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Four interceptions and a pair of fumbles put the Braves in a big hole behind East Noble who scored 42 unanswered points to beat Bellmont 51-10 at the Teepee on Friday night in the last regular season game before next week's sectional.
The Braves led 10-9 after a 34-yard field goal by Chase Ellsworth at the end of the first quarter. It was the last time the Braves would hold the lead or even find the scoreboard as the turnover bug bit hard. East Noble would take advantage putting up 22 points in the second quarter leading 31-10 at the break.
After Bellmont went three and out on their first two drives of the second half, BHS coach Larry Getts emptied his sidelines putting in reserves in place of his starters in an effort to preserve the Braves' starters for next week's sectional match-up with Yorktown. Senior center Jake Brown and senior Brad Busse sat out of the contest with their injuries but both are slated to return for sectionals.
Coach Getts declined an interview after the contest.
East Noble established their "hurry-up" style of offense on their first possession of the game testing the Bellmont front line and manufacturing a 10-play, 65-yard touchdown drive culminated by a one-yard dive by senior Kyle Mundon for the Knights' first score.
Bellmont would retaliate on their first possession with a halfback pass from Trevor Love to Josh Hall for 70 yards. The Braves would make the kick and go up 7-6 (EN's first kick failed).
The Knights' quarterback Nic Weimer connected on four straight passes during their next drive moving down the field quickly, but the Braves' defense made three stellar plays in a row to halt the advance and force East Noble to kick a 37-yard field goal off the foot of Tyler Housholder to put EN back on top, 9-7.
Ellsworth would get his field goal on the Braves' next possession to end the quarter after a few key plays on fourth down to move the chains. A spot-on pass from Jacob Bergman into the end zone was dropped by a wide open Zack Macklin as the sophomore simply took his eye off the ball for moment that otherwise would have been six points for Bellmont.
It was the sign of things to come for the Braves in the final three quarters.
East Noble would punt away their first possession of the second quarter and Bellmont advanced the ball into Knight territory but Bergman fired the first of his two interceptions on the night into the waiting hands of Jake Peterson. A few plays later, Weimer threw his first touchdown pass to Lake Clark, a 16-yard strike putting EN up 17-10 after the two-point conversion was good from Mundon.
The Braves would fight from their own 10-yard line to get the ball to the Knights' 42 yard line but a fumbled snap led the pigskin squibbing free in the backfield where Alex Frick would pick it up and frolic untouched for 58 yards and a score.