BEDFORD - With sophomore quarterback Austin Montgomery at the controls of Bedford's offense, the future appears awfully bright for the Bisons.
The present isn't too shabby, either.
Playing with the poise of a seasoned veteran, Montgomery completed eight of nine passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of duty as Bedford steamrolled Bishop McCort, 49-0 in a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference, Section II matchup Friday night at Bisons Stadium.
Bedford (1-1 conference section, 3-1 overall) broke out to a 42-0 lead at halftime and enjoyed the luxury of dumping its bench in the second half.
Friday night's performance and a solid week of practice were just what the doctor ordered for the Bisons after last week's 53-3 drubbing at the hands of an outstanding Richland team.
"We had a very good week of practice this week, and you usually play like you practice,'' said Bedford coach Kevin Steele, whose team racked up 451 yards in total offense. "We took care of the ball tonight, which is something that we emphasize, and our offensive and defensive lines dominated the game.''
Bedford marched 67 yards to the end zone on 10 plays during its first possession. Montgomery completed a pair of passes to sophomore wideout Zach Shaffer that covered 17 yards, and junior running back Jeremiah Bingham carried five times for 35 yards while capping the march with a 3-yard touchdown burst.
After senior defensive back Kody Blevins' fumble recovery at the McCort 38 on the Crushers' first offensive possession, Montgomery hooked up with Shaffer on a pass down the left sideline to give Bedford a 14-0 lead with just over five minutes gone in the game.
"We punched the ball into the end zone on our first drive, then we were able to get it right back,'' Steele said. "We got early momentum. The kids played a good game.''
After another McCort fumble that was covered by Bedford senior defensive end Dalton Tew at the Bisons' 47, Montgomery hit senior wideout Austin Sipes with a 49-yard touchdown pass with 5:20 left in the first quarter to stake Bedford to a 21-0 lead.
Following Blevins' 12-yard touchdown run that put Bedford up, 28-0 after one quarter, Montgomery and Shaffer connected on an 11-yard scoring pass 9:11 before halftime to make it 35-0.
Steele pointed out that Montgomery got some starting time as a freshman last season, and is football-wise beyond his years.
"He's a great student of the game, and he continues to improve,'' Steele said. "He's got a great work ethic. We're certainly happy to have him for the next three years.''
The same could be said for talented sophomore running back August Cook, who accounted for a pair of Bedford touchdowns with a 19-yard run in the second quarter and a 20-yard dash in the third.
McCort dropped to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the section, and Crushers coach Kevin Sheridan refused comment after the game.
Steele, on the other hand, had plenty to say.
"I'm proud of our kids' effort,'' he said. "Bouncing back like we did after last week's game showed a lot of resiliency. We played hard tonight.''
Bedford visits Westmont Hilltop next Saturday afternoon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop McCort0 0 0 0 - 0
Bedford28 14 7 0 - 49
BED-Bingham 3 run (Montgomery kick), 7:05.
BED-Shaffer 38 pass from Montgomery (Montgomery kick), 6:48.
BED-Sipes 49 pass from Montgomery (Montgomery kick), 5:20.
BED-Blevins 12 run (Montgomery kick), 1:44
BED-Shaffer 11 pass from Montgomery (Montgomery kick), 9:11.
BED-Cook 19 run (Montgomery kick), 2:51.
BED-Cook 20 run (Montgomery kick), :53.
RUSHING: Bishop McCort-Smith 12-58, Thompson 3-11, Way 2-3, Rugg 1-0, Cook 1-(-4), Trexler 1-(-2), Gjurich 1-(-1), Wade 3-(-7), Team 1-(-14). Bedford-Blevins 6-63, Bingham 12-60, Montgomery 7-57, Cook 5-44, Coughenour 6-15, Waugerman 2-10, Ellington 1-4, Lazorka 1-3, Downs 7-0, Yingling 1-0.
PASSING: Bishop McCort-Wade 2-13-0-25, Cook 0-2-0-0. Bedford-Montgomery 8-9-0-168, Downs 1-1-0-17.
RECEIVING: Bishop McCort-DiFrancesco 1-10, Neiderheiser 1-15. Bedford-Shaffer 5-93, Sipes 1-49, Blevins 1-17, Bingham 1-14, Downs 1-12.