CRESSON - Penn Cambria football coach Jason Grassi was looking for a silver lining in Friday night's 35-0 loss to Bishop Guilfoyle, but mostly all he saw was gold - purple and gold to be exact.
The Marauders rushed for 249 yards, passed for 127 yards while holding Penn Cambria to just 62 yards of offense and five first downs as the Panthers fell to 0-5.
"I told our kids [after the game] that BG started out 0-2 and didn't quit. They didn't quit; they kept at it. They got better each week, and that is what we want to do," said Grassi, whose club had three first downs in the first three quarters.
The Marauders are now 3-2 and feeling pretty good about themselves as they get set to host Bishop Carroll next Saturday.
"We really have gotten better with each week," said BG coach Justin Wheeler, who before the start of the game reminded his kids not to take Penn Cambria lightly despite its winless mark. "They play hard. We told our kids this is a team in search of its first win, and they do have some weapons, but our defense really played hard tonight."
Guilfoyle scored on its first three possessions. The Marauders went 75 yards in eight plays, scoring on a Nick Little 8-yard run early in the first. Its next drive went 58 yards in six plays, with Sam McCloskey scoring from 2 yards out. The third drive went 9 plays and 85 yards with quarterback Brandon Chadbourn scoring from 1 yard out to make it 19-0 at the 11:29 mark of the second quarter.
Each time, BG mixed up the ground game with Chadbourn, McCloskey, Little and D.J. Kitt, while Chadbourn used tight end Matt Gormley almost exclusively, targeting him six times in the game for 86 yards.
"Our goal each week is to rush for 250 to 300 yards a game. Brandon has a good arm. We know he can pass, but we want to be able to run first," Wheeler said.
BG scored one more time when Chadbourn marched them 50 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 5-yard run courtesy of the Marauder quarterback again. Jared Verba's PAT made it 26-0 with 5:19 to go in the half.
Meanwhile, Penn Cambria had just four offensive plays in the first quarter, and three drives in the second quarter that ended in a punt and two turnovers. It got its first first down at the 3:04 mark of the second quarter.
"I think we are getting effort, but not consistently. That's been our issue all year. Sometimes we see it in spurts, but not enough," Grassi said. "That's the beauty of football, though, because you get to come back out and try again the next week."
BG, which began inserting its reserves in the third quarter, got a 1-yard touchdown run from Kitt at the 4:22 mark to make it 32-0. Verba kicked a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth to put the mercy rule in place.
Offensively, Chadbourn finished with 85 yards on 15 carries while McCloskey ran for 97 on nine carries. Chadbourn hit on 11-of-13 passes for 127 yards and no picks. Penn Cambria completed just two passes all night to its receivers, and three to BG defenders.
"Chadbourn just adds another dimension to their team," Grassi said. "They have big kids in the backfield, and they can throw the ball to that Gormley kid whenever. They are tough to defend one thing. We also didn't do a good job of getting off their blocks and they were getting 5 and 6 yards at a time."
Penn Cambria is at Cambria Heights next Friday. The BG-Carroll game is Saturday at Mansion Park.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle13 13 6 3 - 35
Penn Cambria0 0 0 0 - 0
BG-Little 8 run, 8:04 (Verba kick)
BG-McCloskey 2 run, 3:55 (kick failed)
BG-B. Chadbourn 1 run 11:29 (pas failed)
BG-B. Chadbourn 5 run, 5:19 (Verba kick)
BG-Kitt 1 run, 4:22 (kick failed)
BG-Verba 26 FG, 1:12
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 15-85, Kitt 5-18, McCloskey 9-97, Little 5-32, Yasulitis 3-11, Hagg 1-(-6), E. Chadbourn 2-13, Callahan 3-(-1), Luther 1-1, TEAM 1-(-1). Penn Cambria-Przybys 2-0, Mardula 5-(-18), Hurley 1-(-6), Strawser 8-27, Eckenrode 1-4, Hartline 3-9, Roberts 3-15.
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Chadbourn 11-13-0-127, Hagg 0-1-0-0. Penn Cambria-Mardula 1-6-2-8, Tsikalas 1-3-1-23.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Gormley 6-86, Kitt 2-12, E.Chadbourn 1-19, Miller1-9, McCloskey 1-1. Penn Cambria-Hurley 2-31.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 2, McCloskey.