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2005 Saturday Game Report

Saturday Game Report #1

The 2005 football season for the Johnstown Trojans got off to a winning start last night with a 34-28 win over visiting Central of Martinsburg. The game was not without its drama though as Central hung tough with JHS and came back from a 15-point deficit to tie the game. Brandon Hody’s quarterback sneak with just under a minute to play put the Trojans on top for good as Central wasn’t able to answer that score as time ran out.

Things started off with a bang for the Trojans (1-0, 0-0) as Antwuan Reed took the opening kickoff to the Johnstown 48 which set up good field position. He then took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage and ran 32 yards to the Central 21 setting up Hody’s first of three touchdown passes he threw to Xavier Thomas on the night. Ben Landis added the PAT and it was 7-0 Trojans early.

The Scarlet Dragons (0-1, 0-0) immediately answered the bell though as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched down the field on a 10-play drive that mixed the run and the pass well and culminated in a 4-yard touchdown run on what appeared to be a busted play. Quarterback Chad Saylor looked as if he was trying to hand the ball off and the running back wasn’t there so he took off and ran around right end for the score. Nikki Stuller added the PAT and it was a tie ball game.

Johnstown appeared as if they were primed to come right back as Hody hit Thomas and Jason Andrews with first down passes but Andre Morrison fumbled and Central recovered the ball on their own 44-yard line. Six plays later in a drive that stayed entirely on the ground, Central took the lead as fullback Craig Runk took it in from 1 yard out. This was the first play of the second quarter, however Stuller missed the PAT and it was 13-7 Dragons.

This time the Trojans answered the call as Adonis Jackson returned the kickoff to the Trojans’ 30 and it was there the JHS reached into the bag of tricks for the first time this season as Hody tossed the ball to Morrison who then completed a pass to tight end Ezekiel Miller for a big gain. The gadget play counted for 40 yards, many of those nice yards after the catch by Miller. With the ball on the Central 40, a run and a screen pass on accounted for 3 yards. On third-and-ten, Hody dropped back to pass, but as protection broke down around him, he scrambled out of the pocket and gained 33 yards on the ground to set up the Trojans with a first and goal at the four. An illegal motion penalty and a run stopped for a loss made second and goal for JHS and Hody hit Thomas from 10 yards out on a slant. Landis’ second PAT gave the Trojans a 14-13 lead.

After the Trojan defense forced Central to punt for the first time of the evening the offense went on a 4 play, 68 yard drive that saw Hody and Thomas hook up again, this time on a 25-yard connection. Ben Landis was good again and this put JHS up 21-13. The key play of this short, yard consuming drive was a Hody-to-Reed pass on the initial play of the drive. This hookup accounted for 45 yards and advanced the ball deep in to Dragon territory.

In a game that saw multiple momentum shifts, this was the first of the night as it seemed that JHS was ready to put Central away. After forcing the Dragons to punt again after three plays the Trojans good great starting field position as the Central punt took a fortuitous bounce and stopped dead at the Central 45. After and incompletion to Andrews, which was Hody’s first of the night at that point, Reed took the ball and scampered 45 yards for the Trojan score. Landis booted his fourth PAT and it was 28-13 as the two teams headed in for the halftime break.

Central swung the mo’ back in their favor, after being forced to punt for the third straight time by the Trojan defense, Reed fumbled the punt and Central recovered on the Johnstown 17. It only took one play as Saylor hooked up with Scott McMaster for a 17-yard pass play. Because of the earlier missed PAT, Central went for two and was successful, running an option around right end with McMaster scoring on the pitch. Johnstown still up 28-21.

A penalty on the ensuing kickoff forced the Trojans to start their next offensive drive on their own 15 and things looked pretty bleak. Morrison was stuffed on a running play and Hody was sacked. These two plays put the Trojans at third and 19 at their own 6. However, Reed came through with a huge run on a draw to pick up the first down. Unfortunately for the Trojans, just as things looked great for them the momentum swung right back in to Central’s favor as they recovered a second Reed fumble and took two plays to capitalize and tie the score on a Saylor to Kody Stiffey 23-yard touchdown.

