Unfortunately for Hay, his helmet came off during his efforts at the Clear Fork 24-yard line, immediately marking the play dead. Four plays later, the Redmen turned it over on downs after it appeared they’d gotten within a score after starting in a 26-point hole.
The Colts immediately responded going 82 yards in nine plays, ending in Trevon Trammell’s 6-yard TD run for a three-score lead. It was yet another blown opportunity for Bellevue in what ended up being a 40-12 non-league setback on First National Bank Field at Bellevue Athletic Facility.
“That was a huge momentum swing for us not to get in there. That was tough,” said Redmen coach Ed Nasonti of the Hay play. “We knew coming in that (Clear Fork) was a really solid team. They have nice linemen, they have skilled receivers, good speed in the backfield and you need to be ready to play them.
“As tough as it is to get beat, we got to understand that we got a young team and we have better days ahead.”
Stopping the Colts’ Trevon Trammell was the biggest challenge for the Redmen (0-2) in the early going. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior needed just two carries to rack up 141 rushing yards — running for TDs of 94 and 47 yards — on Clear Fork’s opening two drives.
Needing some kind of positive result late in the first quarter, Bellevue went for it on fourth-and-4 from the Colts’ 35.
After turning the ball over on an incompletion, Clear Fork (2-0) quarterback Brennan South — one of two for the Colts — ran 19 yards for a TD to put his team up 20-0 with 10:03 left in the first half.
One possession later, and another turnover on downs by the Redmen, the Colts’ other QB, Jared Schaefer threw a 39-yard scoring pass to AJ Blubaugh to make it 26-0.
“We kept telling our kids, ‘Hey, this is Bellevue, this isn’t your run of the mill program, coach Nasonti’s team isn’t going to quit,’” Clear Fork coach Dave Carroll said. “Luckily, we didn’t let our mistakes late in the first half, and start of the second half, snowball into letting them come back on us.
“We’d of liked to have a little faster start to the second half, but then got it going again with the flea flicker.”
Bellevue finally got on the board with 2:11 to go in the opening half. On fourth-and-8 from the Colts’ 8, sophomore QB Keegan Ray found senior tight end Seth Gerhardstein by himself in the end zone for a TD. The two-point pass failed keeping the score 26-6.
However, the momentum continued to shift the way of the Redmen.
Having made a quick three-and-out stop, Jack Howey was able to fall on a loose ball in the end zone after the snap sailed over the punter’s head. That cut the deficit to 26-12 with 16 seconds on the clock.
“I told our kids, ‘It’s disappointing to lose, but we’re young and this is a journey, and there’s a process to it,’ ” Nasonti said. “There will be some positives and there will be some negatives. We need to grow as a ball club. We haven’t been on the other end of a 40-12 score very often, but if you want your kids to deal with it the right way, you need to deal with it as a coaching staff, and we will.”