The North Adams and West Union football teams played in their “Battle for the Bell” game at Freedom Field on Oct. 31 with the Dragons taking home a convincing win, and with it, bragging rights.
West Union’s Devin Whiting took the opening kickoff from North Adams and went all the way to the end zone for the early touchdown and the Dragons wouldn’t look back from there. Another touchdown for West Union by Whiting after a Green Devil turnover made it 12-0 before the first quarter ended.
West Union took over at their own 25-yard-line for the first drive of the second quarter and this time drove down the field in eight plays capped off by a reverse by Zack Best for the third touchdown of the game to make it 20-0 after the two-point conversion.
North Adams finally found some offensive rhythm on their next possession with a six-play drive that got to midfield, but the drive stalled out from there and the Green Devils turned it over on downs – prompting a seven-play drive from West Union that finished with a touchdown pass from Chris Silhavy to Zack Best and the Dragons were looking at a healthy 28-0 lead.
Special teams played a big part on the next drive again as the Dragons blocked a North Adams punt, giving themselves great field position. The Dragons took advantage with a five-yard touchdown run by Jordan Hendricks for a 34-0 lead before the halftime whistle.
Two second-half drives resulted in scores for the Dragons. In the third quarter, a punt return to the North Adams 20-yard-line put West Union in position for a Jordan Hendricks touchdown for a 40-0 lead and Toby Haddox capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run of his own to put the game on ice.
With the win, West Union ended the season with a 5-7-1 overall record, an improvement from last season’s 0-10 campaign.
After the win, West Union Head Coach Scott McFarland said this was his team’s most complete game of the season.
“Our hats off to North Adams for a hard fought game,” McFarland said. “They are growing and building a nice program. I am so proud of this team for the progress that they made all season. We have seen so much improvement and played our most complete game of the year. Our goal was to send our seniors our with a win in the first annual Freedom Victory Bell Rivalry game.”
Standing out for his defensive performance was defensive lineman Tyler Egnor who racked up five sacks and was a menace to the North Adams offense all game long. North Adams Head Coach Justin Schmitz said Egnor’s play was crucial in West Union’s success.
“West Union played a great game Saturday,” Schmitz said. “Defensively, their defensive line had a great push up front. Their defensive tackle had a heck of a night up front against us.”
In their first year as program, Schmitz says he’s pleased with the results he’s seen as he continues to build the program up.
“This season was a learning experience for all of the young men in our varsity program,” Schmitz said. “I’m extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made this season. I feel like we’ve got a great foundation to build on over the next several years. I can’t help but look at the positives that we’ve seen since the inception of our programs. We’ve invested a lot in these young men and hopefully our school board has seen that and will buy-in to this thing as well.”
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or email@example.com.