The Urbana Hillclimbers hosted division rival Bellefontaine for a homecoming showdown Friday night, but fell to the Chieftains, 42-0.
Bellefontaine (4-3) scored on each of its first-half possessions, taking a 35-0 lead into the locker room. Hayden Nease and Treston Howell were nearly unstoppable on the ground, forcing the Hillclimbers to play from behind early.
“We immediately found ourselves crawling into our comfort zone and reaching for excuses and what we call ‘BCD’ – Blaming, Complaining and Defending,” UHS Coach Jon Daniels said. “Are we up against it? Yeah! We’re outmatched, it is what it is. But that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we can go out and battle our tails off until the end of a football game and see where the score ends up. But that’s not what we’re doing right now.”
Howell scored from 11 yards out midway through the first quarter to cap Bellefontaine’s first drive, then quarterback Dezmin LyBurtus dove over the pile from a yard out on the Chiefs’ next possession to make it 14-0 with under a minute remaining in the first quarter.
Disaster struck Urbana early in the second quarter when Nease broke away up the middle for a 46-yard touchdown scamper on the first play of the drive.
Bellefontaine scored again moments later when LyBurtus scrambled to buy time and found a wide open receiver as the coverage broke down.
Nick Dorsey gave Urbana a little momentum with a big run on the ensuing drive, but the charge stalled out in Chieftain territory after a sack pushed the offense back near midfield.
Nease scored again with under a minute left in the half to put Bellefontaine up 35-0, which activated the running clock for the second half.
“We didn’t bring the intensity over and we didn’t bring the fundamentals over,” Daniels said. “The fundamentals that we perfect during the week don’t on Friday. Until we get that edge back and are willing to lay it out on the line – if we fail, we fail – until that gets out, I don’t know where we’re going to end up as a program.”
In the second half, the teams traded possessions until Howell scored from 47 yards out very late in the third quarter to make it 42-0. The rest of the way was uneventful, save a Bellefontaine fumble recovered by Bailey Ullah and a Preston Shields interception.
Urbana (1-6) plays at Tecumseh next Friday night.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.