ALL BUSINESS: Johnstown makes short work of Bishop Guilfoyle
Written by: Josh Funk on Sunday, September 4th, 2011
ALTOONA, Pa. – In his postgame comments, Johnstown head coach Tony Penna Jr. made certain to note the business-like demeanor his Trojan squad possesses.
“They never get too high or too low – nothing seems to phase them,” Penna said, adding the team wasn’t thrown out of focus when they arrived to find they were locked out of the visiting locker room area.
Once the Mansion Park Stadium clock started rolling, the defending District 6 AAA champions wasted little time going right to work, allowing Bishop Guilfoyle to see first-hand the team’s aforementioned demeanor.
Playing in only one half, senior field general Gervon Simon amassed 204 total yards of offense and accounted for five total touchdowns and an unrelenting Johnstown (1-0) first-string defense forced three first half turnovers and held Bishop Guilfoyle (0-1) to zero net rushing yards on its first 15 carries in a 41-13 mercy rule victory Saturday evening.
The Trojans mixed things up offensively, spreading the pigskin around to several different players throughout the first half. Four different starters registered rushing attempts and four different starters caught at least one pass.
“When we’re clicking on all cylinders, it’s tough to defend the whole field,” Penna said. “And the kids are just so unselfish, so that makes it a lot easier.”
To illustrate that point, one only need look at Johnstown’s first touchdown drive – a seven play sequence which ate up 71 yards and 4:04 of game clock. Javon Vuckovich, Tim Odum, Marc Watson and Simon all recorded rushing attempts and Simon connected on passes of nine yards to Dwight Andrews and 13 yards to Pitt recruit Alkwan Williams. Simon’s 10-yard scoring run capped the march.
#6 was just getting started. After the Trojans forced a three-and-out and a 17-yard Marauder punt, Simon found Andrews on a 22-yard touchdown pass to push the advantage to 13-0. He added a 24-yard scoring run to push the Trojan advantage to 20-0 following the first of Alex Merriman’s two first-half interceptions of Marauder field general Pat Irwin.
Simon saved arguably his best play in extending the Johnstown lead to 27-0. He rolled toward the Trojan sideline, and, throwing against his body’s momentum, lofted a tight spiral of a rainbow pass to Watson for a 35-yard scoring strike.
Simon’s fifth and final touchdown accounted for – a 46-yard connection with Daquan Minter – pushed the black and blue’s lead to 41-0.
In just one half, Johnstown’s field general finished a cool 7-of-10 for 170 yards and added two carries for 34 yards. Since the start of the 2010 season, Simon has thrown for 2,508 yards and 33 touchdowns.
“He’s a great kid and he just plays with a chip on his shoulders,” Penna said of Simon.
Guilfoyle got on the board twice in the second half under a running clock. Irwin broke the Guilfoyle goose egg with a three-yard quarterback keeper and freshman running back D.J. Kitt added a four-yard scoring run for the Marauders. Guilfoyle chalked up 169 of its 255 total yards of offense and 11 of their 16 total first downs against the Johnstown reserve defense.
In addition to Simon, Johnstown was paced by Odum (61 yards on six carries), Watson (four rushes, 34 yards, 35 receiving yards, two total TD), Andrews (four rec., 76 yards, TD), Minter (1 rec., 46 yards, TD), Williams (1 rec., 13 yards) and Vuckovich (two rushes, nine yards). Johnstown finished with 13 first downs (due mainly to hitting so many big plays) and 345 total yards of offense (due to several short fields) – 307 of which came in the first half.
Guilfoyle was paced by Kitt’s 66 rushing yards on nine carries, Nick Little’s 39 yards on six carries and Brendan Chadburn’s 33 yards on eight totes. Irwin connected on 4-of-9 passes for 50 yards, but threw two interceptions. Backup quarterback Damon Rickens connected on his two pass attempts for 51 yards and added a four-yard run on his only carry.
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