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2008 Saturday Game Report

Saturday Game Report #1

Johnstown 37, Bedford 23

JOHNSTOWN-It was a somewhat of a tale of two halves last night at Trojan Stadium for the opening week of the scholastic football season as Johnstown rallied to defeat a scrappy, visiting Bedford Bisons’ team 37-23.

Bedford led the game most of the first half, taking an 18-6 lead into the locker room. However, the Trojans countered with 29 unanswered points in the second half which included a third quarter that saw them score three touchdowns, and cruised in the second half to the victory.

The contest started pretty ordinarily with the teams trading punts, but Johnstown fumbled theirs and Bedford recovered in Trojans’ territory. Seven plays later, with 7:00 to go in the first quarter, Patrick Brett scored from six yards out and converted the two-point conversion to put the Bisons up 8-0 early.

Johnstown had to punt on their ensuing possession but they got the ball back quickly as Marcus Seals picked off a Mike Short pass and returned it to the Bedford 8. Two plays later, Quadir Christian scored and a Jon Sicilano to Carlton Wyatt two-point conversion tied the game at 8.

The Bisons were forced to punt, and then the Trojans turned the ball back over on downs to Bedford. The Bisons started their second scoring drive at their own 40. They converted two key passes on the drive, first a screen pass on third-and-nine and then three plays later a Short-to-Zachary Hess conversion also on third down, coupled with a Trojan roughing the passer call, set the Bisons up with first-and-goal. It was Brett again, this time from 2 yards out to put the Bisons back on top. Brett then took the option toss and passed the two-point conversion to Hess to make it 16-8, Bedford.

The Trojans attempted to answer back and came out firing as Sicilano hit Jordan Jefferson for a 32-yard gain and five plays later they had first-and-goal from the Bedford 8. Although the Trojans appeared poised to tie it up going into the half, Bedford stood strong and stopped the Trojans on a fourth-and-goal from the 3. It was a strange series of events before the half because it appeared that the Trojans got an extra down. Following a third down incompletion, Coach Kevin Marabito appeared to be sending in the field goal unit and settling for an attempt at the 3. However, the down marker still said “3” so the offense stayed on the field and then was forced to take a delay of game penalty. On what was really fourth down, Sicilano was stopped around the left side three yards short of the goal line. However, the error by the officials gave the Trojans an extra chance at the end zone, but they ultimately fell short and went into the halftime break losing 16-8.

Bedford receiving the kickoff in the second half but was only able to muster three yards and went three-and-out. What culminated was a six-play drive that ended with Kashmir Pretlor scoring from 11 yards out. Christian scored on the two-point conversion and the game was tied. On the drive, three different running backs carried the ball as along with Pretlor and Christian, Quatrell Rose joined the group.

Coach Dan Smith’s club appeared to be answering the bell as they mounted a nice drive into Johnstown territory, keyed by another Short-to-Hess completion, this one accounting for a 33-yard gain. However, momentum swung back in favor of the Trojans as a Bedford fumble was recovered by Tyler Boyd on the Johnstown 28, thus killing the drive.

The Trojans finally went on top, and on top to stay as Quadir Christian rumbled 42 yards to the Bedford 12 and two plays later it was Pretlor again for the Trojan touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good and it was 22-16 Johnstown.

It was another three-and-out for the Bisons and another quick scoring strike for the Trojans as following an illegal substitution call on Bedford, Sicilano rolled out from his quarterback position on a designed run and 53 yards later he was in the light blue field turf of a Trojan Stadium end zone. Jefferson converted the two-point play and the rout was on as Johnstown went up 30-16.

Johnstown’s defense mounted yet another three-and-out and, not to sound like a broken record, but it was another quick scoring drive for the Trojans. Sicilano hit Christian with a swing pass from the Bedford 25 for the final Johnstown score of the evening. Jon Maurizio connected the PAT and made it 37-16.

With both teams’ back-ups in the game, second string quarterback Kyle Deenen scored a final touchdown for the Bisons.

The Trojans (1-0) travel to Forest Hills next week while Bedford hosts Bishop Carroll.

 

Saturday Game Report #2

Forest Hills 27, Johnstown 21

SIDMAN-It took more than the customary 48 minutes to decide the Johnstown-Forest Hills game Friday night…but not too much more as Forest Hills’ Jared McCombie picked off the Trojans’ John Siciliano’s first-down pass in overtime and the very next play Scott Mehall took the hand off and scored from ten yards out to close out one of the more exciting high school football games in the area in recent memory.

