LORETTO - Entering Friday night's Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference intersectional game against Johnstown, Bishop Carroll Catholic was still searching for its first win.
Now the Huskies don't have to look any further.
Bishop Carroll answered a late first-half Trojans challenge and never looked back in a 14-6 win on Senior Night at St. Francis University's DeGol Field.
And judging by the team's post game celebration and coach Greg Snyder's excitement, the win means a little more than just getting a proverbial monkey off of one's back.
"I can't even talk right now. It feels good. It feels real good," Snyder said, partially shaking with excitement and partially shaking because a cold rain poured down for much of the fourth quarter. "Our kids just fought their butts off. We're getting better every week, playing through adversity. They just came out and played their butts off."
For one series, though, Johnstown (3-5) was able to move the ball effectively.
The Trojans ate up nearly six minutes on an 11-play, 70-yard drive that gave them a 6-0 advantage with 1:08 left in the second quarter after their conversion run attempt failed.
Wuanyai Mayo connected with Kareem Gibson for a 29-yard touchdown to cap of the scoring drive.
"We were able to get some things there going," Johnstown coach Tony Penna Jr. said. "We changed up our running game a little bit. We're just searching right now for the right combination. When we get it, we're able to put drives together."
On the ensuing kickoff, Bishop Carroll's Marty Lessard scooped up the short kick and took it all the way to the Johnstown 45.
Lesney ran for 17 yards on the Huskies' first play of the series, prompting Snyder to take a chance with the offense.
David Maruca then tossed a perfect throw to Dane Woo - who made a great catch on the sideline - for 27 yards, setting up a first-and-goal from the 1. Lessard got the call, but fumbled into the end zone where lineman Jonathan Schall pounced on the loose ball for a touchdown.
Michael Pyo's point after gave Bishop Carroll (1-7, 1-5) a 7-6 lead heading into the locker room.
"We were probably going to kneel the ball [after Johnstown's score], but we got that big return," Snyder said. "We tried a run to see what would happen and when [Lesney] got a big gain, we just knew we had to go for it. Then David made a great throw to Dane and got that touchdown on the next play.
"They had the momentum, but we took it right back from them and that set the tempo for the second half."
Pyo's effort in the punting game was big, too.
On consecutive fourth quarter possessions, Pyo pinned the Trojans inside their own 10-yard line.
Each time, the Bishop Carroll defense came up big, including forcing a fumble to set up Maruca for a rushing touchdown with 1:55 left in the game.
"I thought their punting game was big," Penna said. "The field position was terrible for us. They got us back in there deep. That hurts our spread game when we get backed up."
The Huskies defense stood tall in the third quarter as well, forcing Johnstown to turn the ball over on downs twice.
Bishop Carroll held the potent Trojans rushing attack to just 80 yards on 34 carries.
"Our defense was playing great tonight," Snyder said. "The defense has been shaky at times this year. But they really stepped up tonight and got it done for us."
The Huskies will have a shot to get win No. 2 next week when they visit Bedford.
"It was just our time to get a win," Snyder said. "We've working all year -- playing hard, getting better every day. It paid off. We'll celebrate a little bit tonight, but tomorrow we'll get back to the drawing board and try to get another win."
Game notes: Lesney had 107 yards on 21 carries. Gibson finished with four catches for 112 yards. Johnstown had a chance to tie the game on its final possession. Bishop Carroll's Alex Repko had an interception as time expired, but the Trojans had new life on a defensive holding call. On an untimed play to end the game, a wide-open Gibson had a pass bounce off of his hands in the end zone.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Johnstown0 6 0 0 - 6
Bishop Carroll.0 7 0 7 - 14
J-Gibson 29 pass from Mayo (run failed), 1:08.
BC-Schall 1 fumble recovery (Pyo kick), 0:27.
BC-Maruca 1 run (Pyo kick), 1:55.
RUSHING: Johnstown-Madison 6-27, Braxton 11-24, Gibson 1-17, Miller 2-13, Mayo 9-6, Jones 3-2, Lanzendorfer 1-(-1), TEAM 1-(-8). Bishop Carroll-Lesney 21-107, Maruca 9-24, Lessard 7-15, Shuty 2-7, Schall 0-1, Keim 1-(-1).
PASSING: Johnstown-Mayo 7-15-0-136, Madison 1-1-0-3. Bishop Carroll-Maruca 7-11-0-72.
RECEIVING: Johnstown-Gibson 4-112, Andrews 2-19, Jones 1-10, Williams 1-(-2). Bishop Carroll-Shuty 3-24, Switzer 2-14, Woo 1-27, Lesney 1-7.