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1988 Retrospective - Week Four

Week four of the 1988 brought not only the most exciting game of the Trojans' season but one of the all-time great games in program history.

To hear the play called, it sounds real simple, nothing flashy: "Doubles, Sprint Right, L Throwback Post".

But the result of the play was something much more than that, and at that time in Johnstown (and probably in some circles to this day) it was simply known as "The Catch".

With less than a half minute to go and "fourth and forever" as Coach Jerry Davitch put it, the now common duo of Alex Roebuck-to-Chuck Wyatt struck yet again but this time it was in a more dramatic fashion than any of their other hookups during the 1988 season. When all was said and done, the play covered 54 yards and a Trojan touchdown in the waning moments of the game.

"Alex and Chucky saved our lives", Coach Davitch reflected. This is a true statement not only for this contest but the undefeated season the Trojans enjoyed that year. "The play exemplified the undefeated season", Davitch added.

"It was a play we didn't run a lot but Chucky's catch as as great a catch as I've ever seen in high school. It was a low pass and the safety covering mistimed his move on the ball and was out of position and this allowed Chucky to make the play."

"We were so fortunate to win this game", Davitch added, "It was one of my miracle finishes as a coach."

Stepping back and setting the stage for the drama of a come-from-behind victory, one has to look at how the Trojans got behind in the first place. They allowed Yough to come out to a 12-0 first half lead. The Cougars scored on a 54-yard pass play and a fumble return for a touchdown on defense.

"Yough was a team we were fortunate to beat and we seemed to have their number. Their program had gone through a number of coaching changes and each season I truly believed that we had better players than they did. However, this season (1988), they had a very good football team. They had an excellent quarterback/free safety and I really don't think we realized how good they were. We went out and stumbled around in the first half," said Davitch.

Both teams entered the game undefeated and the Trojans were ranked #5 in a Class AAA poll that ran in the now defunct Pittsburgh Press.

What every adjustments and halftime speeches were made at the break, they worked as the Trojans jumped out in the third quarter and got a big play when Alex Roebuck connected with the speedy Rob Veney for a 68-yard touchdown strike. Doug Goff picked the all important, and probably underrated play of the game, extra point to bring the Trojans to within five points. It was notable that Goff made the kick because the Trojans often went for two rather than kick.

The defense continued to pitch an all-important second half shutout and waited for the offense to get that winning score. They didn't realize they'd have to wait until the game was nearly over but it was Roebuck-to-Wyatt and the rest, as they say, was history.

This was the first time Johnstown was 4-0 since 1973 and the dream season continued.

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