September 24, 2010 - Point Stadium - Johnstown, PA
After a scoreless first period, Bishop McCort recorded three touchdowns in the second on its way to a 28-6 win over Bedford. The Crushers began their third drive of the game at its own 20 with 3:20 left in the first. Anthony LaRue's apparent 20 yard TD run was nullified by an illegal block call. On the next play, Zach Varga carried the ball 28 yards into the endzone with 11:02 on the second period clock. Jordan Spangler's extra point kick failed, but the sophomore bounced back with two later in the contest.
Head Coach Ken Salem had high praise for senior Anthony LaRue. "We've got one guy here who is really working hard. He is making plays. If we can get more guys to play with this kid's effort, we will be the team that we think we can be. He's done an outstanding job for the first four weeks."
Bedford's Haden Hess returned the kickoff to the McCort 48, but a fumble on first down was recovered by Mark Borstnar at the Crushers' 42. Quarterback Jesse Cooper connected with Christian Leech on first down with a 47 yard pass play to the Bisons' 11. Three plays later Varga picked up his second TD from the one. Cooper ran for the two point conversion which set the score at 14-0.
Bedford got on the board at the 6:55 mark of the second quarter with a five yard run from quarterback Marcus Shippey, but a two-point pass play was incomplete. McCort bounced back quickly covering 76 yards in just three plays - a 31yard pass to Jerqual Wilson, a 12 yard run by LaRue and a 33 yard TD pass to Wilson. Spangler's PAT made the score 21-6 heading into halftime.
Neither team scored in the third period. McCort started a drive with 10:01 remaining in the game at its own 40 following a Bedford punt. The drive appeared to stall on 4th and 6, but the Bisons were penalized 5 yards for running into the kicker. The Crushers decided to go for the first down on fourth-and one and another Bedford penalty, this time a 15 yard face mask call, put the ball at the 36. On another fourth down situation, McCort lined up for a 31 yard field goal attempt. Cooper, the holder, took off on a 14 yard touchdown run and Spangler's kick set the final at 28-6.
Salem showed some frustrated in his post game radio remarks. "We have great opportunities, we have great playmakers, but we're not consistent enough on both sides of the ball. That's something that we have to work on at practice. I have to look into the mirror and come up with some better schemes to get us to practice better because that will translate into some wins."
Salem also complimented his offense. "I thought we did a good job tonight moving the ball. Jesse Cooper and the receivers were executing the passing game very well, especially the short passing game. We just need to become more consistent in the red zone. Bedford was running a soft cover and we thought that we would be able to exploit that underneath and our kids did a nice job of running with the football after the throws Jesse was making. We were also able to put the ball downfield a little bit and make some things happen. Wilson, (Christian) Leech and LaRue give us some big play capabilities and we want to put the ball in their hands."
The next three games on the Crushers' schedule are Richland, Westmont, and Johnstown. "This is why we play in the Laurel Highlands Conference is to be able to play these schools. For many years we weren't able to play these teams and it looks like there is a lot of parity this year. These are going to be some exciting football games and we know we have to work hard this week in practice to prepare for the first game."
GAME NOTES: Wilson had two interceptions in the game. The Crushers had 448 yards in total offense, 238 on the ground and 210 in the air. McCort had 22 first downs and converted four of five 4th down situations.