It looked like it would be a Forest Hills blowout early as the Rangers scored three first half touchdowns and enjoyed a 21-0 lead at the half. Tyler Rosenberger got behind two Trojans defensive backs, however he was behind them because quarterback Zack Glessner’s pass was a tad under thrown. Despite a Trojan getting a hand on the pass, the tip went backwards, right into Rosenberger’s hands and he took the pass in for the 50-yard score. Patrick Donoghue, a big straight-on style kicker, made the PAT with plenty to spare and it was 7-0 Rangers.

It was Glessner-to-Rosenberger again in the second quarter for the second Rangers’ score on a beautiful throw and catch, this time from 25 yards out. Donoghue’s second PAT made it 14-0.

The Rangers made it 21-0 on their very next drive as they marched down the field in impressive fashion and Mehall finished the deal by scoring from a yard out. Donoghue made his third and final PAT of the night, capping off a perfect performance and giving Forest Hills their halftime lead.

The second half was all Trojans as they got on the board first thanks to the defense as Kashmir Pretlor intercepted a pass and brought it back from 35 yards out for the pick-six. Jon Maurizio added the first of his three extra points to bring the Trojans to within two scores. Maurizio had another fine game, perfect on his PAT attempts and he connected on a 32-yard field goal that was taken off the board due to a roughing the kicker penalty from the Rangers. The automatic first down, fifteen yards and position on the field was too much for the Trojans to pass up as they attempted to put six on the board instead.

In the fourth quarter, the Trojans were able to pull even thanks to two John Siciliano touchdown passes, one to Carlton Wyatt and the other to Jordan Jefferson and with a little more than a minute to go in regulation, made it 21-all.

Don Bailey ran the ball twice to run out the clock and play for the overtime. What happened next was the afore mentioned overtime that accounted for exactly two plays.

The Trojans fall to 1-1 while the Rangers improve to 2-0. Next week Johnstown returns home to host Westmont while Forest Hills kicks off section play by traveling to Bedford.

 

Saturday Game Report #3

No game report this weekend, please check out the Tribune Democrat's recap of the Johnstown/Westmont game.  WJAC video highlights are also available here.

 

Saturday Game Report #4

Johnstown 17, Richland 6

JOHNSTOWN-The Johnstown Trojans improved to 2-2 on the season with a 17-6 win over Richland in front of a large crowd at Herlinger Field.

Things started off with a bang for the Trojans as they won the toss, deferred to the second half and promptly picked up Gino Ramires’ first pass from scrimmage as freshmen Alknon Williams made a beautiful read to pick off the pass and set the Trojans’ offense up with great field position very early on.

However, the Trojans went three and out, unable to punch the ball across the goal line and Jon Maurizio missed the first of his three field goal attempts on the night.

The Rams’ subsequent drive stalled and they were forced to punt the ball back to the Trojans. Again, the Johnstown offense wasn’t able to mount a drive and they gave the ball back to the Rams.

This time it appeared the Brandon Bailey’s club would be punching it across but they drove all the way down to the Trojans’ 9. Richland opted to go for it on fourth down and they didn’t get it so Johnstown took over on their own 9 as the Rams’ turned the ball over on downs.

Later in the first half, the Rams missed a field goal attempt. Then the Trojans appeared to have a big play set up but LaQuinn Stephens-Howling wasn’t able to reel in a John Siciliano pass and the Trojans were forced to punt again.

On the ensuing drive, the Rams again appeared to be driving but junior Ryan Sisco came up with a big interception with 1:21 to go in the half, setting the Trojans up with the ball on their own 39-yard line.

Maurizio put the only points of the first half on the board as time expired in the half, connecting from 30 yards to make 3-0 at the half.

It looked like Richland would steal that momentum as they booted the opening kickoff right at the Trojans’ middle up-man and the Rams’ recovered. However, they weren’t able to do anything with the big turnover and they turned the ball over on downs, letting Johnstown take the ball over on their own 45.

Quadir Christian (18 carries, 137 yards), scored from three out and put the Trojans up 10-0.

But Richland answered back and continued to make it a game as they mounted a nice drive and it ended with a hard run from Jordan Curcija for the touchdown, the extra point was blocked, but it was 10-6 Johnstown with 1:54 to go in the third quarter.

The Rams appeared to be in the driver’s seat to take the lead in the contest after Ramires hooked up with Tim Ripple on a long completion that set them up with first-and-goal. However, the Trojans’ defense answered the bell as they stuffed Ramires on a sneak on third-and-goal. Then, on fourth down, rather than attempt the field goal and try and make it 10-9, Bailey opted to go for it and they ran an option left. The pitch was mishandled and the Rams were stopped well short of the goal line.

