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Belmont Hill 21, Milton Acad. 0

Patience pays off for BH

By David Carty
Globe Correspondent / October 5, 2008
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MILTON - Good things come to teams that wait.

Milton Academy quarterback Christopher Amrhein put on a passing clinic, completing 11 of 23 for 157 yards, but Belmont Hill sophomore QB Tyler West - with a big assist from running back Ryan Paganetti - followed his game plan, leading the way to a 21-0 blanking of the Mustangs.

Patience proved to be a virtue for Belmont Hill as both teams squandered first-half chances.

The Mustangs gained 155 yards in the first half - 120 more than Belmont Hill - but failed to score.

On their lengthy first drive, Amrhein completed a 30-yard pass to get into Belmont Hill territory, but the drive ended when a deflected pass was picked off by Patrick Bathon.

The story was the same for Belmont Hill. Milton Academy's punter failed to handle a snap, giving Belmont Hill the ball on the Mustangs' 25-yard line, but the offense couldn't take advantage, losing a fumble at the 2-yard line.

After a scoreless three quarters Belmont Hill finally broke through early in the fourth, with West leading the way on a 72-yard drive that was aided by four Milton Academy penalties.

West completed only one pass in the game, but it was a big one, connecting with Steven Izen on a third-and-6 play. The next play, West ran for 17 yards to the Mustangs 6, and after another Milton Academy penalty, Paganetti ran it in from the 3-yard line for the first of his three touchdowns.

Belmont Hill coach Kevin Fleming was impressed with West's leadership.

"He's tough as hell," Fleming said. "We got to get him involved a little more. When he shows [his potential], we're really going to be a tougher offensive team."

Milton Academy (2-1) tried to answer, but couldn't break through. The Mustangs' best scoring chance came late in the third quarter. Their defense stopped Belmont Hill's fourth-and-1 try at the Milton Academy 43. But a holding call and two sacks ended the threat.

Sophomore Zachary Wilson picked off two Amrhein passes in the fourth quarter to frustrate an explosive offense that had scored 48 points against Middlesex a week earlier.

Paganetti finished off the Mustangs with late touchdown runs of 25 and 75 yards. He ran for 156 yards on 16 carries as Belmont Hill improved to 3-0.

"We really went back to the basics," said Paganetti of his team's shift back to an unbalanced line. "They didn't make an adjustment and we were able to execute."

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