With the score tied, the Trojans nearly untied it just as quick with another grab in to the bag o’ tricks. Two first downs marched the Trojans down the field to their own 48 when a double pass was called. This play saw Hody take the snap and hit Thomas with a quick pass to the sideline. He then dropped back and Andrews was wide open however he was unable to haul the pass in on what would have been a sure touchdown. Three plays later the Trojans were forced to punt and Landis came up big for the Trojans, booting a punt that stopped dead at the Central 5.

What happened next would be the deciding drive of the game. Pinned deep in their own territory the Central offense was up to the challenge as they methodically drove the ball down the field. A steady diet of runs from fullback and tailback saw the Dragons with first and goal from the Trojans 8 with four chances to take the lead with little left on the clock. However, three consecutive running plays netted only six of the yards needed. On fourth and goal, Central coach A.J. Hoenstine opted to go for the touchdown rather than put points on the board via his kicker. The result was a fourth-and-goal stopped by the Trojan defense and a goal line stand that proved to be a vital key in the victory.

Although the stop was huge, the score was still tied so there was still adversity to overcome. Starting at their own 2, the Trojans used most of the remaining time on the clock to drive 98 yards and go ahead for good on the afore mentioned Hody sneak. Landis missed out on a perfect night as his PAT was no good so he’ll have to settle for a 4-for-5 evening as the final score was 34-28 JHS.

Hody looked very good in his first varsity start as he was 12-for-15 with 226 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with his rushing score. Thomas had an outstanding opener, hauling in 8 passes for 157 yards and 3 scores. Reed had 105 yards on 14 carries in his debut as the Trojans’ tailback.

Setting the pace for Central was Runk who had 86 yards on 14 carries. Saylor was 10-of-13 for 162 yards and Stiffey had 3 catches for 69 yards.

Central will play Bishop Carroll next week while the Trojans head out on the road for the first time this year. They’ll be in Cresson, looking to go 2-0 against the Penn Cambria Panthers.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #2

9/10/05

Penn Cambria 22, Johnstown 8

Luke Tomaselli grabbed huge chunks of ground all night, scoring a touchdown and a 2-point conversion while fullback Matt Holsberger and tailback Bobby Glenn added first half scores which was all the scoring the Panthers needed last night as they beat Johnstown in an LHAC non-section match up.

Penn Cambria wouldn’t score in the second half and they didn’t need to as they held off a late Trojan rally that was too little late as JHS’ (1-1, 0-0) rally fell short after getting their initial touchdown of the game with 10:11 to go in the game. Antwuan Reed hauled in a Brandon Hody pass for a 53-yard touchdown. Hody hooked up with tight end EZ Miller on the two-point play to cement the final score. The Trojans had the ball later in the fourth but penalties mired a drive that appeared to have some momentum. Forced with attempted to convert a 4th and 25, JHS turned the ball over on downs and that pretty much was the end of the game for them.

The Trojans took the opening kickoff and drove to the Penn Cambria 42 and stalled as Bob Arcurio opted to go for it on 4th and 1 and Reed was stopped short of the sticks. The Panthers took over on downs and made the Trojans pay for it quickly. After the Trojans stopped the Panthers on first down for a three yard loss, Tomaselli ran the ball down to the JHS 29 and would have scored had Reed not made a touchdown saving tackle. Five plays later he did get in the end zone and then added the 2-point conversion on a bootleg to make it 8-0 Penn Cambria.

Reed took the ensuing kickoff to the Trojans’ 36. After two plays netted no yards and a delay of game penalty pushed the Trojans’ back five more yards Hody threw his first interception of the year as Alex Stittmatter picked off a pass and gave the Panthers excellent field position on the JHS 35. Two plays later, Holsberger rumbled in from 32 and PC again opted for the 2-point conversion, this time Holsberger ran it in from the 3 and it was the Panthers up 16-0 early.

After a three and out from JHS and PC being stopped on downs by the Trojan defense it appeared a momentum shift may have taken place. Tomaselli was stopped short on a 4th and 12 run. The very next play that shift did take place… for Penn Cambria. Reed took the carry on the JHS 30 and fumbled. Nine plays later Glenn scored from 7 yards out. The PAT was no good and that would wrap up all the scoring the Panthers (2-0; 0-0) would need on the night.

The Trojans brought out the option in the second half using both Hody and Xavier Thomas at times at quarterback and showed some signs of life but were never able to get any closer. After the above mentioned turnover on downs on the 4th and 25 the game was over.

