AMBOY – So much for St. Bede not having a quarterback this season.
Jack Brady, a junior making his first varsity start, riddled the Amboy secondary for 234 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, to lead the Bruins to a 41-6 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night at the Harbor.
The bulk of the game was played Saturday, after inclement weather on Friday allowed less than 2 minutes to be completed.
The quarterback position was a bit of an unknown for St. Bede after last year's starter, Taggart Venegas, transferred to Hall for his senior season. In stepped Brady, who had a night reminiscent of a QB with the same surname in New England.
He completed 11 of 16 passes in the first half for 234 yards, including TD passes of 54 and 15 yards to Justin Shaw; 51 yards to Braidy Shipp; 29 yards to Matt Szczepaniak; and seven yards to Michael Bellino.
"It's just nice to get this first one out of the way," Brady said. "The line did a great job blocking – I can't thank them enough. Michael Bellino made a couple of nice catches. Justin Shaw had some nice jukes after catches. Once they got it, it was all them. I know they're going to make a play once they get the ball in their hands."
The Clippers were virtually defenseless all night against the Bruins and their wide variety of receivers. Bellino is a 6-foot-5, 240-pound brute who can catch the ball in traffic, while the others are waterbug types who get open with speed and quickness.
"Their receiving corps was just so much better than our secondary," Amboy linebacker Jason Bontz said. "That's something we definitely need to work on, that's for sure."
The loss is one that can have long-range implications for Amboy. Teams that watch the tape will know where to attack, and head coach Gary Jones wants to nip that in the bud.
"If teams have a scouting report after this, I know what they're going to do, and we have to make some changes," Jones said. "There's going to be a lot of positions open this week."
Amboy's lone score came with 3 minutes left in the second quarter on a 3-yard plunge by Bontz. It was set up by a special teams mistake by St. Bede, compounded by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave the Clippers a short field (17 yards) to cover.
The only score of the second half was a defensive one. The Bruins' Shaw picked off a pass and took it 70 yards to the house with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Amboy reserves played the rest of the game, and St. Bede followed suit in the fourth quarter.
For the Clippers, it will be time to regroup heading into next week's game at Sherrard.
"We were really looking forward to Week 1," Bontz said. "It almost gets boring just practicing for 4 weeks, but once you lose that first game, you're like, 'Alright, now it's go time.' We're ready to go now."
Star of the game: Jack Brady, South Beloit, 11-for-17, 234 yards, 5 TDs
Key performers: Justin Shaw, South Beloit, 3 TDs (2 receiving, 1 interception return); Jason Bontz, Amboy, 66 yard rushing, TD
Up next: Amboy at Sherrard, 7:30 Friday