The Trojans took over at their 14 after that play and mounted the drive that was cement the game as Siciliano scored on the 1-yard sneak and Maurizio added the convert to cement the final score at 17-6.

The Rams fall to 2-2, 1-1 in the section and it doesn’t get any easier for them as Bishop McCort invades Herlinger Field this Friday. The Trojans even out both their overall record and their section record, improving to .500 on each. They hit the road and take on Somerset next week.

Saturday Game Report #5

Johnstown 43, Somerset 12

SOMERSET-The Trojans hit the road Friday night and returned home with a big 43-12 victory over Somerset and improved to 3-2 on the season and 2-1 in the section.

Johnstown got on the board first, on a 66-yard touchdown run from quarterback John Siciliano. Senior Jon Maurizio added the extra point and it was 7-0 Trojans early.

The Golden Eagles did not go down without a fight, at least early on, and they answered right back with a scoring march of their own. An eight-play drive culminated with a two-yard scoring rush from Chase Dykstra. Johnstown blocked the PAT and held a 7-6 lead.

The Trojans scored twice before the half and started to separate themselves. Quadir Christian scored on runs from 12 and 17 yards out. On the first strike, Maurizio’s PAT was blocked but the Trojans made up for that by going for two on the second score and converting on a Siciliano-to-Dajour Morris pass. The defense did its part in shutting down the Somerset offense and took a 21-6 lead into the half.

The second half was more domination from the Trojans and the rout was on. They did it through the air with three touchdown passes, an 8-yard strike to Carlton Wyatt, a 46-yard connection with Jordan Jefferson and a 73-yard hookup with Richard Agurs. Agurs made an outstanding catch on a tipped ball in the contest also. On those three touchdowns, Maurizio had two PATs while Christian ran a two-point conversion in.

Somerset got their final points of the contest on a Trevor Niemiec-to-Gunnar Smith ten-yard scoring pass. The two point conversion failed.

Christian finished the contest with 118 yards while Siciliano was 8-for-12 passing with 155 yards.

Johnstown returns home this Saturday night to face Bishop Carroll while Somerset, now 1-4 will host Richland.

Saturday Game Report #6

Johnstown 16, Bishop Carroll 0

JOHNSTOWN-The Johnstown Trojans were superb on defense and did enough on offense to get the job done Saturday night at Trojan Stadium and came away with a 16-0 victory.

Turnovers were key in this contest, as not only did they thwart deep drives BC had in JHS territory but helped set up scores for Johnstown.

Quadir Christian (93 yards rushing) scored the first points of the contest on two-yard run on the final play of a 92-yard drive and Jon Maurizio added the extra point to make it 7-0 Trojans.

Johnstown got the ball right back as BC fumbled the kickoff but the Husky defense kept the Trojans out of the end zone and Coach Marabito had to settle for the 21-yard chip shot from Maurizio and it was 9-0 Johnstown, a lead the team would take into the half.

Another BC fumble set up the final scoring of the contest as Christian rambled in from 17 yards out and Maurizio added his second PAT to cement the final at 16-0.

Johnstown improves to 4-2 and will head to the Point to take on Bishop McCort in the City Game Friday night. BC falls to 3-3 and hosts Somerset this week.

NOTES: The 1958 Johnstown team was honored at halftime. This team was undefeated and the WPIAL champions that year. Trojan quarterback John Sicilano had 82 yards rushing in the victory. Bishop Carroll’s standout running back Brendan Julock had 16 carries for 106 yards in the loss. The shutout was the first for a Trojan defense since they beat Central Mountain 27-0 in the first round of the District 6-AAA playoffs back in 2004.

Saturday Game Report #7

Bishop McCort 38, Johnstown 7

JOHNSTOWN-Bishop McCort manhandled the Trojans on Homecoming Night at the Point en route to a 38-7 victory.

Most of the damage was done in the first half as the Crushers scored easily on their first two possessions. Isa Wadley (99 yards rushing) scored from 41 yards out and Dane Domonkos added the PAT to make it 7-0. Then, Josh Seidel picked off a John Siciliano pass and returned it 27 yards for the pick six. Another Domonkos PAT made it 14-0.

It was the first of two interceptions returned by the Crushers for a score in the first half as Eric Lowry took an errant pass 78 yards down the sideline as time expired in the first half, making it 35-7 at the half. It easily could have been 42-7 as Wadley fumbled with the Crushers primed to score deep in Trojan territory in a play that the ball seemed to just slip out of his hands because he hadn’t been hit by any defender.

