It was senior night and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic got outstanding performances from Pat Irwin and Cody Rossman in their final game at Mansion Park.
Quarterback Irwin rushed for 116 yards on 15 carries and accounted for three touchdowns - two running and one passing. Tailback Rossman also gained 116 yards on 15 carries and tallied two TDs as the Marauders cruised to a 41-14 Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference non-section win over Westmont Hilltop.
Guilfoyle, which improved to 7-1 overall with its sixth straight win, faces diocesan rival Bishop McCort next Friday in Johnstown.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
BG’s Owen Wolf and Michael Pleva tackle Westmont Hilltop’s Liam Moran.
"It's a big game for us," BG coach Justin Wheeler said of the McCort matchup. "They have a great program with a lot of history, and we have a lot of history at BG.
"It will be an exciting week, and we're looking forward to it."
So is Rossman.
"This game will get our morale up [for McCort]," Rossman said. "We'll practice hard and, hopefully, take it to McCort. Whatever happens, happens."
Wheeler again praised the leadership of Irwin, who also hit 5-of-11 passes for 71 yards, including a 15-yard score to sophomore tight end Matt Gormley.
"A lot of what we do is because of him," Wheeler said of Irwin.
The Marauders put up 398 yards on offense, including 327 on the ground. With regular fullback D.J. Kitt on the sidelines, sophomore Sam McCloskey stepped in and gained 92 yards on 11 carries. He also had a 5-yard TD run.
"Our backfield is pretty solid," Wheeler said. "We've had three different tailbacks this year, and it's just the next guy up. We learned that last year and every kid had a great offseason. No matter who lines up there, the kids play well.
"Sammy [McCloskey] had a tremendous game tonight."
Despite eight penalties for 87 yards, the Marauders were able to finish drives and weren't forced to punt all night.
"A lot of teams have a hard time defending us because we have a bunch of weapons," Wheeler said. "Every week, we've been able to give the ball to different people and it makes it difficult for defensive coordinators to gameplan us."
Westmont's unique offense, with an unbalanced line, also is difficult to defend, but Wheeler was pleased with his defense, even though it gave up more than one score for the first time in several games. He wasn't pleased with the penalties, however, saying they cost his team two scores.
Senior tackle Nick Ceschini had a big night for the BG defense against Westmont's unusual offensive alignment.
"Our coaches prepared us really well," Ceschini said. "We knew what we were getting into, for the most part, and we felt we had the proper tools to get it done.
"We usually have a different twist or two on defense," Ceschini noted, "and this week we had a six-man front and played one of our linebackers up."
Westmont coach Pat Barron was impressed with the Marauders.
"They took it to our defense tonight," Barron said. "We had to move some guys around on defense and looked for some young kids to step up and there are some silver linings in everything."
The brightest light for the Hilltoppers (1-7) was junior running back Sam Curry, who scored both of Westy's TDs while rushing for 124 yards on 22 carries.
"Coming in, I was concerned about running the ball," Barron said, "but once the game got rolling, I thought we did well on the offensive line, but Guilfoyle is a heckuva team and I tip my cap to them because they were the better team."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Westmont Hilltop0 6 0 8 - 14
Bishop Guilfoyle6 13 15 7 - 41
BG-Irwin 3 run (kick failed), 1:56.
BG-Gormley 15 pass from Irwin (pass failed), 9:01.
WH-Curry 15 run (kick failed), 3:49.
BG-Irwin 1 run (Logue kick), :11.
BG-McCloskey 5 run (Gormley pass from Irwin), 6:43.
BG-Rossman 15 run (Logue kick), 2:23.
WH-Curry 4 run (Curry run), 10:50.
BG-Rossman 4 run (Logue kick), 4:21.
RUSHING: Westmont Hilltop-Curry 22-124, Boyle 4-34, Moran 6-7, Campigotto 3-7, Kleinmeyer 1-6, TEAM 1-(-14). Bishop Guilfoyle-Rossman 15-116, Irwin 15-116, McCloskey 11-92, Little 1-3.
PASSING: Westmont Hilltop-Moran 3-8-1-24. Bishop Guilfoyle-Irwin 5-11-0-71.
RECEIVING: Westmont Hilltop-Kleinmeyer 2-26, Curry 1-(-2). Bishop Guilfoyle-Gormley 2-30, Rickens 2-33, Nardelli 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-Rickens.