Sectional play starts next week as Penn Cambria looks to go 3-0 overall against Central Cambria while JHS will look to get back on the winning side against Westmont.

Doug Keklak can be reached doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #3

Westmont 27 Johnstown 14

For the second straight week the Trojans’ opponent jumped out to an early lead in the first half. For the second straight week the Trojans mounted a valiant comeback effort. Unfortunately for the second straight week it was too little too late as the Trojans dropped a 27-14 decision at Price Field to Westmont on Saturday.

Westmont went out to a quick 21-0 lead and took it to halftime and although they were outplayed in the second half by the Trojans, they held JHS off for the victory. Nick McCloskey was the star for the Hilltoppers’ offense as he scored a 38-yard touchdown about midway through the first quarter and Cameron Pecoraro connected on the extra point to make it 7-0 Westy early.

Next up for the Hilltoppers on the scoring spree was Brad Kanuch who broke free from the line of scrimmage and 75 yards later hit pay dirt for the second score on the day for the Hilltoppers. Pecoraro was good again and it was 14-0 Hilltoppers.

Stan Skowron’s offense spread the wealth as next up on the big play parade was quarterback Paul Vrabel. Vrabel was pressured, scrambled and hit Kanuch with a pass for a 73-yard touchdown. Pecoraro hit his third PAT of the day and it appeared that the rout was on as it was 21-0 Westmont.

However, just as last week, the Trojans didn’t give up. They took the second half kickoff and set off on a time consuming drive that ended with a pass from Andre Morrison at the halfback position to wideout Jason Andrews. A bad snap caused a botched extra point attempt though and it was 21-6 Westmont.

After some swapping of possessions without scoring the Trojans cut the deficit to a touchdown as Brandon Hody hit Xavier Thomas with a 17-yard touchdown. Hody then connected with Morrison on the two-point conversion to make the score 21-14. This drive was kept alive on a fourth down penalty on a punt play that made the fourth down a more manageable six yards to go. Bob Arcurio opted to go for it and the Trojans converted and kept the sticks moving.

It appeared that the Trojans would get a chance to tie the game after Hody hit Andrews in the end zone. After a brief conference the officials threw a flag and called an illegal forward pass stating that Hody was past the line of scrimmage. This penalty was especially devastating as it turned the ball over on downs and a few plays later McCloskey put the final nail in the coffin, breaking a 55-yard run for a touchdown. Pecoraro’s perfect day was ruined when back-to-back procedure penalties pushed him back ten yards and the wind got the better of his fourth PAT attempt.

Westmont (2-1, 1-0) were led by McCloskey (186 yards rushing and 2 TDs), Kanuch (8 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD rushing, 1 TD receiving) and Vrabel (5-for-7 for 178 yards and 1 TD). The Trojans (1-2, 0-1) were paced by Hody (12-for-21 for 141 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Antwuan Reed (10 carries for 80 yards; 3 catches for 46 yards), Andre Morrison (9 carries, 60 yards and 1 passing TD) and Xavier Thomas (4 catches, 42 yards and 1 TD).

Myron Coleman also looked good in his Trojan debut with 2 rushes for 16 yards, 2 catches for 28 yards and 2 kick returns for 23 yards. Look for him to continue to get more involved in the game plan in the weeks to come.

Johnstown returns to Trojan Stadium Friday to host Richland while Westmont will look to continue its winning ways against Somerset.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #4

Johnstown 40 Richland 14

The Johnstown Trojans scored early and often Friday night, reaching the end zone via offense, defense and special teams and thus snapped their two game losing streak by dismantling the Richland Rams by a score of 40-14.

The Trojans were on the board with just 11:01 left on the first quarter clock. The Rams mishandled Ben Landis’ opening kickoff and JHS recovered the loose ball at the Richland 23. Four plays later, sophomore Antwuan Reed scored from eight yards out on the ground. Landis hit the first of his four PATs on the night and it was 7-0 Trojans.

After trading a few possessions with each other a Landis punt pinned the Rams deep in their own territory and the field position gain paid off for the Trojans as their defense held on third down and forced the punt. Adonis Jackson returned that punt 55 yards to the house and the Landis PAT made it 14-0 JHS.

