Bishops Defeat Wildcats, 30-2
Big plays played a major factor in Friday’s road victory as Bishop Donahue defeated Paden City 30-2 on a rainy night at Berger Field.
The Bishops recorded three scores of more than 47 yards in the second quarter and delivered a 23-yard score in the fourth, while holding Wildcats standout tailback Hayden Hizer, who averages 98 yards a game and 6.9 yards a carry, to 83 yards, no touchdowns and less than 4 yards a carry.
“I am really happy with the way our kids came to play as far as tackling him (Hizer),” Bishops coach John Durdines said. “We knew we had to tackle him. He is a strong runner and we did an outstanding job defensively and I couldn’t ask for more. The defense came to play.”
The three big plays all came with less than seven minutes to go in the first half and they completely changed the game, giving the momentum to Bishop Donahue for the remainder of the game.
“That first big play they made was a momentum changer,” Paden City coach Brent Croasmun said. “We were up 2-0 at that point and we were playing well.”
“Bishop Donahue was outstanding on defense. They have intelligence and the kids are extremely disciplined and you can’t fool them. They play their areas and we tried some different formations and just couldn’t get any big plays.”
The Bishops offensive attack was centered around tailback J.C. Custer, who accumulated 127 yards rushing on 15 carries to go with a pair of touchdowns. He played a bigger role this week due to the injury of starting quarterback Jimmy Hull. Durdines had two quarterbacks play in his place and they both tossed touchdown passes.
Trey Miller went 3-for-3 for 60 yards and a score, while Gage Wilson was 2 of 3 for 70 yards and a touchdown.
“J.C. came to play,” Durdines said. “He knew with Jimmy being down that more was going to be thrust on him with the offensive load, and that is why we try to keep him off the field on defense. He came up big for us.”
“Hull got injured in the last game and he didn’t even dress. Miller was the running quarterback and Wilson was more of our thrower, but they can both run and pass and we basically played the hot hand.”
The two biggest plays for Paden City came on special teams and defense as Aaron Heasley pinned a punt down inside the Bishops 1-yard line. Two plays later a bad snap forced Miller to throw the ball away from the end zone and he was called for intentional grounding, causing a safety and giving the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.
The score remained in the hosts’ favor until a wild play unfolded at the 6:48 mark in the second quarter. Miller dropped back to pass for the Bishops and was rushed by defenders. As he tossed one up for grabs, it looked like defensive back Michael Shreves was camped under the ball for a potential interception for Paden City. Instead he tipped the ball right into the hands of fullback Vinny Mangino who took it 47 yards for a Bishops score, giving the lead and momentum to the visitors.
Bishop Donahue recorded long touchdowns on their final three possessions of the first half as Wilson found Anthony Robbins for a 60-yard score and Custer delivered a 47-yard run with 12 seconds to go in the half, giving the explosive Bishops offense a 24-2 lead at the break, following three 2-point conversions.
The third quarter went by without a score on either side as the rain continued to come down, but Custer added his second score in the fourth quarter, this time coming on a 23-yard run, where he spun around defenders and darted in.
“They have a lot of speed in Custer,” Croasmun said. “They know how to play the game but their defense was definitely the difference.”
Bishop Donahue tallied 304 yards and held Paden City to 154. At halftime, the Wildcats only garnered 52 yards of offense, while the Bishops generated 239.
Heasley tossed for 85 yards for Paden City and Hizer caught seven passes for 60 yards.
“My kids played hard and I am proud of them,” Croasmun said. “I have been preaching to our kids about getting better every week and I thought we did. Take away a couple of big plays and it is a close ballgame.”
Robbins led the Bishops receiving corps with 60 yards.
“We know we have to keep winning,” Durdines said. “We have Shadyside next week and that is going to be an extremely tough game. We need to come out and play flawless football, but we have an opportunity and now we have to go out and get a big win.”