COLUMBIA CITY—Untimely penalties and the absence of a "big play" kept Bellmont from staying undefeated on Friday night as they ventured to Columbia City for their first NHC meeting of the year.
The Braves, now 2-1, fell to the Eagles (2-1) 24-13, after being shut down in the second half.
Bellmont coach Larry Getts commented after the game, "We didn't have any consistency in the second half."
Columbia City's star running back Adam Neely closed the door on a possible comeback with his stellar run with 0:18 left in the third quarter, a 72-yard romp for six that left the Braves down 11 points and reeling.
The Braves got on the board first with seven minutes to go in the first quarter when QB Jacob Bergman connected with Brad Busse on a screen. The big senior found his way to the right sideline and took it to the house for a 43-yard score to get Bellmont on the board.
The Braves would flush a golden opportunity to take a two-score lead on the ensuing kick-off when junior Chase Ellsworth kicked a beautiful cross-field on-side kick. The Columbia City line backed away from the ball expecting a bounce and four Braves jumped on the ball giving Bellmont the possession back.
It would prove to be all for naught, however, as Busse would cough up the football on the very next play, fumbling on a run and giving the Eagles the ball back. On that drive, Columbia City would march nearly 80 yards upfield, eventually getting a score on a one-yard Neely score, the first of three for him on the day.
The extra point was tipped by Nick Engle keeping Bellmont up by a point.
On the Braves' next drive, wide receiver Josh Hall made the first of several big catches on the day from Bergman on a 24-yard strike to the sideline keeping the drive alive. A few plays later, Ellsworth would kick a 32-yard field goal to extend Bellmont's lead to 10-6.
With seven minutes in the first half, the Eagles were facing a third and 18 from 45 yards out when QB Travis Herbst passed to Neely on a scramble as the Bellmont line was blitzing. Neely took advantage of the open space scoring once again and putting CC up 12-10.