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Bishop McCort thumps Richland 69-35; senior back ties late father’s single-game touchdown record

Written by: on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Josh Seidel stood aside from the Bishop McCort huddle to do an interview with the local TV station as rain fell steadily from the night sky.


Just knowing that the local TV station wanted to do an interview meant the Crimson Crusher senior had a pretty special performance.  Seidel did have such a performance, and he didn’t seem to mind the rain.


Those drops from the sky were tears of joy from heaven.


Seidel set a school record for rushing yards in a game and tied a record for touchdowns scored previously set by his late father, Dave, in the Crushers’ (5-0) 69-35 victory over Richland (4-1) Friday night at Point Stadium in Johnstown.


Two weeks before the start of the season (Aug. 21), Josh Seidel’s father passed away after a seven-year battle with cancer.  So, against an upstart Rams’ team, Seidel wowed the Crusher faithful with a 29-carry, 327-yard, six-touchdown performance.


“I’m honored, of course,” Seidel said of tying his father’s single-game touchdowns record.  “I got some help up there.”


Seidel got some help from the McCort offensive line, too, which helped pave the way for an impressive 485-yard effort on the ground.  Statistically, Seidel was the big hero.  But Crushers’ head coach Ken Salem was quick to praise the offensive line, too.


“The heroes (tonight) were the offensive line,” Salem said.  “Richland threw a tremendous amount of blitzing at us in the first half, a lot of different looks defensively, and our veteran linemen were able to make blocks and get our backs into the clear.” 


For the game, the Crushers gained 509 yards of offense, had 20 first downs, and averaged 10.5 yards per carry.


Talk about domination.


“We’d seen that the last several years,” said Richland head coach Brandon Bailey, “and we’d found ways, at times, to stop it.  But I don’t think tonight that we were able to do that.”


Seidel scored McCort’s first three touchdowns of the game on runs of 5, 7, and 13 yards.  Quarterback Josh Pinkerton scored on a 6-yard run to make it 28-7 with 5:31 left in the second quarter, and the rout appeared to be on.


But Richland came roaring back.  In a span of less than 90 seconds of game clock, Ramires threw scoring strikes of 59 yards to Jordan Rozich and 28 yards to Ryan Silvia to make it a 28-21 score and a ball game once more.


McCort immediately countered the two Richland scores when Pinkerton hooked up with Dane Domonkos on a 24-yard scoring pass with 1:25 left in the half.  It was the Crushers’ only pass attempt of the game.


Seidel’s fourth and fifth touchdowns, runs of 3 and 65 yards helped push McCort’s lead to 49-28, and once again, it appeared the Crushers were going to be in control.  But it was not to be.  Set up by a 72-yard kickoff return, Ramires (284 passing yards, 4 TD) found Silvia for the third time on a 13-yard scoring pass, slicing the Crusher lead to 49-35.


“Our kids are fighters,” Bailey said.  “They’re not going to back down.”


But Bishop McCort wasn’t backing, or slowing, down either.  Chaz Merriman scored on a 33-yard touchdown run to push McCort’s lead to 56-35, and Seidel finished his magical night with an 8-yard scoring run with 7:17 left in the game.


“I’m sure he’ll be playing on Saturdays somewhere next year,” Bailey said of Seidel.


Junior Joey Hrbal capped the McCort scoring spree with a 32-yard run 2:38 left in the game.  The Crushers then lined up for a two-point conversion, and took a knee.


The game featured a combined 98 points, 950 yards of total offense, and 40 first downs.


Richland finished with 441 yards of offense (284 passing, 157 rushing).  Ramires added 59 rushing yards on 13 keepers, in addition to his 284 passing yards.  John Rizzo, a 235-pound sophomore back, added 41 yards on 10 carries for the Rams.  He also scored a touchdown.  Ryan Silvia had three touchdown receptions.


Merriman added 100 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Crushers.  Domonkos had two impressive kickoff returns spanning 61 and 47 yards in the first half in addition to the touchdown catch.


This night, though, was all about Josh Seidel.  Salem got a little choked up talking about #21 tying his father’s record.


“It’s just the way it should be,” Salem said.  “It’s just the way it should be.


“I know dad’s up there (in heaven), and he’s real happy tonight.  He’s happy for his Crushers, and he’s happy for his boy.”



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