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Guilfoyle claims another D6 crown

Andrew Yanoshak leads the BG defense stopping Ben Schmidt for a loss. Also in on the play: Dylan McNelly (44) and Cameron Maloney (57).

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic spent a lot of time preparing for record-setting Homer-Center quarterback Ben Schmidt this week in practice, so it wasn’t surprising so many players were circling him when he tried to throw a pass away with his team trailing by 14 early in the second quarter Friday night at Mansion Park.

Despite that, Zach McCloskey still wasn’t sure how many times or how many players Schmidt’s pass bounced off of before it landed in his hands for an interception that set up Keegan Myrick’s fourth touchdown run of the game and turned the District 6 Class 1A championship game into a rout.

When the dust finally settled, the Marauders won the championship for the second year in a row, 48-13.

“I saw their quarterback was in trouble, so I ran up to help the team. The ball was bouncing around, and all of a sudden it landed in my arms,” McCloskey said. “It was awesome. This means a lot to us, because at the start of the season we didn’t even know if we’d have a season and now we are back-to-back District 6 champions.”

Play of the game: Facing a third-and-7 on its first possession, Bishop Guilfoyle got a 50-yard catch from Myrick to the Homer-Center 2-yard line when he burned the Wildcats defense. He scored one play later.

Player of the game: Myrick carried the ball 26 times for 139 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown pass and caught two passes for 53 yards.

Where have I seen that before? Myrick’s 6-yard touchdown pass was the exact play call from overtime of the Marauders’ 10-7 loss to Farrell in the PIAA Class 1A championship game last season. Just as in the state final, Andrew Yanoshak slipped away from defenders and was wide open. Myrick’s jump pass was right on target for the score Friday night. The play didn’t work in the state final when the wind blew the pass off course.

“That’s a play we always have in, and last year in the state championship, it was 98 percent the same,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler said. “We wanted to make sure we worked on it again today and give these guys a better memory of it, and it worked out well tonight.”

Unsung heroes: The Marauders’ defensive front four held Schmidt — the Wildcats all-time leading rusher and passer — to just 2 yards rushing in the first half. He finished with 28 yards rushing on 14 carries and completed 9-of-17 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns (both to Drew Kochman) and an interception.

“He’s one of the best players that I have had a chance to see. He just takes over games. He should know that our whole week was about making sure we could contain him,” Wheeler said. “That’s how good he is and how much respect we have for him. Our defensive ends (Andrew) Yanoshak and J.T. (Johnston) and our two defensive tackles inside Cameron (Maloney) and Adrian Johnson, those four are so fast and so strong, they did a great job of keeping him in the pocket and containing him.”

Most vital statistic: The 13 points Bishop Guilfoyle gave up were the first it has allowed this postseason.

Bishop Guilfoyle junior Haiden Garner: “It’s been a life-long goal to win a district championship. We have worked so hard for this, and we deserve it.”

Wheeler on how balanced his offense is compared to last season: “Konner (Kiesewetter) got hurt as a sophomore and as a junior, so he’s never had a full season. He came into this year technically a three-year starter, but he really only had limited time as the starter. He’s become such a great quarterback, and when you add Haiden, it just makes us so much more versatile, because he’s a great athlete. Right now, our offense looks pretty good. We hope we can continue that.”

Myrick on everything clicking Friday: “This is such a complete team. It’s not just one or two people out there doing it. We have multiple threats, and you can’t concentrate on one guy, because the other will hurt you.”

Homer-Center coach Greg Page: “I have to give a lot of credit to Guilfoyle and Justin and his staff. They were ready to play. We felt like we were, but they jumped on us early on their first drive and got a big play. We made some mistakes, and they took advantage of those mistakes. That’s what championship teams do. We knew it was going to be a tall task ahead of us tonight, and you can’t make the mistakes we did. We put ourselves in bad positions, and they pounced on us.”

Notable: Garner ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and threw a pass to Myrick for a two-point conversion. … Schmidt’s touchdown passes were his 50th and 51st of his career. He finished with 5,357 yards passing and 3,398 yards rushing in his career. He’s planning on attending IUP but isn’t sure if he’ll play football.

Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (7-2); Homer-Center (6-2).

Next week: Homer-Center’s season is complete. Bishop Guilfoyle will play in the PIAA semifinals against Steelton-Highspire, which won 39-36 over Old Forge on the last play of the game when Mehki Flowers caught a pass in the back of the end zone from Alex Erby.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bishop Guilfoyle 13 22 7 6 — 48

Homer-Center 7 0 0 6 — 13

First Quarter

BG–Myrick 2 run (Wyandt kick), 8:57.

BG–Myrick 1 run (kick failed), 2:46.

H-C–Kochman 68 pass from Schmidt (Schmidt kick), 0:25.

Second Quarter

BG–Myrick 1 run (Myrick pass from Garner), 8:57.

BG–Myrick 2 run (Wyandt kick), 8:08.

BG–Garner 8 pass from Ko. Kiesewetter (Wyandt kick), 0:49.

Third Quarter

BG–Yanoshak 6 pass from Myrick (Wyandt kick), 6:40.

Fourth Quarter

H-C–Kochman 3 pass from Schmidt (pass failed), 11:49.

BG–Garner 7 run (kick failed), 8:38.

TEAM STATISTICS BG H-C

First downs 18 11

Total yards 395 259

Rushes-yards 41-287 27-68

Yards passing 108 191

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 6-7-0 9-17-1

Punts-avg. 0-0 3-31

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0

Penalties-yards 3-30 5-49

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Myrick 26-139, Garner 7-47, Conrad 2-41, McCloskey 5-34, Ka. Kiesewetter 1-26. Homer-Center, Troup 4-29, Schmidt 14-28, McAnulty 4-8, Mock 2-5, Krejocic 1-2, Clevenger 2-(-4).

PASSING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Ko. Kiesewetter 4-5-0-65, Garner 1-1-0-37, Myrick 1-1-0-6. Homer-Center, Schmidt 9-17-1-191.

RECEIVING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Myrick 2-53, Garner 2-12, Rother 1-37, Yanoshak 1-6. Homer-Center, Kochman 6-138, Mock 1-33, McCoy 1-13, Troup 1-7.

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