JOHNSTOWN - Bishop Guilfoyle's 0-2 start to the 2013 high school football season seems like a distant memory now.
In fact, it is ancient history.
The Marauders look like a well-oiled machine very capable of winning a District 6 Class A championship these days. On Saturday afternoon, Guilfoyle took the opportunity to fine tune some things and then play a lot of its reserves in its sixth straight win, with Sam McCloskey hauling in two of Brandon Chadbourn's three touchdown passes as BG rolled over host Westmont Hilltop by a 49-7 count at Price Field.
"We set goals at the beginning of the year to win the district. When we were 0-2, it didn't stop there," said McCloskey, a junior who caught three passes for 103 yards and ran the ball three times for 40 yards. "We had to tweak some things, and we became closer as a group. We've been doing great ever since."
After fumbling the ball away to end a promising opening drive, the Marauders scored on their next seven possessions to take a 49-0 lead at the half. Guilfoyle struck fast, only needing 21 plays to do the damage and gobbling up 408 yards. Fourteen Marauder snaps wound up covering 11 yards or more.
It was the Marauders' most lopsided game of the year and biggest margin of victory since they opened last year with a 42-0 shellacking of Bedford. D.J. Kitt capped the half with his second touchdown run, going 61 yards with 3 seconds left.
Chadbourn, though, did the most damage. The junior quarterback ran the ball six times for 119 yards, including a 50-yard scoring run, and completed five of seven passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns, finding McCloskey for 39 and 52 yards in the first quarter and then connecting with Nick Miller on a 40-yard bomb in the second. He didn't play offense in the second half.
Chadbourn had run for 150 yards in a 30-6 win against 5-3 Central Cambria the week before.
"We've been practicing hard, and we look pretty good. Hitting on all cylinders," said Chadbourn, whose younger brother, Evan, tacked on a 4-yard scoring run. "We're really been running the ball a lot, so we decided to open it up a little bit and see what we can do. It worked out pretty well."
BG only had passed for 487 yards in the first seven games.
"We think our passing game really is one of our strengths. We just haven't had an opportunity to get into it much," Marauder coach Justin Wheeler said. "We wanted to work on throwing the ball. We know we can't be a one-dimensional team come playoff time."
Westmont fell to 0-8 despite 140 yards on the ground from Sam Curry. Curry's 1-yard run with 7:37 left deprived Guilfoyle of the shutout.
Hilltopper coach Pat Barron said Saturday's result was more an indication of how well BG is playing right now than anything else.
"They're an outstanding football team. They're big. They're physical. They're fast," Hilltopper coach Pat Barron said. "Up front on both sides of the ball they dominated today, and that was the difference."
One of the district favorites in its class, Guilfoyle began the year with losses to Bedford and Richland, who've turned out to be two of the better Class AA teams in the region. That seemed to click a switch with the Marauders, though; they've improved steadily since and might be able to lock up home-field advantage through the 6-A playoffs by beating Bishop McCort and United at Mansion Park the next two Fridays.
"The first two games humbled us, and we just came back with a new attitude that every game is going to be our last game and play it like it's our last game," BG senior center-defensive tackle and captain John Taddei said. "Last year, we made it to the semifinals, and we couldn't quite finish. This year, we're trying to beat that goal and move ahead."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle21 28 0 0 - 49
Westmont Hilltop0 0 0 7 - 7
BG-B. Chadbourn 50 run (Verba kick), 7:46.
BG-McCloskey 39 pass from B. Chadbourn (Verba kick), 5:22.
BG-McCloskey 52 pass from B. Chadbourn (Verba kick), 1:55.
BG-Kitt 5 run (Verba kick), 11:02.
BG-N. Miller 40 pass from B. Chadbourn (Verba kick), 9:08.
BG-E. Chadbourn 4 run (Verba kick), 4:47.
BG-Kitt 61 run (Trybus kick), 0:03.
WH-Curry 1 run (Causer kick), 7:37.
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 6-119, Kitt 4-76, McCloskey 3-40, Yasulitis 5-25, Irwin 4-21, Trybus 2-4, C. Little 1-2, E. Chadbourn 4-(-1), Luther 1-(-3), TEAM 1-(-1). Westmont Hilltop-Curry 25-140, Valente 7-29, Pyshnik 5-23, Moran 9-9, Campigotto 4-6.
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 5-7-0-169, Hagg 1-1-0-7, Trybus 0-1-1-0. Westmont Hilltop-Moran 1-2-0-27.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-McCloskey 3-103, N. Miller 1-40, Gormley 1-26, Livoti 1-7. Westmont Hilltop-Barron 1-27.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-none. Westmont Hilltop-Kott.