BG gets work done in first half
JOHNSTOWN – Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic’s eighth win of the season came just as impressively as the previous seven.
But eight isn’t enough for the Marauders.
“The goal of this team is to win the district, and we want to make a run at the state championship,” senior running back-defensive back Sam McCloskey said. “We know we have to bring our intensity every single day.”
The Marauders brought it against Bishop McCort, too. McCloskey scored five touchdowns in the first half as Guilfoyle stayed perfect and looked almost perfect in a 49-0 Laurel Highlands Conference intersectional high school football win on Saturday night at Point Stadium.
All eight of Guilfoyle’s wins have come by the mercy rule. This time the second half started with the running clock, and the last two quarters took around a half-hour to complete. It didn’t give Marauder coach Justin Wheeler much time to work on everything he wanted, but he wasn’t complaining.
“I know it’s repetitive, but this is a special group, and I think people are starting to realize how special,” Wheeler said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. When the ball is snapped, they want to win.”
Guilfoyle was sharp in most areas. Brandon Chadbourn returned at quarterback after missing last week with an injury along with running back-linebacker D.J. Kitt and threw for 137 yards and a pair of scores as the Marauders rolled up 359 yards in total offense. The punt return team turned in a pair of runbacks that covered more than 50 yards.
And, of course, there’s that defense. BG posted its sixth shutout, holding McCort to 38 yards.
“They’re just so good on defense,” McCort coach Jerry Davitch said. “They run so well and pursue so well, it’s hard to get away from them, no matter what you do.”
Even when things didn’t work for the Marauders, they seemed to turn out better. After Guilfoyle’s second touchdown, there was a problem with the snap on the conversion. Holder Matt Gormley calmly gathered it in, rolled to his left and found McCloskey all alone for two points.
“It’s just knowing how to bounce back,” said Gormley, who later caught a touchdown pass. “Since seventh grade, we’ve been playing together. We’ve always been undefeated or had one loss. We work together, work as brothers. We know that guy next to us can make a big play at any moment. We just do our jobs, and good things will happen.”
The game was decided early. McCloskey scooted around the left side for 62 yards on Guilfoyle’s very first play, and he scored from the 3 two plays later. After forcing a McCort punt, the Marauders exploited the left side again, with Chadbourn hitting Aaron Yasulitis on a short pass that turned into a 75-yard touchdown after Yasulitis picked up a block and got down the sideline.
Guilfoyle didn’t even need to snap the ball to make it 22-0. This time, McCloskey fielded a short punt and went 51 yards to paydirt.
It could have been even more one-sided before the first quarter ended. Evan Chadbourn was clearly grabbed by the facemask on a lateral, at the end of which he fumbled. However, the officials, after conferring, called the penalty against Guilfoyle and gave the ball to McCort.
It didn’t make a difference. BG forced another McCort punt and took over at its own 43, then the Marauders marched deliberately down the field in seven plays, with McCloskey covering the final yard.
McCloskey wasn’t done, either. On Guilfoyle’s next turn with the ball, he took a handoff, spun through a couple of tackles about 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, broke a couple of arm tackles, got to the sideline, cut back to the middle and cut back again to the middle of the field for a scintillating 56-yard touchdown run.
“I think it’s instinct,” McCloskey said of the video-game run. “Since I was a young kid, I’ve run the ball a lot, and I think the game’s become a lot slower for me. Just credit to the offensive line for getting me to the second level, and I try to do whatever I can from there.”
McCloskey had 145 yards on nine first-half carries. He now has 985 yards rushing this year, is averaging more than 13 yards per carry and has scored 28 touchdowns.
“He’s incredible. Sam McCloskey is one of the best athletes if not the best athlete that I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching. And that’s in-season, off-season. He’s just a great individual,” Wheeler said. “He’s turning a lot of heads. Division I coaches have been coming to games, even tonight. That’s exciting.”
Evan Chadbourn returned a punt 61 yards to set up the Marauders at the Crusher 5 on their next possession. Wheeler took the opportunity to work on BG’s passing offense, and Brandon Chadbourn found Gormley on fourth down for the score.
McCloskey hauled in a 17-yard slant pass for the Marauders’ final first-half TD, as Guilfoyle practiced its two-minute drill. Wheeler then turned things over to his reserves to play the entire second half, as has happened so many other times this season.
“We just take it one game at a time,” Gormley said, “with the goal in the back of our mind.”
Game notes: McCort was celebrating senior night. … The Marauders return to Mansion Park next Saturday when they host Johnstown. Bishop McCort is in action the same night when Central Cambria travels to Point Stadium.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle22 27 0 0 – 49
Bishop McCort 0 0 0 0 – 0
BG-McCloskey 3 run (Trybus kick), 10:45.
BG-A. Yasulitis 75 pass from B. Chadbourn (McCloskey pass from Gormley), 7:04.
BG-McCloskey 51 punt return (Trybus kick), 4:33.
BG-McCloskey 1 run (Trybus kick), 9:23.
BG-McCloskey 56 run (run failed), 6:28.
BG-Gormley 5 pass from B. Chadbourn (Trybus kick), 4:34.
BG-McCloskey 17 pass from B. Chadbourn (Trybus kick), 0:22.
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-McCloskey 9-145, E. Chadbourn 1-12, A. Yasulitis 1-0, B. Chadbourn 1-13, Irwin 4-18, Trybus 5-28, Callahan 1-8, TEAM 2-(-2). Bishop McCort-Cook 15-15, Smith 7-5, Andrews 3-(-4), Walters 2-0, Leech 2-(-4), Thompson 1-2.
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 7-11-0-137, Trybus 0-1-0-0. Bishop McCort-Cook 3-10-0-24.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Gormley 4-48, A. Yasulitis 1-75, McCloskey 2-25. Bishop McCort-Walters 1-14, Hall 1-8, Smith 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-none. Bishop McCort-none.