BELLEFONTE — Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch had quite the task during Friday night’s game against Central Mountain: To stop Von Walker.
Last season, Walker rushed for 197 yards and five touchdowns against Bellefonte. On Friday, his performance was more dynamic.
The six-foot senior rushed for 362 yards on 16 carries and six touchdowns — 219 of those yards in the first half — to lead the Wildcats to a 50-14 victory over the Red Raiders.
“He’s a tough player to stop, we knew that,” said Besch. “Our goal was to just limit what he does, and try to make plays right off the bat.”
Besch’s game plan seemed to be working early after defensive back Doylan Dietrich picked Central Mountain quarterback Travis Turchetta and ran it back 70 yards for a touchdown, evening the score at 7-7 with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
Bellefonte’s defense was able to slow Walker in the second quarter, and when Jordan Fye pitched a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nick Leiter to put the Raiders on top 14-7, it seemed like the momentum was in their favor.
“We held our own throughout the first half and went into the locker room with a positive attitude,” said Besch, who is in his third season as head coach. “But we came out in the second half and made some empty mistakes and had some miscues — those are the things we have to prevent.”
Walker came out even stronger in the third quarter, scoring two rushing touchdowns and catching a 70-yard touchdown pass from Turchetta. He finally left the game early in the fourth quarter, but not before scampering 72 yards for a touchdown to finish the night with 505 offensive yards.
“It was a good night, a win like this is big,” Walker said. “Practice this week was serious. We knew we would have to work hard. Football is a team sport — and we had a lot of confidence out there. That’s how we play football.”
Bellefonte rotated quarterbacks Fye and Phil Fenstermacker for most of the night. Fye completed 8 of 14 passes for 128 yards.
“Fye came in and did an excellent job,” said Besch. “It was an effort to try and use the skill players that we have. He’s a leader and the kind of player we can rely on to try and get the team back on track.”
Friday’s game ended Bellefonte’s two-game win streak, as it fell to 2-2 on the season entering next week’s matchup against Tyrone. Besch is confident that his team will learn from last night’s game.
“My hats of to them, they played an excellent game. Our main focus is to learn from our mistakes. I told the guys tonight, this game is going to sting — it better sting,” he said “That’s how football works, we’ve got another game next week. We’re going to move forward and grow.”