JOHNSTOWN — Coming off an emotional victory over rival Bedford last week and with a share of the Laurel Highlands Conference lead in hand, the Chestnut Ridge Lions traveled to meet a Bishop McCort squad eager to spoil the Lions’ undefeated season, Friday.
The Lions shrugged off a 14-point fourth quarter deficit and overcame the Crimson Crushers for a 21-14 overtime victory.
“Our guys showed a lot of heart. We were frustrated all night, and McCort had a great defensive gameplan,” said Lions coach Max Shoemaker after the game. “As coaches, we knew this was going to be a battle.”
“This one bit us. We lost our momentum, and they kept pushing through,” said Crusher coach Brian Basile, acknowledging the physical contest. “It was enough for them to pull it off.”
Bishop McCort took the early lead on the game’s opening drive, orchestrating an 11-play drive capped when senior quarterback William Miller took a wide sweep into the end zone from 10 yards out. Will Haslett kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Crusher lead.
Bishop McCort’s defense stymied the Lions’ offense throughout the rest of the first half. Chestnut Ridge managed only two first downs and 44 total yards of offense before the half. But, the Crushers didn’t capitalize with additional points until after the break.
After forcing a three-and-out by the Lions’ to open the second half, Bishop McCort overcame two fourth downs and the waiving off of an apparent touchdown before capping a grinding 14-play drive with a one-yard dive by Brendon Bair to take a two-touchdown lead.
However, Chestnut Ridge roared to life in the final period of regulation.
After cutting short a Crusher drive, quarterback Logan Pfister led the Lions downfield, completing five of seven passes for 52 yards and running for 19. The Lions got their first score with a 33-yard bomb from Pfister to sophomore Matt Whysong that initially appeared to be intercepted by a Bishop McCort defensive back. Brady Miller booted the extra point to cut the Bishop McCort lead in half, 14-7.
“We thought they’d go more with the pass, and they did,” said Basile afterwards.
After stifling the ensuing Crusher drive, the Lion marched downfield, aided by some Bishop McCort penalties and a terrific effort play by Whysong who reversed field on a 12-yard gallop before being dropped just short of the goal line. Senior fullback Trey Maxwell capped the 75-yard drive on the following play to knot the score at 14-14 just minutes before regulation expired.
The Lions wasted no time in the extra period as Pfister connected with Whysong on their first play for a 10-yard score to take a 21-14 advantage.
“Matt’s a super athlete, and we look for him to make plays,” said Shoemaker of Whysong’s two-touchdown performance.
On the following possession, the Crushers didn’t have much yardage before a third-down sack of Miller by senior defensive end Duane Knisely pushed the Crimson Crushers back to the 17-yard hash. Miller tried to connect with junior wide receiver Jordan Page in the end zone on fourth down, but Chestnut Ridge sophomore Kaden Bowser batted the attempt away to end the contest.
“These kids never cease to amaze me,” said Shoemaker postgame. “Tonight they topped everything. Somehow we found a way to make a few plays and get it going.”
Miller led all rushers on the evening with 72 yards on the ground, while Pfister threw for 106 yards to pace the Lion offense. Chestnut Ridge remains undefeated, 8-0, ahead of a home contest with Bishop Guilfoyle next week, while the Crushers fall to 4-4 and travel to Central Cambria.
CHESTNUT RIDGE 21, BISHOP McCORT 14, OT
Chestnut Ridge 0 0 0 14 0 7—21
Bishop McCort 7 0 7 0 0 0—14
BM — Miller 10 run (Haslett kick), 6:33 in the 2nd. BM — Bair 1 run (Haslett kick), 3:36 in the 3rd. CR — Matt Whysong 33 pass from Logan Pfister (Brady Miller kick), 7:04 in the 4th. CR — Trey Maxwell 1 run (Miller kick), 2:54 in the 4th. CR — Whysong 10 pass from Pfister (Miller kick) in overtime.
TEAM STATISTICS CR BM
First Downs 11 12
Yards Rushing 48 160
Passing Record 14-23 3-11
Passing Yards 106 41
Interceptions By 0 0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 11-89
Punts-Ave. 6-26 4-36
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing
CR — Logan Pfister 12-24, Trey Maxwell 4-22, Matt Whysong 2-2. BM — Miller 23-72, Bair 12-47, Ardary 5-17, Andrews 4-15, Vamos 1-9.
CR — Pfister 14-23-106-0. BM — Miller 3-10-41-1, Andrews 0-1-0-0.
CR — Whysong 6-74, Trevor Weyandt 3-18, Seth Holderbaum 3-14, Kaden Bowser 2-10, Jonah Hillegass 1-3. BM — Vamos 2-23, Andrews 1-15, Ardary 1-13.
CR — Whysong.