Jeremy Chavers, and Brian Seccurro, did not yield an Aberdeen first down until the four-minute mark of the third quarter.

Bel Air, fired up by a pre-game pep talk, went 76 yards in nine plays, with Vail going outside for the last 13 yards.

The team's other score was an all-junior pass play from quarterback Tony Belcastro, 5 feet 7, 137 pounds, to Todd Schmidt. Chris Siplin ran in a two-point conversion.

The rest of the scoring came in a lengthy fourth quarter that featured big offensive plays by both sides.

A Bel Air drive was highlighted by two third-down plays. Barwick got 12 yards on one, and Mike Deal turned a 15-yard Belcastro pass into a 50-yard play when he got behind the defenders. Richard Beeghley eventually got him from behind at the Eagles' 13. Vail swept right end for a touchdown on the next play.

Aberdeen countered with a 45-yard touchdown run by Mike Cromwell, who ran by a would-be tackler in the backfield, went up the middle and broke to the outside, running away from his pursuers.

Bel Air came back to make it 26-6 on a four-play drive. Vail ran three times for 14 yards and the 6-foot, 230-pound Barwick bolted through the line, jumped over a defender and went 40 yards for a touchdown.

Hard-running Aberdeen back Nick Johnson got loose for a 37-yard touchdown run in the final minute.

"Instead of just coming to play, we had to convince them they could win. And, yes, there was some ranting and raving," said Bel Air assistant coach Doug Dempsey of his pre-game talk. Of the offensive effort, which ate up yardage in big chunks, he said that power plays up the middle and speed to the outside would be effective. And it was.

Riley was enthusiastic about a solid defensive effort, one he called "our best of the season. And we cut down on the penalties."

Aberdeen's Reilly shook his head over the result. "We're just not hitting on all cylinders. And, we have the talent. It's just that something was missing," he said.

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