Lowry and Wadley had touchdown runs between the interception returns in the first half.

The Trojans got their only points on a screen pass from Siciliano to Quadir Christian from 38 yards out and Jon Maurizio connected on his only PAT attempt of the evening.

The second half was pretty uneventful as the only scoring from either team came from Domonkos’ foot as he connected on a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter.

McCort improves to 7-0 and will reign as kings over the city as they have completed the sweep in beating Johnstown and suburban schools Richland and Westmont. They will host Penn Cambria next week.

The Trojans fall to 4-3 and will return home to host the Cambria Heights Highlanders at Trojan Stadium this week for Homecoming.

Saturday Game Report #8

Johnstown 49, Cambria Heights 14

JOHNSTOWN-Quadir Christian had a night fit for a king, which was appropriate as at halftime he was named JHS’ Homecoming King for 2008. On the field, his performance was even more impressive as he racked up 239 yards on 15 carries and had three touchdowns as the Trojans defeated Cambria Heights 49-14 in a non-sectional LHAC contest at Trojan Stadium.

In a night in which it was mostly all about Johnstown, it was Cambria Heights that got on the board first. After three straight runs from running back Jeremy Priester, which netted 14 yards and a first down, quarterback Caleb Vescovi threw two straight incomplete passes and the Highlanders were forced to punt.

This was when Christian made probably his only mistake of the night as he muffed the punt and the Highlanders recovered and were in business at the Johnstown 21-yard line. Six plays later, Vescovi hit Priester on a 16-yard touchdown strike. Nick Galczynksi’s point-after attempt was no good and it was Cambria Heights with the early 6-0 lead.

After a very close call on a surprise onside kick attempt in which the Highlanders nearly recovered, the Trojans needed just three plays to get on the board. Following a Cambria Heights’ encroachment call, Christian ran the ball three times, the final carry on the drive being a nine-yard touchdown run. Following another Cambria Heights penalty on the extra point attempt, the Trojans opted to go for two and Christian ran it in to make it 8-6 Johnstown.

After the return, Priester took the first handoff of the drive and ran 16 yards and Ryan Sisco made what could have been a touchdown saving tackle. The Highlanders’ drive faltered after that, two penalties and three incomplete passes led to another punt.

The Trojans took over on their own 43-yard line and four plays later they extended their early lead on a five-yard touchdown run from Christian. The point after kick was faked and the attempt was no good so it was 14-8.

Sisco had another big tackle, this time on Bryon Stanek’s return of Jon Maurizio’s kickoff. With the Highlanders in good starting field position (their own 47), they answered right back. Initially, their drive stalled but on fourth-and-three, Priester took the direct snap on a fake punt and picked up the first down. Four plays later, another fourth down conversion came up big as Vescovi hit Bryce Brawley in stride for a pass that advanced the ball to the Trojan 13. After a few runs by Priester netted a loss of a yard, he decided to go at it through the air, hitting Stanek from 14 yards out on a halfback pass. Vescovi’s pass to Priester was good for the two-point conversion and the score was tied 14-14.

That was all the closer Heights would get.

Any momentum the Highlanders had was crushed on the very next play as LaQuinn Stephens-Howling returned Adam Strasser’s kickoff 78 yards to the house. Another Cambria Heights penalty on the extra point led to another Trojan two-point attempt and John Siciliano hit Christian for the convert and it was 22-14 Johnstown. The Trojans now had a lead they would never surrender.

The teams traded punts the next three possessions before Johnstown got their next score. An eight-play drive that was all running plays culminated in a two-yard score from Donnie McKinley. Maurizio’s extra point was good and it was 29-14 Trojans.

A three-and-out from the Highlanders set the Trojans up with their final touchdown of the first half as the team ran the two-minute drill, hurry-up offense to a “T”. Christian scored from three yards out and Maurizio’s extra point was no good so the halftime score was set at 35-14.

The first score of the second half came following a turnover on downs by the Highlanders. Johnstown took over on their own 29 and only needed two plays, two runs by Quatrell Rose. The second of which was a 20-yard touchdown run in which he picked up an excellent block from Stephens-Howling to get in the end zone. Maurizio’s kick was good and it was 42-14 Trojans.

Cambria Heights turned it over on downs again and the Trojans struck quickly again, scoring their final points of the evening on a three play drive as Gerald Jones scored from eight yards out and Maurizio tacked on his final PAT of the night and it was Johnstown up 49-14.