The rout appeared to be on when following the ensuing kickoff and a 3-yard gain on the ground, Rams’ QB Marco Pecora dropped back to pass and Reed picked it off and returned it 43 yards for the Trojans’ first defensive score of the young season. On what looked like a designed fake, holder Brandon Hody was stopped short of the goal line and the score was 20-0.

The game was really put out of reach when Richland was driving but then stalled when the penalty bug hit the squad. Following a Ram punt the Trojans only needed two plays to get on the board again as Reed showed some great breakaway speed on a 77-yard touchdown run. Landis was good and that set the halftime score at 27-0.

With all that momentum going in to the half, Johnstown was fortunate enough to receive the second half kickoff. From this point, the Johnstown starting offense put its best drive together of the night. They started at their own 36 and Hody connected with wideout Xavier Thomas twice on 3 and 16 plays to keep the sticks moving. The drive culminated with Hody finding 6-foot-2 junior Demetrius Young in the corner of the end zone on a fade pattern for a four-yard touchdown. Coach Arcurio opted to go for two to get the mercy-rule clock running but the conversion was no good and the score remained 33-0.

The Trojans did get the clock running on the next drive as Andre Morrison appeared to be getting rewarded for all his hard work as Reed’s blocking back thus far this year. He carried several times on the drive and got a four-yard touchdown as his reward. Landis booted the extra point almost out of Trojan Stadium to put a cap on the scoring for the Trojans for the evening.

The Rams, even with their backups in the game, didn’t give up. Matt Leslie scored from six yards out and also ran in the 2-point conversion. The Rams then recovered the onside kick and backup QB Tim Ripple hit Nick Paros from 10 yards out. The 2 point conversion was no good and the final score was set with 7 seconds remaining.

Reed finished the night with 10 carries for 111 yards and a TD on the ground to go with his interception return as the Trojans improve to .500 both overall (2-2) and in section play (1-1). The Rams on the other hand, fall to 1-3 overall, 0-2 in section play.

Next up for the Rams is a return trip to Trojan Stadium next Saturday night to take on the Bishop McCort Crushers while the Trojans stay at home to host Somerset.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #5

Johnstown 35 Somerset 14

The Somerset Golden Eagles played the first half of last night’s game against Johnstown more like a 4-0 team than a 0-4 team. However, they were not able to remain close with Johnstown and ultimately lost the game 35-14 despite having the Trojans tied at 14 at the half.

Johnstown on the other hand continued its trend of poor first halves as they have played three of their last four games better in the second half than the first.

Somerset (0-5, 0-3) took the opening kickoff and stalled after gaining two first downs. They went for it on fourth and nine from the Trojan 38 and were stopped on a questionable run call, especially when two plays earlier a pass play was wide open.

The Trojans took over on downs and made the Golden Eagles pay quickly. JHS first converted a third and six on a deep pass from Brandon Hody to Xavier Thomas. Pass interference was called on the play but was declined to take the result of the play. Three plays later it was Hody-to-Thomas again on a 37-yard wide receiver screen for a touchdown. Ben Landis was good on the convert and it was 7-0 Trojans.

The two teams traded punts before Somerset was able to get the equalizer. The Golden Eagles were able to take advantage of great field position. Their defense held JHS to a three and out following a punt that pinned them inside their own 15. They then applied enough pressure to hurry Landis’ punt and the starting field position on the scoring drive was the Johnstown 42. What followed was a ten-play time consuming drive that stayed completely on the ground and culminated in a 1-yard TD run by Vince Pollock. Clay Walker added the PAT and it was tied at 7.

The Trojans took less than a minute to get back on top as Adonis Jackson took the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to the house. Landis added the PAT and it was 14-7 JHS.

Somerset continued its great field position off special teams with a return of the kickoff to midfield and tacked on 15 yards for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and they started their offensive drive in Trojan territory yet again. But this time the Trojan defense came up with a turnover, recovering a fumble on their own 22.

However, it was another three and out, another pressured punt and another great starting field position for the Golden Eagles. They started this time on the JHS 39. Picked up a first down on a pass play on first down but then stalled and lost yardage on second down. This ultimately led to a fourth and 11 play from the Trojan 28 in which they completed a beautiful slant pass to pick up the first down. Two plays later it was another 1-yard TD by Pollock. The Walker kick was good again and the halftime score was set at 14-14.

