MOUNDSVILLE - There can be times when a loss isn't exactly the worst thing a football team can have happen.
Bellaire dropped its opener last week and had to endure being told that perhaps it wasn't as good as everyone thought coming into the season. A defense that was left for dead came out and stopped John Marshall twice inside the 20-yard line in the first quarter and senior quarterback Spencer Badia got hot and went on to finish with 283 yards passing and five touchdowns as the Big Reds (1-1) emerged from Monarch Stadium on Friday night with a 37-14 victory.
Bellaire isn't 2-0, but it accomplished coach Jose Davis' goal of being 1-0 this week.
John Marshall’s Trevor Hardesty (20) is corralled by Bellaire’s James Dunfee (56) Donivan Taylor (55) and Cody LaRoche (58) Friday night.
''I think last week was a shot to the face for these guys,'' Davis said. '' As a competitor you've got to want this.
''Our goals are still intact.''
The Monarchs (0-1) defense, however, is not.
Badia hit five different receivers en route to completing 18 of 28, led by a six-catch, 125-yard output by Kenny Hess, who was every bit as stout on the other side of the ball. Nick Patrone was held without a catch in the first half, but finished with five for 60 yards and three scores after halftime.
''But we were where we wanted to be,'' Davis said of Patrone's first-half goose egg. ''The bigger picture of it is that we want to make you defend the whole field and make sure everyone has their hand in everything we do.''
Taking advantage of what John Marshall gave it, Bellaire used the run to set up the pass in the first half. John Marshall jumped in front 2-0 when Badia was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, but Bellaire caught a break not long after when Wyatt Back jumped on a fumble at the JM 4
That was enough to ignite Badia, who hit Hess for a 3-yard score and a 7-2 lead.
''We had a lot of blown opportunities,'' Monarchs coach Rick Goodrich said. ''A lot of self-inflicted with penalties and the turnover by our own goal line.''
John Marshall went back ahead for the final time as Trevor Hardesty broke a couple of tackles on his way to a 55-yard touchdown run. The point after was blocked as the Monarchs clung to an 8-7 cushion.
''He's the real deal,'' Goodrich said of Hardesty. ''We're very fortunate he's here.
''We'll get better and he'll keep us together and we will build from it.''
The ensuing Bellaire drive was all Bralen Snell, who carried twice for 29 yards and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass. Cody LaRoche kicked a 22-yard field goal right before the half to give the Big Reds a 17-6 lead.
''Mentally for the kids' psyche, that's where they needed to be,'' Davis said. ''It's a strange game ... a game of confidence.
''The more and more stops they got, the more confidence we got.''
Badia opened the second half 8-for-8 including touchdown passes of 24 and 30 yards to Patrone, as Bellaire sandwiched a pair of scores around another stop by the defense inside its own 10, to blow things open.
Hardesty did all he could to keep the Monarchs in it, catching an Aaron Bishop screen pass and making a number of defenders miss on his way to a 79-yard score. He finished his first game with 165 yards rushing on 24 carries and 92 receiving on four catches, for a total of 257 yards.
Bellaire finished things off as the Badia-to-Patrone connection worked again, this time from 6 yards.
''You could see they are trying to come together,'' Davis said. ''Everything happens for a reason, and I am a true believer of that.
''Something happened for a reason, but that's not to say we're going to knock it out and go 9-1. But I do think it brought us closer as a group.''