Dylan Deitrich bounced up and down in ecstasy as the final seconds ticked away Friday night.
It was difficult to tell that the Bellefonte quarterback’s right foot went numb late in the first half against Clearfield, or that he missed a drive. He and his teammates were starting to celebrate their historic 55-28 win on the sideline while the home fans chanted “I believe that we will win.” In that moment, he didn’t feel any pain.
In Bellefonte’s first win over the Bison (3-3) since 2007, Deitrich overcame the pain in his foot and put together maybe the best performance in the county. He rushed for 203 yards and six touchdowns to go with one passing touchdown.
“It hurt, but I wanted to get back out on the field,” Deitrich said.
The Red Raiders (5-1) pulled away in the second half behind Deitrich, who finished with 134 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns in the final two quarters. When Deitrich sat out the final drive of the first half due to injury, Nick Paloskey took over at quarterback during an impressive scoring drive to send Bellefonte into the break with a 20-14 lead.
Deitrich was back under center at the start of the third quarter and quickly turned the game into a rout.
He connected with Ryan Smith on a 17-yard touchdown pass over the middle for the first score of the second half. On Bellefonte’s next drive, he found Nick Catalano for a 42-yard gain, then raced into the end zone for a five-yard touchdown run to push his team’s lead to 34-14 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.
Deitrich gave a fist pump as he jogged along the sideline — but he was only getting started.
With offensive lineman Dylan Houser clearing a path, Deitrich scored his fourth touchdown on a 30-yard run. After Deitrich picked off Clearfield quarterback Isaac Rumery — his third interception of the night — the Red Raiders quarterback sprinted 57 yards down the sideline for another touchdown. And he put the finishing touch on the win with his sixth and final rushing touchdown to make it 55-28 with 5:10 left in the fourth.
“He’s a tough kid,” Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning said. “He’s just a tough kid. He’s tough. He goes out and he swings away, and I think he believes in what’s happening.”
Deitrich has excelled at quarterback since filling in for Paloskey in the second week of the season.
Paloskey started the year at quarterback before being sidelined due to appendicitis, and he shined in his first action since the season opener. Paloskey played on the defensive side of the ball and stepped in at quarterback when Deitrich went down in the second quarter.
Paloskey converted on third down with an 11-yard run, connected with Cade Fortney on a perfectly thrown 54-yard pass and punched in a one-yard touchdown to finish the drive with 18 seconds left in the second quarter.
“It was awesome,” Paloskey said. “I only have two home games left, and this was one of ’em, so I really just wanted to play as hard as I could.
Deitrich greeted him on the sideline after the touchdown.
“He was out of breath,” Deitrich said. “All I could do was just smile and give him a hug.”
The Red Raiders had plenty to celebrate in the second half as Deitrich continued to find the end zone.
Deitrich was just happy his big night helped Bellefonte take down Clearfield for the first time in a decade.
“I used it as extra motivation knowing that they’re a good football program,” Deitrich said. “Definitely, the scores in the past with them fueled my fire a little bit and I think it did in everyone else’s mind, too.”