Belmont High School football coach Earl White knew he was asking a lot from his defense.
On a cold and rainy Friday night at Fenwick’s Krusling Field, the Bison offense had lost six of its eight fumbles and was clinging to a 12-0 lead, and Fenwick was deep in the red zone.
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“I didn’t have a good feeling,” White said after Belmont improved to 2-0 with a 12-0 road win. “We had put our defense’s back against the wall again, but they got the job done.”
Fenwick turned the ball over on downs when a pass from Sully Janeck sailed high through the back of the end zone with 2:44 remaining.
“We were right there,” Fenwick coach John Aregood said after his squad fell to 1-1. “We make it 12-7 and we got a good shot. But we were just that close all night to making plays, and we just couldn’t get it done.”
The shutout was Belmont’s second straight following a Week 1 42-0 pasting of rival Dunbar.
“Our defense plays hard, and they saved our (butts) tonight,” White said. “We played through a lot of adversity tonight with the rain and playing on the road against a really, really good team.”
Belmont’s defense held Fenwick to 87 yards, including just 12 on the ground on 38 carries. Fenwick managed only four first downs. The Falcons’ lone first down in the first half came on a fake punt.
“We executed really, really poorly,” Aregood said. “But they are a good football team and you have to play well and execute well to beat them.”
The Fenwick defense matched Belmont for most of the night.
The Bison took a 6-0 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first half when Elijah Malcolm capped off a 68-yard drive with a 2-yard run.
Malcolm, who finished with 144 yards on 28 carries, took advantage of the lone Falcon lost fumble with 6:57 left in the third quarter on a 4-yard run for a 12-0 lead.
“Our base power was working really well,” White said. “But it seemed like every time we got something going, we turned the ball over.”
Belmont finished with 14 first downs and 228 yards on the ground on 53 carries, but turned the ball over in Fenwick territory four times, twice on downs to keep it close.
Belmont quarterback Rian Reeves finished with 85-yards on 16 carries. Dawson Martin had an interception.
“We’ll get better,” White said. “We had issues with the snap, and it was our first time going through things like that. It showed us that we can’t take anything for granted in this sport, and they’ll get on the films and fix things.”
Keegan Corbett led the Falcons with 42 yards on 19 carries and was 1 of 6 throwing the ball for 6 yards and a one-handed interception by Martin. Janeck finished 6 of 10 for 71 yards and an interception.
“You never want a game when you execute like this, but it is better to have it now than in league play or at the end of the year,” Aregood said. “I think they (Belmont) are a better team than we are, but we played bad football and made too many mistakes.”
Next Friday, Fenwick travels to Lebanon. The Bison face Thurgood Marshall next Saturday.
B: Elijah Malcolm 2 run (Run failed)
B: Malcolm 4 run (Run failed)
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