JHS took the second half kick and drove the ball and drove 85 yards in 13 plays and capped it off with another Hody-to-Thomas hookup, this time on second and goal from the 19 after being pushed backwards on a holding penalty. Landis booted his third extra point and it was 21-14 JHS.

Somerset roughed Landis on the extra point plus had a player flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct so with the kickoff taking place in Somerset territory Bob Arcurio opted to go for the onside kick. A good call with nothing to lose because the field position was actually worse for Somerset as they recovered the attempt.

After another session of trading punts, the Trojan defense came up with a big play as Antwuan Reed picked up a fumble and returned it 65 yards for his second defensive TD of the year. Landis tacked on the extra point and made it 28-14.

Johnstown then held Somerset to a three and out and Thomas made a big return on a punt to the Somerset 27. Two plays later Andre Morrison scored from 9 yards out and Landis capped off his perfect night with another PAT and the final score was set at 35-14.

A block in the back penalty negated a final Trojan score as Scott Corson picked up a fumble on a sack and rumbled in from nearly 50 yards out.

Somerset will look to regroup next week as they visit Richland while the Trojans start a treacherous piece of their schedule with a road game at Bishop Carroll.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #6

The Johnstown Trojans fell to 3-3 Friday night as they dropped a tough one to section rival Bishop Carroll 24-0 on a rainy evening at Penn Cambria Stadium in Cresson. The Huskies improved to 6-0 and although didn’t have a great performance, they got the all important “W” and that really is all that matters. Their offense capitalized on the big play despite not being able to run the ball that with the success they have most of the year.

The offense did well through the air as QB Brock Lauer had a fine night, accounting for one touchdown on the ground and 3 through the air. He scored on the ground first early in the game. The Trojans took the opening kickoff and returned it quite nicely to the 50-yard line. However, Brandon Hody threw the first of his 2 interceptions. BC took over on offense and Lauer kept it on the read option and scored from 37 yards out. The PAT kick was no good and it was 6-0 Bishop Carroll.

It would stay that way for the first half despite the fact that JHS had three golden opportunities to score but they were plagued by penalties and offensive ineptitude most of the night. Antwuan Reed picked off a Lauer pass and appeared to return it the other way for a touchdown but it was called back due to a block in the back call. The Trojans took over on offense but were unable to score.

Later, the Trojans’ special teams came up with a big play as they blocked a punt deep in BC territory. However, the offense faltered in the red zone and came up empty handed after going for it on fourth down.

Then, later in the half, Reed broke free on a long run and appeared to be destined to go in for a score, but Paul Forcellini made a touchdown saving tackle. That could have been a momentum swing in the Trojans’ favor but as it happened, three plays later the momentum swung back in BC’s favor as Hody was picked off again, this time by Scott Bradley and the Trojans left the red zone again with no points.

Craig Sponsky’s club pulled away in the second half though, scoring on touchdown passes of 64, 23 and 50 yards to put the game away. Lauer hit Adam Crookshank, Nick McMahon and Jeff Minemyer for those three scores. One down note for Sponsky was that his team failed to convert any extra point attempts on the night, either by kicking or by going for two.

The Trojans return home for homecoming and a huge game against Bishop McCort. Not only is it the city rivalry game but they need to get a win to maintain pace in the 6-AAA playoff scene. Carroll will look to improve to 7-0 as they will take on Somerset on the road.

NOTES:

*****Although he was hampered by cramps and injuries, for the second season in a row, the Trojans’ defense neutralized Huskies’ star RB Paul Forcellini. Friday night, Forcellini only had 32 yards on the ground.

*****Had JHS won, it would have meant 110 points in the playoffs standings. Although they would have only gotten 60 points for beating a Class A school, they would have received 10 bonus points per win BC had already to this point of the season (10 points times 5 wins for 50 points). Instead the Trojans end the weekend almost empty handed. Almost because Richland, a team the Trojans previously beat, won against Somerset so that gives JHS 10 points.

*****The shutout is the first against a JHS team since week two of the 2002 season as Forest Hills beat the Trojans 21-0.

