Slow start no problem for BG
Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic was off its game a little. Coach Justin Wheeler thought so. Some of the players agreed.
Perhaps the week off had something to do with it. Or the cold weather.
Nonetheless, the Marauders overcame a sluggish start and rolled over Claysburg-Kimmel, 42-9, in a District 6 Class 1A quarterfinal Friday night at Mansion Park.
The three-time defending PIAA state champions, winners of 58 consecutive games, advanced to next weekend’s D6-1A semifinal round against the winner of tonight’s quarterfinal between Northern Cambria and Juniata Valley.
“We did a lot of uncharacteristic things,” Wheeler said. “Lots of turnovers early in the game and we didn’t come out the way we normally do.”
BG forced Claysburg into a three-and-out on the first possession and speedy Mike Berish got the Marauders on the scoreboard with a 7-yard run.
On its next possession, BG fumbled into the end zone and C-K recovered. The Bulldogs put together a 15-play drive before settling for a 21-yard field goal by Owen Deremer at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter.
Leading 7-3, BG reeled off three scores in the final six minutes before half. Mark Conrad accounted for all three. The first came on a 53-yard pass from Josh Yasulitis. The second came on a 1-yard run and the third on a 27-yard pass from Yasulitis as the two BG standouts showed their versatility in building a 28-3 halftime lead.
“Those two guys — that’s part of what got us going,” Wheeler said.
The coach, however, wants a better performance next week.
“The week off was good to get us healthy,” Wheeler said, “but it disrupts the club. The whole week was different. The whole flow was different. And, no school today so a lot of things came into play and we played a little flat.”
Yasulitis scored on a pair of short runs in the second half and Claysburg got a 16-yard TD run from sophomore Zach Claycomb.
“The good news is we got a 42-9 win after playing probably the worst we have since Week 2,” Wheeler added.
Meanwhile, C-K finished 7-5 and coach Dan Foor was happy with the Bulldogs’ season.
“It wasn’t about who we played tonight,” said Foor. “It was about a group of young men — a football team –that changed the culture of football at Claysburg.
“We had a lot of great things happen this year, and we want to build on it,” he said. “This team has built the foundation for the next two or three seasons. Our youth teams are excited. Our junior high teams are excited.
“We have a lot of good kids coming back and this is an exciting time for Claysburg football.”
Like their coach, Conrad and Yasulitis are hoping for a better performance by BG in the semifinals.
“We started out a little bit slow,” said Conrad. “We made a few big plays in the beginning of the second quarter, but that was pretty much it.”
“We came out thinking we were going to crush them,” Yasulitis said. “We didn’t come out and play very well at the start, and they gave us a fight.
“I don’t think the off week hurt us, we just got out of focus a little,” he continued. “We came out with a win, but it’s not the kind of win we were looking for.”
Conrad, who plays quarterback, receiver and defensive back, said the team didn’t work on anything special in practice.
At QB, Conrad, completed 7-of-9 passes for 70 yards. As a wide receiver, he caught two passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a 1-yard run. And, as a defensive back, he intercepted a pair of passes.
Not bad for an “off” night.
At QB, Yasulitis was 2-of-3 passing for 80 yards and the two TD strikes to Conrad. As a power runner, he scored one TD and gained 122 yards on 16 carries. And, as one of the team’s defensive leaders, Yas also had a strong game at linebacker.
Again, not bad for an “off” night.
Neither standout has a favorite position.
“I just want to be on the field,” Conrad said. “No preference. Whatever the coach wants me to do.”
“Me, too, I just want to be on the field,” Yasulitis echoed.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Claysburg-Kimmel 0 3 0 6 — 9
Bishop Guilfoyle 7 21 7 7 — 42
BG–Berish 7 run (McGhee kick), 8:12.
CK–Deremer 21 FG, 8:17.
BG–M. Conrad 53 pass from Yasulitis (McGhee kick), 5:56.
BG–M. Conrad 1 run (McGhee kick), 2:48.
BG–M. Conrad 27 pass from Yasulitis (McGhee kick), 1:37.
BG–Yasulitis 2 run (McGhee kick), 6:53.
BG–Yasulitis 18 run (McGhee kick), 11:12.
CK–Claycomb 7 run (kick failed), 6:56.
RUSHING: Claysburg-Kimmel–Musselman 16-61, Claycomb 9-61, Harr 5-(-3), Hagen 3-(-6), Helsel 1-(-6). Bishop Guilfoyle–Yasulitis 16-122, Berish 15-100, Sankey 3-22, Myrick 1-9, Crawford 2-4, D. Conrad 1-0, Carrieri 1-(-1), J. Fanelli 1-(-2), M. Conrad 2-(-15).
PASSING: Claysburg-Kimmel–Hagen 8-18-3-109. Bishop Guilfoyle–M. Conrad 7-9-0-70, Yasulitis 2-3-0-80.
RECEIVING: Claysburg-Kimmel–Harr 2-37, Musselman 3-30, Claycomb 1-23, Burket 1-16, Hunt 1-3. Bishop Guilfoyle–Berish 4-28, M. Conrad 2-80, Potopa 2-49, Yasulitis 1-(-7).
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle–M. Conrad 2, Potopa.
TEAM STATISTICS CK BG
First downs 14 23
Rushes-yards 34-107 42-239
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 8-18-3 9-12-0
Yards passing 109 150
Total yards 216 389
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 4-44 3-25
Punts-avg. 2-31 2-31