Bellarmine at Mitty Under the Lights, Another WCAL Classic
When ever Mitty and Bellarmine plays each other, it’s almost a guarantee that the game would not only be competitive but a nail biter to the end. With identical records coming in to the game, each team found themselves in a must win situation. Bellarmine, having won its last three games in dominating fashion after loosing the season opener at home against number one De La Salle needs to keep the momentum going before they face the undefeated Serra Padres, ranked number one in most polls, next Saturday afternoon.
Mitty, also in a must win predicament does not want to fall 0-2 in league play after loosing to Serra last week in their league opener, so a win is a must against the Bells.
It’s unfortunate that two very good football programs, well coached, talented, tough and competitive must face each other to find out which team would go on to contend for the WCAL title.
With both defenses clamping down on almost every play right from the get-go, it was obvious that the game could only be won on a Big play. But in order for that to happen, a series of big play attempts would have to take place. In the first quarter, Bellarmine took the first shot when quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels airs out a bomb to Joey Sanfilippo on 2nd and 6 from the Bellarmine’s 36 but the ball was slightly tipped by Mitty’s Jacob Wesson around the Mitty’s 20 yard line for an incomplete pass. The Monarchs defense would only allow 13 yards of offense for the Bells.
Mitty was in control for most of the first half. Wyatt Hansen orchestrated his offense with some short passes and power runs up the middle and off tackle. The Monarchs started to move the ball in the middle of the second quarter after a nice 29 yard punt return by sophomore Dakari Monroe. The longest play of the drive came in the third play of the series when Hansen connected with Wesson for 23 yards. Wesson’s extra effort, stiff arming the Bells DB got him a few more yards before finally going down. Perhaps the biggest mistake for Bellarmine happen the next play when two way starter Jared Vallner playing safety committed an interference when Hansen looked to hit his receiver Daniel Mosko in the corner of the end zone. The ball was actually grabbed and brought down by Vallner’s fellow safety Austin Changras but the penalty kept the ball on the Mitty’s possession and advanced the ball on the 10. Mitty would then score on a quarterback keeper by Hansen which ignited the home crowd as the Monarchs takes a 7-0 lead.
Mitty was not done after the score. They drove down field on the ground and in the air and attempted a 34 yard field-goal that went off to the left side to end the first half.
Bellarmine came back after intermission with intensity and a sense of urgency. Carta-Samuels took charge of the offense keeping the ball and running the ball for Bellarmine. Mitty was able to force the Bells to punt on the opening series of the third quarter. Bellarmine’s punter Grant Bush kicked a high ball with enough airtime for the Bells defenders to come close to Mitty’s return man Kyle Evans who was stopped right on the one yard line. Bellarmine got the ball back and drove once again this time for a score.
Carta-Samuels lead the way opening up the offensive attack on the ground. On third a long, Bellarmine passed. Carta-Samuels rolled to his right, out of the pocket and throws a bullet right at Sanfilippo who gave a couple of spin move after the catch and plunges forward inside the 10 yard line of Mitty. The Bells played smash mouth football after that running up the gut picking up small chunks of yards and ended it with Carta-Samuels barreling thru the middle for a 1 yard touch down. After the Bush extra point, the game was tied up at 7-7.
Mitty remained consistent moving the ball but the Bellarmine defense got tighter as the game went on. The Monarchs would make their way pass mid-field and on third and short, Hansen was sacked by Bells senior right defensive tackle Kyle Ebertin. But Mitty would take the lead on Phil Langlois 24 yard boot thru the uprights, 10-7.
On the ensuing drive the Bells would start to move the ball. After a converting on a couple of third down situations, the Monarchs would end the drive with an interception. Wesson, with cat-like reflexes leaped right in front of Sanfilippo inside the ten giving the Monarchs the opportunity to put it away with less than 4 minutes left to play.
Bellarmine defense stepped it up forcing a Mitty three and out and handing the ball back to Carta-Samuels and the offense for an opportunity to score and take the lead. Sanfilippo took the punt and returned it 15 yards all the way to the Bellarmine 46. Despite Mitty’s defensive push to get to the Bells quarterback, Carta-Samuels managed to escape a possible sack and launched a bomb up the middle to Vallner on a streak. Vallner recognizing the Monarch’s cover-two splits the safeties up the middle and turned on the after burners to get under the perfectly thrown pass by his junior QB for the Bellarmine’s touchdown.
With a little under two minutes remaining in the game, Mitty takes over from the 20. But the defense of Bellarmine would record a back to back sack on second and third downs. Hansen and the Monarchs had one last shot on 4th and 16 but Hansen threw an incompletion to Mosko on double coverage handing the ball back to the visiting team who took two kneels to end the game.
Bellarmine and Mitty gave it their all, they pushed hard, they ran hard, they made mistakes but they made up for it on big plays. The only difference was time. If there were no time limits in football, the tight battle could’ve gone on with each opponent trading blows. But football is a game of inches and seconds and the winner is usually the one who gains the most distance and who controls the ball the most. Bellarmine was relentless in their pursuit of the big play and with the defense playing the way they did, all they needed was one big play in the end and they got it.
Bellarmine improved to 5-1 overall, 2-0 in league and will face perhaps the toughest team in the CCS, the Serra Padres who pummeled their opponent Riordan 56-0.
Mitty is falls 0-2 in WCAL league play, 3-2 overall, will play Riordan next Saturday in San Francisco.