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Red Devils, Bruins battle for playoffs

SPRING VALLEY — Hall and St. Bede football fans had to wait 20 years before seeing their teams meet up last year, appropriately under a rare Blue Moon. This time, they won’t have to wait so long.

The rivals will meet once again on the Nesti Stadium turf at Hall High School. The renewed rivalry aside, the BCR Game of the Week is a big game for both. The Bruins bring a 4-2 record (1-2 Three Rivers South) into the fray facing a Red Devil team standing at 3-3, 1-2.

“Both teams have a lot to play for we are both trying to get to five wins to have a chance at the playoffs. It should be an exciting night,” Hall coach Randy Tieman said.

More than anything, veteran St. Bede coach John Bellino is concerned about his team’s health on the wake of Saturday’s physical contest against rugged Rockridge. He said Monday he had four kids who are questionable for Friday night.

“Right now we’re worried about getting healthy. We’ve got a short week, some people gimping around. We’ve got some questions to answer,” he said.

When asked if any of the injuries were big ones, he said, “With the numbers we’ve got, any thing is big.”

The Red Devils come in off an impressive showing against Orion in last week’s 47-24 win on the road. Quarterback Taggart Venegas, formerly at St. Bede, threw for three touchdowns and Colin Aimone (4-86 rushing) scored two touchdowns rushing and another by pass. It’s that kind of offense that Tieman has been waiting for.

“We thought we had enough playmakers to be able to spread the ball around and have a good mix of run and pass. It seemed to all come together last week for us,” Tieman said.

“They’re quick, got good speed, and they seem to play better defense right now. Obviously, since they’ve opened their offense a little it’s created some problems for people,” Bellino said.

Tieman said the Bruins have plenty of weapons to create problems for its opponents, also.

“They have great size on the line and (senior) Michael Bellino is a force on both sides of the ball. We will have to be at our best to compete with them,” he said.

Both teams have defeated Amboy/LaMoille; both have lost to Rockridge while St. Bede beat Bureau Valley, whom defeated Hall in Week 1.

The Illinois Valley rivalry dates back to as early as 1924 with Hall winning 12-0 and played continuously from 1935-68. It was resumed from 1988-92, but off the field high jinx put the rivalry on hold. According to BCR files, Hall holds the series edge 28-18-2.

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