*****Antwuan Reed continued his statistically strong first season as the Trojans’ tailback, he gained 107 yards on 12 carries to up his season yardage total to 540. With three games remaining in the regular season, he’ll need to average a little over 150 yards per game to reach the 1,000-yard mark.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #7

A large crowd in attendance at Trojan Stadium, including members of both Johnstown and McCort’s Class of 1985 in town for their 20-year reunions, got their money’s worth last night. Although Johnstown gave their all and kept the game close, Bishop McCort was ultimately able to get the go-ahead touchdown and win the game 21-14.

The Crushers (6-1, 4-1) used a tough, grind-it-out, ball control offense which featured many inside carries from the fullback position, to dominate ball control and time of possession. The Trojans (3-4, 2-3) were never able to get much going offensively and only had 10 offensive plays in the entire second half.

The Trojans got on the board first, after a few sessions of trading punts, Antwuan Reed picked off a Mike Sheridan pass and returned just about as close to a touchdown as you could without getting it. The Trojans started their celebration a tad too earlier and Reed was actually brought down by his own player in a play that many in attendance said they had never seen happen before. JHS wasted no time scoring on a quarterback sneak by Brandon Hody. Ben Landis booted the PAT and it was Johnstown 7-0 early.

The Trojan defense held McCort on the ensuing drive and they got the ball back and went for it all. A Hody was a bit overthrown and Brad Barbin made an interception and returned it to the McCort 41. Following two running plays, Sheridan hooked up on a 22-yard pass completion to Matt Varga. On a second and eight on the first play of the second quarter Sheridan hit Scott Lewis for a 20-yard touchdown. Marc Domonkos tied the game at 7 with the extra point.

That was all the scoring there was in the first half, but there was a tad of excitement at the end of the half. First, the Crushers had a drive that appeared to be going for another score. They had first and goal at the Trojan 4 and were not able to score. Ken Salem opted to go for it on fourth and goal from the 1 rather than kick what would have been most likely a sure thing with a field goal by Domonkos. The Trojan defense came up huge and stuffed the run and took over on downs.

Second, McCort remembering the play they got burned on last year against Johnstown tried to return the favor with the old hook and ladder play. However, Johnstown was able to tackle the McCort ball carrier as time ran out. The officials called an illegal forward pass that would have negated the play anyway, but it had many Johnstown fans’ hearts in their throats for sure.

JHS received the opening kickoff and went three and out. McCort did the same and Domonkos punted the ball deep to Adonis Jackson and Myron Coleman. Coleman, who played for McCort a year ago, spurned his former teammates by taking the punt 81 yards to the house. Landis booted his second PAT and it was 14-7 Johnstown.

McCort took the ball and their own 15 to start the ensuing drive and they drove it 85 yards for the equalizer. They overcame some adversity as seemed to be stalling around the Johnstown 22. An option was stopped for a three yard loss and an incomplete pass set up a third and 13. Amazingly, Salem ran a fullback run right up the middle by Lewis and not only did he pick up the first down but he reached pay dirt and the Domonkos PAT made it 14-14.

Johnstown, as was the case most of the night, was unable to muster any kind of offensive drive so they were forced to punt again and McCort took the ball and ate most of the time on the fourth quarter as well. The Crushers had it first and ten from the Johnstown 21, had two touchdowns called back by penalties but still were able to score as Sheridan hooked up with sophomore tight end Michael Cruz from 25 yards out for his second passing touchdown of the evening. Domonkos booted his third and final PAT and the final score was set.

Sheridan was 11-for-17 with 200 yards to go with his two touchdown passes. Statistically, Johnstown didn’t have much to talk about offensively. Hody was 5-for-11 with 36 yards while Reed was held to only 23 yards on 11 carries.

Bishop McCort will host Forest Hills next Saturday while Johnstown will host Central Cambria for Senior Night on Friday. Both games will be played at Trojan Stadium.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #8

On a rainy Friday night at Trojan Stadium Johnstown’s senior class went out with a win on their Senior Night, beating Central Cambria 35-21 in a non-section LHAC game.

J-town, which improved to 4-4 on the year, got on the board early as they took the opening kickoff from Central Cambria (2-6) and needed only five plays to get on the board. On third-and-20 Brandon Hody hit Adonis Jackson on a wide receiver screen and Jackson did the rest and 58 yards later it was a touchdown. Ben Landis booted the extra point and it was 7-0 Trojans.

