Bravesâ€™ sectional run sparks player reactions
Bellmont's Cody Walters runs for the touchdown against Blackford. Walters has been a key player during the Braves' playoff run. (Photo by John Rothwell)
The Braves were definitely prepared for Yorktown's strong offensive schemes, while the Tigers were seemed puzzled by some of the new wrinkles put in by head coach Larry Getts and his staff, and executed perfectly by a fired-up Bellmont squad. The result was a 22-7 BHS win over the favored Tigers, who had knocked off second-ranked Eastbrook in the first round of the tourney.
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"I just got done telling the other seniors that our coaches had us prepared to a 'T'," stated Bellmont senior defensive lineman Ben Baker, celebrating with his classmates following the biggest playoff win for the Braves since the 2008 state championship run. "It was unbelievable. We knew everything that they were going to do, just the very few selective plays that they were able to run on us we were able to shut them down before the night was over."
"It's all on us," stated defensive end Isaac Birch, of the responsibility of the defensive line. "Our coach preaches every week that it starts with the defensive line and we've been working our tails off to get this done." Bellmont recorded a numbing eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss in the win.
Hakes, a two-way lineman last year, has blossomed this year both as a middle backer and, lately, as a running back. He caught a 28-yard TD pass from Jacob Bergman for the go-ahead touchdown in the second period and put the Tigers away in period four with a four-yard up the gut, carrying about half of the Tigers with him.
Can the Braves keep their playoff guns blazing next week at Western? "Oh, yeah, definitely. We've just got to come out fired up and play like we've been playing," said Hakes.
Just how good is this Bellmont team, which has performed with vigor in a pair of 3A playoff games after playing seven bigger schools in the tough NHC?
"The sky is the limit now. I don't see a team much better than Yorktown. I think we can do it."