Priester left the game early in the second half with what looked like an ankle injury. He finished the night with 62 yards on 17 carries. He also caught two passes for 10 yards. Vescovi was 14-for-35 for 203 yards passing in the loss. Stanek had seven catches for 97 yards.

Freshman Gervon Simon was entered at quarterback late in the game and had a 36-yard run in the spread option.

The loss drops the Highlanders to 1-7 on the season. They return home next week to host Bishop Carroll.

The Trojans improve to 5-3 with the win and are back at Trojan Stadium for Senior Night this Friday against Bishop Guilfoyle.

 

Saturday Game Report #9

Johnstown 36, Bishop Guilfoyle 19

JOHNSTOWN-The senior class of 2009 went out in style in what was their final regular season home game at Trojan Stadium as Johnstown defeated Bishop Guilfoyle 36-19 Friday night.

It didn’t take long for the Trojans to get on the board as follow a return of the opening kickoff deep into BG territory on a reverse by Jordan Jefferson. Five plays later, quarterback John Sicilano took an option keeper into the end zone from four yards out. Jon Maurizio’s extra point was good and it was 7-0 JHS early.

The Marauders answered right back as Chris Damiano returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for the score. Amanda James’ PAT was blocked, so JHS held onto the lead.

Quadir Christian fumbled and BG recovered it on the next drive. However, the Trojan defense held them to a punt.

Chris Brown pinned the Trojans deep as Christian signaled for a fair catch at the JHS 10-yard line. The two teams traded punts and it was the second punt, the one by BG that set the Trojans up with their second score of the game.

With fourth-and-ten on their own 13, Brown went back to punt and shanked it bad. The Trojans started their drive on the BG 12, so the punt actually lost a yard. Three plays later, Sicilano scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, again on an option keeper. Maurizio was good again and it was 14-6 Trojans.

After the Trojans held BG and forced a punt, they took the ball on their own 12 and, as they have in previous weeks, ran their hurry-up no huddle set to near perfection. They ran three runs out of before a Siciliano-to-Jefferson pass advanced the ball to the BG 42. Following an incomplete pass, Siciliano scampered 26 yards to the BG 16. Another Siciliano-to-Jordan pass got the Trojans to the 1 and Christian hit pay dirt from one yard out for his first touchdown of the night. The PAT was no good and it was 20-6 Johnstown going into the half.

Maurizio’s second half kick off was boomed through the end zone for a touchback and the Trojans held the Marauders to a three-and-out in a series that only netted two yards.

Christian returned the Brown punt to the BG 49 but the Marauders held the Trojans to a field goal attempt and Maurizio was good from 39 yards and extended the Trojan lead to 23-6.

BG wasn’t going away just yet though, as they took the ensuing kickoff deep into Trojan territory as Andrew Passonetti advanced the ball to the Trojan 36. On a fourth-and-14, Brown took off and ran the ball for the first down and more, finally being brought down at the 4. Brown then scored four plays later, on fourth-and-goal from three yards out. James’ PAT was good and BG was within 10 points, trailing 23-13.

But it wasn’t meant to be as the Trojan struck right back on a two-play drive that covered 73 yards, 69 of which were on a touchdown run by Christian. Maurizio’s PAT was blocked and it was 29-13 Johnstown.

BG was pinned with a penalty and had to start their drive on their own 10-yard line. A sack and two incomplete passes later and the Marauders were punting from their own end zone with the ball spotted on their own 2-yard line.

Christian returned the ball to the BG 6 and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Siciliano scored his third rushing touchdown of the evening, this one on a sneak from a yard out. Maurizio was good on the PAT attempt and Johnstown went up 36-13.

The Marauders still would not go away as they answered right back with a seven play drive that was set up by another good kickoff return as the drive started on Johnstown’s side of the field, on the Trojans 38. Brown hit Alex Shaffer from three yards out to make it 36-19. That would be the final score as James’ PAT was blocked.

BG recovered an onside kick attempt but they fumbled the ball away six plays later. It was three-and-out for the Trojans and the signal for the backups to head in was after David Istanich picked off a Brown pass from his defensive tackle position.

The Trojans improve to 6-3 and will round out their regular season next week at Penn Cambria. Meanwhile, BG falls to 5-4 in a game that was their regular season finale. They will await news of their first round opponent in the District 6-A playoffs.

 

Saturday Game Report #10

Johnstown 32, Penn Cambria 26

No game report this week, but check out the story in the Tribune Democrat as well as the highlights on WJAC.

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