Bethlehem Academy, helped by a 21-point second quarter, knocked off defending state champion Dawson-Boyd 29-20 Saturday morning to move to next Saturday’s Class 1A Prep Bowl title game.
The Cardinals scored three touchdowns in a span of just under five minutes. Christian Von Ruden was the story all quarter, returning a punt 50 yards to set up a score, taking a reverse 53 yards for a touchdown, and also placing a 42-yard punt inside the 20-yard line.
The Blackjacks closed the gap to one score with just seven seconds left in the first half. Justin Lee took a pitch from Joey Lee and lofted a pass into the waiting hands of Nathaniel Huot for a nine-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the halftime score was 21-12.
Bethlehem Academy’s clinching score came at 8:05 of the fourth quarter, as a shanked punt led to a 14-yard touchdown run by Matt Siegfried. The Cardinals converted a fake extra point kick for two points to take a 17-point lead.
“That’s a play we work on in practice,” Bethlehem Academy head coach Scott Hanson said. “The players themselves set it up because they sensed that Dawson-Boyd was bringing a lot of pressure up the middle.”
Hanson praised his team and cited quarterback Kyle Filzen as a “tremendous leader and example for his teammates.” Filzen scored a 1-yard touchdown to begin the scoring for the Cardinals, and finished the game with 40 yards rushing and a touchdown pass as well.
For the Blackjacks, Lee completed 20 of 34 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown.
Filzen said knocking off the defending champs “feels good. It gives us the confidence that we stack up with anyone.”
Said Hanson, “It’s been really exciting throughout the year to build this momentum. These guys are the defending champs, so for us to hang with them was real exciting for our football program.”