Chadbourn sparks BG victory
The old saying holds that it may be better to be lucky than to be good.
Brandon Chadbourn was a little bit of both for Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic on special teams Saturday night.
The Marauders’ junior standout opened the second half by returning a Forest Hills kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, then followed that up by falling on a fortuitous bounce in the end zone for another score after returning a punt 80 yards in the last minute of the third period, to spark BG to a 40-14 Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section I victory at Mansion Park.
With BG leading, 21-14 entering the second half, the 6-foot-1, 186-pound Chadbourn, who combines eye-opening athleticism with deceptive speed, found a seam up the middle of the field after taking the opening kickoff at the Marauders’ 14.
His touchdown run on the play was the turning point in the game for BG, which improved to 2-2 overall and improved its conference section record to 2-0.
“I just saw a hole and worked my way through it,” Chadbourn said. “The blocking was good, and I took off and happened to score. It was a big lift for us.”
Chadbourn, who also made his first start at quarterback Saturday after returning from a broken thumb suffered in the exhibition season, gave the Marauders a much-needed spark on a couple of fronts. He threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Matt Gormley to put BG ahead to stay, 21-14 with 3:10 left before halftime.
Chadbourn’s full-time return to the quarterback position happens none too soon for BG, which lost senior flanker/quarterback Damon Rickens for the season last week with a broken collarbone.
“We’re glad to get Brandon Chadbourn back,” said BG coach Justin Wheeler. “He gives us a spark offensively, and what he did tonight on special teams was huge.”
Chadbourn was off to the races for what would be the final touchdown of the night after gathering in a punt at the BG 20 as the third quarter was winding down. He broke through the middle of the field, cutting left and outracing the Forest Hills pursuit, but ran out of gas near the goal line as a Rangers’ defender popped the ball free of his grasp.
Chadbourn, however, wound up in just the right spot at the right time, covering the loose ball in the end zone.
“It was a little bit of a lucky bounce,” Chadbourn said.
Chadbourn brings a lot to the table besides the good fortune he enjoyed Saturday, and veteran Forest Hills coach Don Bailey, whose team dropped to 0-2 in the section and 2-2 overall, knew it.
“We wanted to kick the ball on the ground to him at the start of the second half, but we had a backup kicker in there, and he got it in the air,” Bailey said. “We didn’t want to kick the ball to Chadbourn. He’s a heck of an athlete. He makes plays for them.”
Chadbourn wasn’t the only BG playmaker Saturday, though. Junior back Sam McCloskey ran for 104 yards on just nine carries and two touchdowns on jaunts of 26 yards in the second quarter and 45 yards in the third.
Another junior back, D.J. Kitt, picked up 51 yards on six carries and had a 3-yard first-quarter touchdown run that tied the game, 7-7.
Gormley caught three Chadbourn passes for 65 yards, including the touchdown.
“Our backs ran well tonight, and our offensive line is young, but they’re getting better each week,” Wheeler said.
Bailey thought that the Marauders won the game in the trenches after his team had built a 14-7 second-quarter lead on junior Joe Donoughe’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Shareef Blough and Donoughe’s 66-yard interception return for a touchdown on defense.
“They beat us up front tonight, and that’s where most games are won or lost,” Bailey said.
BG rolled up 334 yards in total offense, including 246 on the ground.
“It’s very tough losing Damon [Rickens], because he’s a quality kid,” Wheeler said. “But we were looking for our offense to click tonight with Brandon in there, and it did.”
Game notes: Forest Hills two-way standout Dusty Ohler left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return … Root Sports (television channel 33 locally) will replay a condensed segment of last night’s game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 p.m. Friday … Both teams are back in action next Friday night. BG travels to Penn Cambria, while Forest Hills hosts Cambria Heights.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Forest Hills7 7 0 0 – 14
Bishop Guilfoyle7 14 19 0 – 40
FH-Blough 26 pass from Donoughe (Leech kick), 9:06.
BG-Kitt 3 run (Verba kick), 4:38.
FH-Donoughe 66 interception return (Leech kick), 6:50.
BG-McCloskey 26 run (Verba kick), 5:14.
BG-Gormley 44 pass from Chadbourn (Verba kick), 3:10.
BG-B. Chadbourn 84 kickoff return (Verba kick), 11:46.
BG-McCloskey 45 run (kick failed), 5:47.
BG-B. Chadbourn 80 punt return (run failed), 0:34.
RUSHING: Forest Hills-Donoughe 10-28, Wieczorek 5-15, Shima 4-2, Ivock 2-2, Blough 1-(-7), Krug 4-(-5), Kudlawiec 1-(-5). Bishop Guilfoyle-McCloskey 9-104, Kitt 6-51, Chadbourn 11-40, Yasulitis 4-17, Irwin 7-15, Luther 3-11, Callahan 1-5, Trybus 1-3.
PASSING: Forest Hills-Donoughe 10-27-0-115, Kudlawiec 2-4-0-28. Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 6-10-0-88.
RECEIVING: Forest Hills-Shima 4-46, Blough 2-45, DiFlauro 2-37, Ohler 2-9, Krug 1-6, Ivock 1-0. Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 6-10-0-88, Hagg 0-1-0-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Forest Hills 1-Donoughe.