October 22, 2010 - DeGol Field - Loretto, PA
The Bishop McCort defense made most of the big plays in a 24-10 victory over Bishop Carroll. The Crushers held the Huskies to 1 of 11 on third down conversions and 1 of 4 on fourth down. "Our defense was outstanding tonight against a big, physical Bishop Carroll team," said head coach Ken Salem. "Tonight we were tough up front. We did a really nice job and we played with energy. We gave up a couple of plays, but we never gave up the big score. The key tonight was to step up and play to our potential and try to be more physical. We've been working hard all season long, but at times we weren't as tough as we needed to be in this conference."
On the sixth play of McCort's opening drive of the game, quarterback Jesse Cooper hooked up with Christian Leech on a 30 yard touchdown pass with just over two minutes gone in the game. Jordan Spangler's PAT kick gave the Crushers the early 7-0 lead. Carroll came back quickly, needing only three plays to cover 68 yards with Ryan Woo taking the option pitch and running around the left sideline for a 55 yard TD play. Michael Pyo tied the score with his extra point kick.
Bishop Carroll had a great opportunity midway through the first period when a Crusher fumble was recovered by BC at the McCort 21. However, a run play on fourth-and-seven only gained four yards and McCort took over on downs. Later in the quarter, a McCort punt was fumbled by Carroll and was recovered by Ryan Siwy at the BC 22. The Crushers were able to advance the ball to the seven, but on fourth down, Spangler's 24 yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
Neither team was able to consistently move the football until late in the second when McCort started a drive at its 29 with 2:38 on the clock. Two key plays, a 15 yard face mask penalty and a 30 yard pass to Anthony LaRue helped the Crushers move the ball to the Huskies' one. On fourth down, Spangler hit a 19 yard field goal at 0:08 to set the score at 10-7.
McCort's defense continued to play well, forcing Carroll to punt on three consecutive series. On the Huskies' fourth drive of the second half, a BC pass was tipped by LaRue and picked off by Spangler at McCort's 32 and returned to the Carroll 14. After a four yard run by Zach Varga, LaRue scored from ten yards out with Spangler's kick putting the Crushers ahead 17-7 with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter.
Carroll's next possession began at its 35 and covered 53 yards in ten plays, but the Huskies had to settle for a 29 yard field goal by Pyo. The Crushers closed the scoring with 1:24 remaining on the clock with a one yard run by Cooper.
Salem also had praise for his team's offense. "Jesse Cooper is doing a nice job of reading the field and our receivers are getting better. The big key was that our backs were running harder and they were gaining tough yards and we were able to get some momentum in the middle of the field. Once we were able to move the ball with some consistency, it gave us the opportunity to do some things with our offense. Our coaches identified some inside running lanes. We were able to move the ball more consistently on the ground in the second half.
"This was a huge win for us. We have been a team that has been searching for an identity. We've played hard at times, but we haven't been really consistent. This was our best four quarters and it couldn't have come at a better time."
In his post game radio interview, Salem was asked about the consecutive winning seasons streak. "We have a great tradition at Bishop McCort and it is very important when you look back on it at the end of the season. But we told our kids last Tuesday before practice started that we weren't happy with our intensity level, we weren't happy with our execution and we would have to see eight really improved quarters if we were going to go into the postseason. We recognized that we had a chance to go in without a winning record and we told them that we were not going to take that bid. The kids responded. We had two great days of practice."
GAME NOTES: Senior Patrick O'Reilly made his first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury. "He was a big factor tonight just to have him on the field. He still has a lot of rust, but we were so excited to have him back on the field. He is just a great team player. He made some good plays for us and as he continues to get more game experience, he will really help us in the postseason."