The Trojans appeared to be in business for another score as they forced a fumble and recovered it only five plays after kicking the ball back to them following the initial score of the game. However, that momentum was short lived as on third-and-nine from the CC 43 Hody was intercepted.

The teams traded punts but JHS was pinned deep by a CC punt and coupled with a disastrous series that three false start penalties and an ineligible man down field negate a completion to Xavier Thomas. Landis was forced to punt out of the JHS end zone and Central Cambria got great field position, starting their drive on the Trojans’ 29 yard line. Michael Damin handled the ball on all four plays of the short Red Devil drive, taking the final play in from 12 yards out. Dan Brown’s PAT was good to tie the game at 7.

Johnstown didn’t waste much time getting back on the board following the ensuing kickoff. Myron Coleman took handoffs from motion to run end around plays four times on the drive, that coupled with a nice 15 yard completion from Hody to Demetrous Young resulted in a first and goal situation and Hody called his own number and took it himself in to the end zone on the bootleg. Landis made the score 14-7, which was the halftime score.

Although Central Cambria scored twice in the second half, those scores game against the backup defense. When the ones were playing the ones, it was all Johnstown. JHS had a nice long drive to start their possession in the second half, that resulted in an Andre Morrison touchdown.

After that, Landis’ kickoff took a most fortuitous bounce. It looked destined to roll out of bounds and give CC great field position. Instead it took a hop and changed direction, causing the Red Devils to scramble to simply recover the live ball. Once they did they were pinned deep and LaVarr Stephens came up with the big play on defense, intercepting a Shane McGregor pass. One play later, Antwuan Reed took the toss and scored .

Then, with the ball deep in Central Cambria territory the Trojans went to the backups on offense and Chris Piro got in to the end zone but a holding call negated the score and eventually the Red Devils took over on downs. On the first play of their series Damin broke off a long run that ultimately ended in a short yardage score for Central Cambria.

Johnstown opted to put the starting offense back in the game at that point to ice the victory and that is exactly what they did. Reed scored again to put the game out of reach. He finished the evening with 12 carries for 137 yards. Landis was a perfect 5-for-5 on PATs on the evening and on the defensive side of the ball Aaron Brezovic had three sacks to help in the winning effort.

The Trojans round out the regular season on the road against Bedford next week while the Red Devils will host 8-0 Bishop Carroll.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #9

The Bedford Bisons scored early and often in the first half, building a 34-6 lead going into halftime, and that was more than enough to hold off the Johnstown Trojans as they scored once in the second half, missed the extra point, and won the game 40-6.

Field position helped with many of the first half scores. John Marshall returned the opening kickoff to midfield and the Bisons’ option attack took very little time, using a no-huddle set (although it wasn’t a hurry up set, the calls were just made at the line of scrimmage), and Cory Miller ended the drive from 2 yards out. QB Kyler Ford, who doubles as the kicker, booted the PAT to make it 7-0.

Another big return, this time on a punt, set Bedford up with starting field position in Johnstown territory. Junior Aaron Brezovic, who has been playing extremely well as of late, sacked Ford to set up third-and-16. An early momentum swing may have happened on this third down play as a questionable pass interference was called on JHS (the Bedford WR appeared to slip on the wet ground) to give Bedford first and ten rather than fourth down. Marshall took advantage of the drive staying alive and scored from two yards out. 14-0 Bisons with another Ford PAT.

Before Johnstown could get a drive going, they were in a whole again, as Brandon Hody had a passed picked off by Derrick Harris. It looked like a punt return with a wall set up as Harris returned the INT up the sideline deep in to JHS territory. Another short field for the Bisons meant another easy score, as Ford did it himself this time on a sneak from a yard out and then added the PAT to make 21-0 at the end of only one quarter of play.

Another offensive series led to a punt and again, Bedford field position near midfield. Bedford needed all of two plays as speedster Jesse Feaster galloped in from 28 yards out. The PAT was no good and it was 27-0 Bisons.

The Trojans got their only score of the game on a two yard keeper by Hody. The drive was kept alive when a fourth down pass in the end zone drew a Bedford pass interference. Ben Landis slipped on his approach and the PAT was no good, probably a microcosm of the night.

