Depending on how the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School football season turns out this year, it might go down as one of the best timeouts coach Justin Wheeler ever called.
After watching Cambria Heights go 83 yards on its first drive Friday night for a 7-0 lead, and then go 31 yards in two plays on its second drive, Wheeler had to do something in his Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section 1 matchup.
"All we did was just tell our guys it was time to play Bishop Guilfoyle football. We were worrying too much about what they might do instead of just doing what we are taught to do and that is play aggressive and play hard. They said 'Yes sir' and that was it," said Wheeler, who then watched his team shut down the Highlanders the rest of the night for a 17-7 victory.
Guilfoyle, which didn't even get a first down until there was under 2:44 to play in the first half, forced three turnovers in the game while not committing any on offense.
"I think they made adjustments ... credit them. They played a very good game," Heights coach Jarrod Lewis said.
Heights (1-2) was solid to open the game, as the running of Donnie Contorchick, Ben Myers and Tyler Crawford, along with quarterback Nathan Bearer, moved the ball from the Heights 17 to the BG 45. On second-and-1, the Highlanders changed it up as Bearer hit Andrew Brawley for a 45-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
"They were coming after us and they got to us in that first quarter," Wheeler said. "Those three backs are good.They will probably be the best three we go against all year, but we had to stop them and get them out of their comfort zone, which is running the ball."
Thanks to its defense, which forced a punt from the Heights 19, Guilfoyle set up shop at the Highlanders' 43 with 2:44 to go in the half. It took them 10 plays, but Guilfoyle (2-1) scored when sophomore quarterback Brandon Chadbourn hit senior Pat Irwin on a slant for an 8-yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie with 18 seconds left.
"We have some guys who are playmakers so we thought eventually we could make a play," Wheeler said. "Brandon made a play and Pat Irwin has become a terrific receiver."
At the outset of the fourth, on a drive that started at the very end of the third, Guilfoyle broke a 7-7 tie by marching 72 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 37-yard field goal by Jared Verba. The hard-nose running of Cody Rossman got Verba into position for the kick as he amassed a good chunk of his 84 yards on that series.
"Once I kick a ball, I can tell if it is going to be right or wrong and I knew this one was right," Verba said.
After a Heights fumble at the 9:53 mark of the fourth quarter, BG put the game away as the Marauders needed just three plays to score, this time on a Chadbourn pass to Irwin that went 28 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead.
"I came out on the flat and was getting towards the sideline," Irwin said. "I looked back for the ball and didn't see anyone, but then I turned around and a guy was there. He jumped inside and then I saw the end zone and just started running as fast as I could."
Heights had the ball twice in the final 8:55 of the game. An interception by Sam McCloskey ended one drive, and the BG defense forced a punt with under five minutes to go on the second drive. An 11-play Marauder drive ended the game as time expired.
"We have to eliminate the turnovers. That's the bottom line," Lewis said. "Their quarterback is slippery. He's a good athlete. Our guys played hard but they made the plays and we didn't."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cambria Heights7 0 0 0 - 7
Bishop Guilfoyle0 7 0 10 - 17
CH-Brawley 45 pass from Bearer, 9:11 (Bertram kick)
BG-Irwin 8 pass from Chadbourn, :18 (Verba kick)
BG-Verba 37 FG, 9:59
BG-Irwin 28 pass from Chadbourn, 8:55 (Verba kick)
RUSHING: Cambria Heights-Crawford 10-50, Contorchick 8-27, Bearer 5-25, Myers 7-27, Fees 1-(-1). Bishop Guilfoyle-Chadbourn 13-14, Rossman 21-84, Kitt 3-8, McCloskey 4-2, Little 2-2.
PASSING: Cambria Heights - Bearer 5-11-1-55, Myers 0-1-1. Bishop Guilfoyle - Chadbourn 7-15-0-92.
RECEIVING: Cambria Heights - Myers 2-4, Brawley 1-45 Contorchick 1-(-3), Crawford 1-9. Bishop Guilfoyle - Irwin 2-36, Nardelli 2-34, Rickens 1-10, McCloskey 1-3, Gormley 1-9.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-McCloskey, Rossman.