LORETTO - In a game that saw Cambria Heights and Bishop Carroll combine to score 60 points, it was a play on defense that proved to be the difference as Heights won, 40-20,?Friday night.
The Huskies started the second half trailing 28-14 but scored on their first possession. The Highlanders then fumbled on their ensuing possession, giving Bishop Carroll the ball back in Heights territory.
On fourth down, Donnie Contorchick exploded off the line and tackled Ryan Lauer in the backfield to turn the ball over on downs to the Highlanders. They scored on their next possession to increase their lead to two scores, and the game was never in doubt again.
"That was a big stop for our defense," Cambria Heights coach Jarrod Lewis said. "That is a good football team. We saw them getting better every week, and we were very worried about them. They put a lot of pressure on our defense today. Their offense did an excellent job. On that particular series Contorchick made a nice play."
On the ensuing drive for the Highlanders, a 32-yard pass from Ben Myers to Andrew Brawley set up Heights in Huskies territory. They ran the ball eight straight plays, converting two fourth-and-1 situations. The second conversion was a quarterback sneak by Nathan Bearer for a touchdown.
Another fourth-down sack by Contorchick in the fourth quarter set up Cambria Heights' final touchdown, an 18-yard scamper by Tyler Crawford.
The two big stories early were the running game of Heights and turnovers for the Huskies. On Bishop Carroll's first possession, Lauer fumbled the ball, giving the ball to the Highlanders near midfield. Contorchick capped a five-play, 54-yard drive with a 30-yard scoring run.
Brawley intercepted a Lauer pass on the Huskies' next possession to again give Heights the ball near midfield. Crawford converted a fourth-and-1 at the 16 to keep the drive alive, then dragged a Huskies defender into the end zone two plays later for a 13-yard TD.
Josh Barzdo and Myers then traded touchdown runs, and the quarter ended with Cambria Heights up, 21-7.
The Huskies got back into the game in the second quarter when they recovered a Highlanders fumble deep in Heights territory. On fourth-and-12 from the 24, Cody Kephart caught a screen pass from Lauer and found the end zone.
Cambria Heights responded as Bearer lofted a pass into the end zone that was pulled in by Ben Myers for a touchdown to push the lead back to 28-14.
"We are consistently inconsistent," Bishop Carroll coach Craig Sponsky said. "We have good effort, and the kids play hard, but sometimes we are our own worst enemy. It's not a lack of effort, just too many mistakes to overcome in crucial situations."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cambria Heights21 7 6 6 - 40
Bishop Carroll 7 7 6 0 - 20
CH-Contorchick 30 run (Irwin kick), 7:16.
CH-Crawford 13 run (kick failed), 2:56.
BC-Barzdo 50 run (Pyo kick), 1:57.
CH-Myers 8 run (Crawford run), :23.
BC-Co. Kephart 24 pass from Lauer (Pyo kick), 4:25.
CH-Myers 35 pass from Bearer (Irwin kick), :34.
BC-Barzdo 44 run (run failed).
CH-Bearer 1 run (kick blocked).
CH-Crawforrd 18 run (kick failed).
RUSHING: Cambria Heights-Crawford 19-88, Myers 13-106, Contorchick 7-51, Bearer 1-1, Fees 2-15, Shank 2-4, TEAM 3-(-3). Bishop Carroll-Barzdo 17-129, Janosik 6-43, Co. Kephart 5-8, Lauer 9-(-11), TEAM 1-(-2).
PASSING: Cambria Heights-Bearer 2-7-0-72, Myers 2-3-0-67. Bishop Carroll-Lauer 8-15-1-103.
RECEIVING: Cambria Heights-Brawley 3-104, Myers 1-35. Bishop Carroll-Janosik 1-12, Shuty 1-10, Comisac 2-14, Co. Kephart 3-42, Barzdo 1-25.
INTERCEPTIONS: Cambria Heights-Brawley. Bishop Carroll-none.