Swaim and Bisons topple Highlanders
BEDFORD — Through the first four weeks of the season, the Bedford Bisons have been on a roll in all facets of the game.
Friday night’s Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference matchup against Cambria Heights proved to be no different as the Bisons kept right on rolling.
The Bedford offense scored on its first four possessions to start the game, while the defense held the Highlanders to just one first down in the opening half of a 36-7 victory at Bisons Stadium.
Play of the game: Bedford quarterback Mercury Swaim was called for a block in the back on a play where Steven Ressler went 39 yards for a touchdown. On the very next play, Swaim made up for the penalty assessed on him as he called his own number, and scrambled virtually untouched for a 21-yard TD that put the Bisons on top 14-0 in the first quarter.
Swaim: “We went right back to a play that we thought was working, we tried it and it worked. We had great blocks up front — the line did a heck of a job blocking — and I went into the end zone almost untouched. It was just great to bounce back from that mistake.”
Player of the game: Swaim was 6-of-11 passing for 93 yards, including the first points of the night when he found Gregory Edwards on a 15-yard pass play. The junior also ran seven times for 96 yards, and came up with a fumble recovery — that he returned 27 yards — late in the second stanza that ended the Highlanders’ 14-play, 6:21 drive.
Unsung hero: Cambria Heights’ punter Brandon Fitzpatrick launched four punts that averaged 39.5 yards, including a 47-yarder in the third that forced the Bisons to start at their own 9.
Most vital statistic(s): Bedford outgained Cambria Heights in the opening half by a 228-56 margin with 45 of those yards coming on the late 14-play drive … The Bisons also garnered 12 first downs in the first two quarters, while the Highlanders had five with four coming on the aforementioned late drive.
Bedford coach Kevin Steele: “We’re very fortunate to have lots of good players that work hard and do a lot of things really well. So, fortunately, teams are not able to load up on one individual guy — it’s numerous guys that they have to be aware of. We had several different guys step up tonight and make plays. So, it was nice to see a lot of our kids have success.”
Cambria Heights coach Jarrod Lewis: “We didn’t play as a team today like I hoped we would, and that’s what happens when you play against good football teams like that … I didn’t think the kids quit, so I’m proud of that. I thought we came out and battled. We didn’t have a great first half, but we came out and I thought we played better in the second half.”
Notable: The drive following the one where his TD was called back, Ressler found paydirt on a 16-yard carry to make the score 21-0 … With Fitzpatrick punting from the CH 23, Bedford’s Parker Sigler blocked the punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety just eight seconds into the second quarter … Elijah Cook plowed his way in from 1 yard out to put the Bisons up 30-0 … Trenton Price closed out the Bedford scoring with a 3-yard run at 8:18 of the third. CH’s Zach Weakland blocked the extra point attempt of Lizzy Martz following a high snap … Ryan Haluska finally put Cambria Heights on the board when he crossed the goal line from 3 yards away in the fourth … The Highlanders ran 52 plays to the Bisons 51.
Records: Cambria Heights (2-3); Bedford (5-0).
Next week: Cambria Heights hosts Bishop McCort next Friday, while Bedford travels to Penn Cambria.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cambria Heights 0 0 0 7 — 7
Bedford 21 9 6 0 — 36
B–Edwards 15 pass from Swaim (Martz kick), 8:08.
B–Swaim 21 run (Martz kick), 3:23.
B–S. Ressler 16 run (Martz kick), 51.2.
B–Safety, Sigler blocked punt out of back of end zone, 11:52.
B–Cook 1 run (Martz kick), 7:33.
B–Price 3 run (kick failed), 8:18.
CH–Haluska 3 run (Harrison kick), 4:57.
TEAM STATISTICS CH B
First downs 9 18
Total yards 150 329
Rushes-yards 38-134 36-240
Yards passing 16 89
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 3-9-0 7-12-0
Punts-avg. 5-31.6 1-38.0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-0
Penalties-yards 6-54 4-30
RUSHING–Cambria Heights, Fox 7-11, Haluska 13-42, Hite 5-14, Bearer 4-(-10), Stockley 7-70, Storm 2-7. Bedford, Swaim 7-96, Cook 5-26, Ebersole 2-17, S. Ressler 4-51, Price 7-24, K. Ressler 7-29, Arnold 1-(-5), Washington 1-(-3), Fichtner 1-6, TEAM 1-(-1).
PASSING–Cambria Heights, Bearer 3-9-0-16, Stockley 0-0-0-0. Bedford, Swaim 6-11-0-93, K. Ressler 1-1-0-(-4).
RECEIVING–Cambria Heights, Schreyer 2-4, Letso 1-12. Bedford, Ebersole 2-51, Edwards 2-29, S. Ressler 2-13, Cook 1-(-4).