By Nate Foreman
JOHNSTOWN -- Friday night's high school football matchup at Point Stadium may not have looked very close to some on paper.
But for one half, Bedford threw that paper out the window.
Unfortunately for the Bisons, Bishop McCort made all the necessary adjustments in the second half en route to a 38-14 drubbing in a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section 2 battle.
Those adjustments were evident right out of the gate to start the third quarter.
Bedford -- which trailed 17-14 at halftime -- was held to just 16 yards on its first series of the second half before McCort forced the Bisons to punt the ball away for the first time in the game.
The Crushers then methodically picked apart the Bedford defense, taking the ball 78 yards in 3:39 and capping off the possession with Wyatt Jackson's 9-yard touchdown run.
On the scoring drive, Bishop McCort ran 11 plays -- including completions of 7, 9, 11 and 11 yards -- and gained five first downs. Jackson ran the ball five times for 47 of his 68 yards. He finished with three touchdowns.
"The first drive of the second half was the key to the game," Bishop McCort coach Kevin Sheridan said. "The defense stood tall, got us the ball back. We were able to throw the ball efficiently. We were efficient on first and second down. That's why we were able to put some points up in the second half."
After that, it was more of the same.
The Bisons (0-4) had only 31 yards of total offense in the second half, finishing with 276 for the game.
"Give credit to them," Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. "The second half, they came out and made some plays. We didn't do that. They stepped it up and manhandled us at the line of scrimmage. When that happens, you're not able to move the football and you're not able to make plays."
"The defense stood tall in the second half," Sheridan said. "The adjustment was [to] finish tackles. More times than naught, it's a matter of something we can control. That was the case in that instance."
Meanwhile, the Crushers (3-1) continued to march down the field on each possession, gaining 162 yards in the final 24 minutes.
"We had a nice night offensively," said Sheridan, whose team racked up 405 offensive yards, including 227 through the air. "Last week [in a loss to Somerset] we sputtered and felt a little responsible on the offensive side for letting one slip away.
"We came off the ball harder. We were more aggressive, we were more physical, and we were able, once we controlled the line of scrimmage, to mix the pass and the run. That's our plan all along."
Both teams opened the game on an offensive roll.
Bedford quarterback Aaron Henry made several plays to get out of trouble and make something out of nothing.
He found Kody Blevins behind the defense for an 81-yard touchdown strike after avoiding a sack and scrambling out of the pocket on a third-and-long situation in the second quarter.
Henry finished 10-for-17 for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 45 yards on 18 carries.
Luke Campbell, who was playing in his first game of the season, caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown.
"Aaron's getting better and getting a little more acquainted with the offense. They're giving him more confidence and he made some plays tonight. A couple of the receivers made some plays tonight, too."
Bishop McCort is on the road next week to face undefeated Richland, while Bedford will try for win No. 1 against Westmont Hilltop.
"We've just got to keep looking to get a lot better," Steele said. "We're not where we need to be right now, so we'll get back to work Monday and get better."
Game notes: Bedford kicker Austin Montgomery missed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide left on the Bisons' first drive of the game. ... Bishop McCort quarterback Zaine Tomkowski was 15-for-22 for 227 yards and a touchdown. He also scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. ... The Crushers' Jordan Spangler had a stellar night. He caught seven passes for 89 yards, made several key tackles on defense, booted a 31-yard field goal and tallied six touchbacks.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bedford0 14 0 0 -- 14
Bishop McCort10 7 7 14 -- 38
BM--Tomkowski 1 run (Spangler kick), 9:25.
BM--Spangler 31 FG, 1:41.
B--Campbell 20 pass from Henry (Montgomery kick), 11:54.
BM--Jackson 8 run (Spangler kick), 5:48.
B--Blevins 81 pass from Henry (Montgomery kick), 4:51.
BM--Jackson 9 run (Spangler kick), 3:47.
BM--Spangler 28 pass from Tomkowski (Spangler kick), 10:29.
BM--Jackson 5 run (Spangler kick), 6:20.
RUSHING: Bedford--Henry 18-45, Campbell 1-13, Demoss 3-11, Wirick 6-9, Kline 1-4, Koontz 1-3. Bishop McCort--James 6-73, Jackson 14-68, Tomkowski 7-34, Palov 4-13, Good 1-0, Hutzell 1-(-4), Smith 1-(-6).
PASSING: Bedford--Henry 10-17-0-191, Kline 0-0-0-0. Bishop McCort--Tomkowski 15-22-0-227.
RECEIVING: Bedford--Campbell 5-74, Blevins 3-91, Kline 1-18, Wirick 1-8. Bishop McCort--Spangler 7-89, Siwy 3-30, DiFrancesco 2-72, Formica 1-17, James 1-12, Jackson 1-7.