BG rolls into final with rout of Portage
PORTAGE – The scene at Portage Area Stadium Friday night was a familiar one.
One team overpowered, out-ran and just simply dominated its opponent.
The twist in the script was that it wasn’t the home team this time.
The top-seeded Mustangs gave up 42 consecutive points and failed to come up with a way to stop Bishop Guilfoyle quarterback Brandon Chadbourn as the Marauders (10-2) cruised to the District 6 Class A championship game with a 42-10 triumph in the semifinals.
“They just have great athletes, and it’s tough to beat great athletes,” Portage coach Gary Gouse said. “It was all big plays. They did what we did all year. That’s what we did to teams, but that’s the capabilities they have. They did it to us.”
Portage (9-2) actually held a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter after Nick Lutz nailed a 21-yard field goal. Minutes later, that lead was gone for good.
Facing a third-and-2 from the Portage 45-yard line, Chadbourn broke several tackles and then ran away from the defense for a score. After a Portage punt, Chadbourn was off to the races again, sprinting 53 yards for the Marauders’ second score. Chadbourn connected with Matt Gormley on a two-point conversion to put BG ahead, 14-3.
“It felt great breaking those runs early,” Chadbourn said. “It got the guys going. Those runs and the defense kind of took the air out of [Portage].”
Gormley and Chadbourn hooked up again in the second quarter on a 16-yard touchdown pass. The junior quarterback finished with just 26 yards passing but had 128 yards on just 10 rushing attempts.
“In a game like this, momentum is everything,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler said. “We knew it was going to be a battle, and you look for your best kids to make plays. Brandon is an incredible athlete. He made some guys miss and made some great plays.”
Early in the game, Portage had chances to stay close but was thwarted by penalties.
A false start forced the Mustangs to kick a field goal on their first drive and a holding penalty wiped out a Scott Giles run that would have given Portage the ball on the BG 2-yard line down 14-3.
“We didn’t have a penalty last week, and we had probably 20 this week [Portage had seven],” Gouse said. “We were out of sync. We’re inside the 5 and we get a holding call. We got an offsides call. We did this, we did that and that’s how it works. Everything that could have went wrong did.”
Bishop Guilfoyle’s big plays continued following Chadbourn’s three touchdowns to start the show.
Aaron Yasulitis blocked a punt that Owen Wolf returned 10 yards for a touchdown with a little more than a minute left in the half to give the Marauders a 27-3 halftime lead.
D.J. Kitt added another special teams score for BG when he returned a punt 48 yards to the end zone in the third quarter, and Nick Little capped the Marauder scoring with a 2-yard run that made it 42-3 with 2:49 to play in the third quarter. The last BG score started a running clock for the remainder of the game.
“We were hoping our special teams could make a difference,” Wheeler said. “We thought we had an edge there, and it really paid off.”
Bishop Guilfoyle will play the winner of the Bishop Carroll-Homer-Center semifinal that will be played tonight in the championship game next week at Mansion Park.
“It feels great to be playing for a district title,” Chadbourn said. “We’ve been working for this since the end of last season, and this feels awesome.”
Caleb Kephart, who finished the season with 1,386 rushing yards, scored a fourth-quarter touchdown and will be one of the many talented players returning for the Mustangs next season.
“Our kids played hard against a freaking really good football team, and that’s how it works,” Gouse said. “That’s the system. You can’t beat the system. We played the best we could play. I’m proud of my kids, we had a great year.
“We’ll be back next year. We have a lot of kids back. We’ll take a week off and get back in the weight room and do what we do.”
The Marauders, meanwhile, will be working hard this week.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of this program right now,” Wheeler said. “Things are moving really well. The kids work extremely hard. They deserve this win, and I’m so happy for them.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle14 13 15 0 – 42
Portage3 0 0 7 – 10
P-Lutz 21 FG, 6:01.
BG-B. Chadbourn 45 run (kick failed), 3:55.
BG-B. Chadbourn 53 run (Gormley pass from B. Chadbourn), 0:54.
BG-Gormley 16 pass from B. Chadbourn (Verba kick), 3:50.
BG-Wolf 10 blocked punt return (kick failed), 1:23.
BG-Kitt 48 punt return (McCloskey run), 6:46.
BG-Little 2 run (Verba kick), 2:49.
P-Kephart 1 run (Lutz kick), 7:41.
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 10-128, McCloskey 11-104, Yasulitis 7-34, Irwin 3-9, Luther 2-10, Kitt 1-2, Little 1-2, TEAM 2-(-2). Portage-Kephart 17-49, Dividock 10-44, Giles 3-34, Randazzo 1-4, Onder 1-2, Bryja 1-(-11).
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 2-7-0-26. Portage-Bryja 8-17-1-81.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Gormley 2-26. Portage-Dividock 5-31, Kephart 1-37, Miller 1-9, Randazzo 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn. Portage-none.