Belleville West football prepares for tough Southwestern Conference
A touchdown with no time left on the clock lifted Washington past visiting Belleville West, 33-32, on Friday night.
The Maroons led 32-27 with less than a second remaining, but Rylan McQueary’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Brady Klein as time expired gave the Panthers the win.
Belleville West fell to 1-1.
“The second to last play of the game, they threw an incomplete pass with 0.13 seconds left ... the next play they shook open and were able to complete a touchdown pass,” said first-year Maroons coach Bryan Edgar. “That’s football — you don’t win ‘em all. But I’m excited to get back at it with these boys, correct our mistakes and get better next time.”
While disappointed with the outcome, Edgar was thrilled with Belleville West’s effort.
“Those kids are playing hard and playing hard for each other. That’s always exciting to see,” he said.
Belleville West dominated most of the contest, racing to a 23-0 halftime lead. Scoring runs of 16 and 38 yards from Jordan Bruce, along with a 38-yard field goal from Logan Seibert, built the margin to 16-0 after one quarter.
Jack McCloskey’s 2-yard touchdown run 8 minutes, 16 seconds before halftime gave Belleville West a 23-0 cushion.
“We kept them off balance in the first quarter,” Edgar said. “They made some good adjustments and started clicking on offense. Penalties didn’t help us at times.”
The Panthers scored 13 unanswered points in the third quarter to draw with 23-13, but Seibert’s 39-yard field goal with 8:32 left widened the lead.
After Washington cut it to 26-21 a few seconds later, Bruce rumbled 61 yards to give Belleville West a 33-21 margin with 7:56 remaining. However, the Panthers wouldn’t go away, ultimately posting the final 12 points to prevail.
Edgar noted games like this help prep the Maroons for possible postseason action.
“It was a good football game,” he said. “Those are the ones you want to play in. You don’t want easy games. Washington is a solid football program. It’s always good to come up and travel and compete in a playoff atmosphere. We want to play in these games in these environments.
“They had a great home crowd. It was a great experience for us. I wish we would have come out ahead, but that’s how football is. There’s always a next game.”
The first-year Maroons coach added he’s excited about the program’s future.
“We keep telling the kids, we’re building ... we’re building something on a strong foundation,” he said. “It’s not about today, it’s about the future of the program. It’s neat to watch them grow. We have a lot of young, talented kids. If they stay the course, we’ll have a really special football team.”
Bruce finished with 173 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Along with his touchdown carry, McCloskey completed nine passes for 116 yards. The Maroons are scheduled to resume action at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Fort Zumwalt West.