MANLIUS — This week’s Game of the Week may quickly become a thing of the pass.
The game will match one established passing team, the St. Bede Bruins, against the other team, the Bureau Valley Storm, which is looking to establish an aerial attack. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Storm Stadium.
St. Bede’s Jack Brady, who set an Academy single-season record 18 touchdown passes last year to go with 1,800 yards, threw for 192 yards and one touchdown against Amboy. The Storm would like to get there, centering its game around senior quarterback Parker Neuhalfen and understudy, freshman Drake Davis.
“They’re similar to kind of what we do all the time,” BV coach Spencer Davis said. “They got great wide receivers and their quarterback throws a good ball. Yeah, they’re passing game is good, and we look forward to the challenge.”
“They may mention they want to go back to the run a little bit. It’s hard to say. They like to pass, we like to pass, but it’s all predicated on moving the ball,” veteran Bruins coach John Bellino said.
Week 2 finds both the teams on the rebound after opening week defeats. The Storm fell 23-13 at Hall while the Bruins couldn’t hold on to a 13-8 halftime lead at home, falling to Amboy/LaMoille 14-13.
“They can match athletes with us. They’re very athletic. I know they’ll be hungry to win, too, just like us. It should be a good competitive game,” Davis said.
While the Storm had big plays — a 76-yard run by Neuhalfen and an 84-yard halfback pass from Josh Mead to Tommy Johnston — they are looking for more consistency and error free football on the offensive side. Those two plays accounted for 160 of the Storm’s 279 net yards of offense.
“We’re just looking to get better this week on the offensive side of the ball. I thought the kids played hard but need to cut down penalties and turnovers,” Davis said. “It should be another great night for football. You can’t keep getting penalties and putting yourself in bad situations. We just need to execute; we’ll be fine.”
Outside of the halfback option, BV quarterbacks Neuhalfen (5-15, 49 yards) and Drake Davis (4-9, 20) threw for 69 yards with one interception each. Neuhalfen led the rushing attack with 111 yards on 14 carries.
Bellino expects to find a much improved Storm team this week.
“We knew they had great athletes. I was really surprised by their score,” Bellino said. “He’s a dynamite player as far as the quarterback and they have a big fullback. We look for them to play much better.”
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