BEDFORD - There are few nights in high school athletes' careers when they want a win more than senior night. That was obviously true, as well, for Bedford's seniors on Friday.
Hosting Bishop Carroll near the end of what has been a disappointing season, the Bisons took charge on both sides of the ball behind senior leaders Aaron Henry and Ross Howsare and came away with a 19-6 win over the Huskies.
Henry's 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns led the way on offense, while Howsare anchored a defensive line that gave up just 103 total yards.
"It's always nice to finish the last home game with a win," Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. "We've had some tough times here and there throughout the season, but they'll remember this night and they'll be proud of the way they played."
As he has often been during his career, Henry led the Bisons offensively, but Howsare and his fellow linemen blew up the BC attack from the very beginning.
The Bedford D-line spent a lot of time in the Huskies' backfield, stuffing their running attack and giving quarterback David Maruca all he could handle. Maruca was sacked four times and was routinely forced to throw before even dropping back the whole way.
The loss was a tough one for the Huskies (1-8), who were coming off their first win of the season last week at Johnstown.
"Our line got blown out tonight," BC coach Greg Snyder said. "We did not expect that coming into tonight. That took away a lot of our play calling because we were getting pushed into the backfield. We couldn't get pass protection either. We had guys wide open, we just couldn't get our quarterback two second to throw the football.
"It's tough to pass when you don't have more than a second."
The seniors made an impact all night for Bedford, but the Bisons also got a lift from freshman quarterback Austin Montgomery. Making his first start under center because of regular signal caller Henry's nagging injuries, Montgomery - who also handled punting and kicking duties for his squad - may not have been a statistical wonder, but he did well in his first varsity start, rushing for a 15-yard TD in the third quarter.
"Austin could not have done a better job," Steele said. "I'm extremely proud of him. I thought he did a great job managing the game. He did everything we asked of him. He's going to be an outstanding quarterback for the future, and we're very excited with how he played tonight."
Though they're out of the playoff hunt at 2-7, Steele wants his team to buckle down and finish on a high note next week at rival Chestnut Ridge.
"We're still working to improve," he said. "Our kids are still working hard to get better. We have one last game against Ridge, and that will be the end of our season, unfortunately. But that will be a huge game for us, and that will be a great game next Friday night."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll0 0 0 6 - 6
Bedford0 7 12 0 - 19
B-Henry 7 run (Montgomery kick), 11:33.
B-Henry 18 run (kick failed), 7:49.
B-Montgomery 15 run (pass failed), 5:37.
BC-Woo 7 pass from Maruca (pass failed), :57.
RUSHING: Bishop Carroll-Maruca 7-(-6), Lesney 16-56, Lessard 9-24, Shuty 2-0. Bedford-Henry 23-134, Wirick 10-41, Montgomery 11-45, Koontz 3-6, TEAM 1-(-2).
PASSING: Bishop Carroll-Maruca 6-18-1-29. Bedford-Montgomery 1-1-0-16.
RECEIVING: Bishop Carroll-Switzer 3-12, Lesney 1-0, Shuty 1-10, Woo 1-7. Bedford-Wirick 1-16.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Carroll-none. Bedford-Campbell.