High School Sports

Bellefonte football makes history — again — by defeating Central

Bellefonte quarterback Dylan Deitrich runs with the ball Friday night at Central. It is the first time Bellefonte has beaten Central since 2010.
Bellefonte quarterback Dylan Deitrich runs with the ball Friday night at Central. It is the first time Bellefonte has beaten Central since 2010. psheehan@centredaily.com

Dylan Deitrich knew all about Bellefonte’s lopsided losses to Central in recent years, but the quarterback couldn’t recall the Red Raiders’ last win in the series.

Deitrich and his teammates gave Bellefonte fans another night to remember as they rolled to a 49-22 win Friday over the Scarlet Dragons. It was the first time Bellefonte beat Central since 2010, snapping a streak of six straight losses in which the Red Raiders allowed an average of 51.7 points per game. This time, it was the Red Raiders who lit up the scoreboard behind Deitrich and plenty of other offensive weapons.

“To come out and beat ’em like that, everyone’s going to remember that for a while because the past couple years everyone just remembers Central beating the crap out of Bellefonte over and over and over again and putting up big scores,” Deitrich said. “I really think this is going to help us propel forward into our next game and in playoffs because they’re a big team.”

Deitrich rushed for 262 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season and spark the big offensive night. Cade Fortney and Stephen Kutches each hauled in five passes and one touchdown, and Dexter Gallishaw and C.J. Funk added rushing touchdowns to help the Red Raiders finish with 49 points and 502 total yards.

Bellefonte improved its record to 7-1 to continue its unforgettable season, after losing season after losing season included those blowout losses against Central.

“This game was huge for these kids,” Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning said. “They realized to get to 7-1 — it sounds funny to say it — but to get to 7-1, they knew they had to go through a team like a Central. You have to. You have to go through the Clearfields, you have to go through the Tyrones, you have to go through the Centrals. You have to. That’s all there is to it. You have to do it.”

The Red Raiders showed again Friday night that they’re one of the top teams in the Mountain League and better than those traditional powers this season. They scored 49 points to beat Tyrone, put up 55 in a win against Clearfield and added another 49-point effort to humble the Dragons (5-3).

Bellefonte jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter after two touchdowns by Deitrich — a 50-yard run in the first quarter and an 86-yard burst in the second. He exploded through a hole on the second touchdown run and sprinted untouched into the end zone, looking back at the Central defenders trying to catch him in the final 10 yards of the run.

He continued to pile up yards throughout the game to seal the win and credited the offensive line for his effort.

“The offensive line is unreal,” Deitrich said. “I wouldn’t have anything if it wasn’t for them, and I thank ’em every single day. I might even take ’em out for a steak dinner later. That’s where everything starts.”

And Deitrich had plenty of help from his teammates to put away the Scarlet Dragons, too.

Fortney made a leaping grab for a 32-yard gain and adjusted to a pass for a 20-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half to regain the lead at 21-14 going into the break. Funk punched in a three-yard score at the start of the second half, and Kutches proved to be a weapon in the passing game with a 60-yard catch to convert on third-and-long to set up a score and a three-yard touchdown catch to push the lead to 35-22 with 11:14 left in the fourth.

“It wasn’t just one person,” Kutches said. “Everybody did their part. We worked as a team to do it.”

The Red Raiders put the game out of reach with a 15-yard touchdown run by Gallishaw, another strong run to add to the team’s 322 rushing yards on the night.

It was an emphatic win, as the Red Raiders dominated the line of scrimmage and cruised to victory to make yet another statement this season.

“People are starting to realize who we are and what we’re made of and how we can play the game of football,” Deitrich said. “People are definitely starting to realize what we can do.”

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