When it rains it pours as Ford took a QB keeper… from the Johnstown 8-yard line and scored. He added the PAT to make the halftime score 34-6 and for all intents and purposes, ending the game. Feaster scored a touchdown in the second half before Coach Wes Swaim opted to put the back ups in.

Bedford ends its regular season with a 7-2 mark, after losing their first two games they have rattled of seven straight wins and appear to be in high gear entering the District 5-6 AA playoffs. Their opponent and site of game is yet to be determined. With the loss, Johnstown will be the four seed (as Lewistown won and solidified third place) in the 6-AAA playoffs. They will travel to Bellefonte to play the #1 seeded Red Raiders. The date and time of the game is yet to be determined.

The Trojans end the regular season with a 4-5 record.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

Saturday Game Report #10

Bellefonte 20 Johnstown 14

The Johnstown Trojans’ season came to an end last night in a game that may go down as one of the hardest played District 6 playoff games ever. Ultimately, Bellefonte held off JHS 20-14 to win the game in front the crowd at Rogers Stadium. They improve to 9-1 and will play the winner of tonight’s other 6-AAA semifinal between Huntingdon and Lewistown.

The two teams traded punts to begin the game, but when Johnstown punted, Ben Landis dropped the snap and it set up great field position for the Red Raiders. However, the Trojan defense answered the bell and stuffed the run on fourth and one deep in JHS territory, probably in field goal range.

JHS took over on downs and lost 3 yards on two plays but then were primed to swing the momentum pendulum in their direction on third-and-15 as Xavier Thomas hauled in a Brandon Hody pass and was off to the races for the apparent Trojan TD. However, the officials drew the ire of the Trojans faithful as a illegal block penalty called the TD back. Johnstown regrouped though, picked up the first down on that series as well as the next two series on two big plays. First the Trojans were faced with 3rd-and-26 and Hody hit Jason Andrews for a big gain to keep the sticks moving. Then the Trojans went for in on 4th and inches and Hody converted on the sneak. The drive would come to a crashing halt when Hody hit Thomas on a screen and big gain. That is because Thomas fumbled and Bellefonte recovered.

Two plays later Chris Snare hit Nate Carson on a 58-yard TD. Justin Witherite converted the PAT and it was 7-0 Red Raiders.

Bellefonte added to its lead, first by forcing a three and out on defense, then by taking 7 plays and scoring on a 30-yard run by Snare. Witherite was good again and it was 14-0 Bellefonte.

The Trojans didn’t give up and in fact they answered right back before the half in a short drive that involved junior wideout Demetrius Young on two of the key plays. First, the Trojans ran a double-pass that saw Thomas take the flair pass from Hody then hit Young wide open for a big gain. Two plays later, Hody hit Young on a slant that scored from 16 yards out. Landis made the PAT and it was 14-7 Bellefonte at the half.

Momentum was on the Trojans’ side again as they got the ball to start the second half. Adonis Jackson returned the kick to the Bellefonte 40. Sophomore Antwuan Reed then got most of the work on the drive, carrying the ball six plays and most important, the last play of the drive, a TD from five yards out. Landis made his second PAT of the night and it was tied at 14-14.

Bellefonte answered on the very next drive as Carson scored on a reverse from 13 yards out. The key play in that drive was on a 3rd-and-7 when the Trojan defense looked ready for another stop. Snare rolled out from the Trojan pass rush and threw a wounded duck up for grabs to a Bellefonte receiver that appeared to be double covered. However, the two JHS defensive backs bumped in to each other and fell down, leaving the Bellefonte receiver open to make the catch, convert the first down and keep the drive alive. They may have been the turning point of the game as Bellefonte wasn’t able to score again after that. The PAT was no good and the final was set at 20-14.

Johnstown had a very good chance to win the game. They drove down the field, deep in to Bellefonte territory but stalled and when Hody went down with an injury, Thomas had to take the final snap at QB on fourth down. His pass in the end zone was picked off Mike Englert in the end zone for the touchback. The Trojans out of time outs were helpless to watch Bellefonte take a knee a few plays to end the game.

Thomas cemented his status as the area’s most talented wideout with a seven catch, 102 yard performance in the loss.

Johnstown ends the season with a 4-6 mark.

Doug Keklak can be reached at doug.keklak@trojannation.net.

 

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