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1988 Retrospective - Week Nine

After a scoreless first quarter, the Johnstown Trojans exploded for two quick scores in the second to take that lead in the half and then came out in the third quarter and scored another two, all the while holding Mount Pleasant scoreless and scoring a big 28-0 shutout win during week nine.

Mark Roebuck had a monster night, scoring three touchdowns, the first, third and fourth. He got the Trojans on the board initially with a one-yard score. The PAT kick failed and it was 6-0 Trojans. Later in the quarter, Alex Roebuck hit Chuck Wyatt on a touchdown pass that covered 35 yards. Coach Davitch opted to even things up by going for two and Alex hit Mark for the two point conversion and it was 14-0.

Mark Roebuck's other two touchdown runs took place in the third quarter and covered 35 and 62 yards. A pass on the two point conversion on the third score failed and then Coach pulled one out of the bag of tricks and had a fake on the fourth TD's PAT as Doug Goff, from his kicker position hit Wyatt for the points. "Donnie Roebuck played a great game on the line and Mark's 62-yard run was on a quick trap play where he ran straight ahead, making no cuts at all on the way to the 62-yard score."

This was a statement game for the program as Mount Pleasant was a team that they weren't able to beat since Coach Davitch arrived and they were thought of as a rival. Also, the way the program was run was emulated by Johnstown in order to get the Trojans' to prominence. This is in speaking in terms of both on and off the field issues. Obviously, on the field Mount Pleasant was impressive as they won two WPIAL championships prior but off the field they had great facilities and buy-in from all levels of adminstration from school board to superintendent to principal to athletic director to football coach and his staff. They were somewhat of a model program for the Trojans to follow.

So, beating the benchmark was a big deal for the Trojans, now 9-0. Davitch added, "We knew we had to be focused to win this game, mainly because we felt the previous two weeks were really escaped with close wins."

An interesting side note leading up to this game is that the late Peter Jennings of ABC News was in town working on a series of stories about small towns around the country. Johnstown was on his stop but Coach Davitch wanted no part of the story if it was going to be an extention of All the Right Moves and focused on kids graduating and wanted to leave the area versus the necessity.

"I felt there was an element of truth to All the Right Moves in that a lot of kids used athletics and mainly football to get scholarships and get chances and opportunties that they otherwise would not have received. I would have never been able to go to college had it not been for football, so that aspect they got right. But the movie also portrayed Johnstown as a old steel/coal town that was desparate and I didn't want to be part of a hard luck story. For me, Johnstown was a great place to grow up. In the late 50s and early 60s the town was a booming place, there was a lot of work and good money to be made.

This was a time also where the following for Johnstown football was great. Back then the game were played on Saturday night and that was the big ticket in town. We played in front of crowds of 10,000-15,000 people in those days.

Another thing you have to consider is that the kids of the later generations had many more opportunties than their parents had. Not only were many the first in their family to go to college, in some cases they were the first to graduate high school. People think that kids have a desire to leave the area but that's not it. It's just natural that kids that go away to college have a greater opportunity of working and living away from where they grew up and not returning home.

All in all, I think they did a nice job with the story and they played into it the fact that I was from the town, went to school there and played for the 1958 team and now I was back coaching them 30 years later."

 

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