JOHNSTOWN — Undefeated Richland boasts an all-state passing-receiving tandem in senior quarterback Kellan Stahl and senior wideout Griffin Larue.
Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic did a decent job of containing the Rams’ air attack Friday night, but Richland showed that it has a very potent ground game as well.
With junior halfback Grayden Lewis rushing for 161 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, Richland improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference by rolling up 363 of its 443 total offensive yards via the rush en route to a 28-3 victory at Herlinger Field.
Sophomore back Evan McCracken rushed for 77 yards on seven carries and Stahl ran for 76 yards on 14 carries, including a 5-yard second-quarter touchdown run, for Richland.
“We are able to spread the ball around,” Richland coach Brandon Bailey said. “We’ve got a bunch of unselfish players on our roster, and opponents can’t key on any one guy against us. Because of that, we’re 3-0.”
Play of the game: Lewis set the tone for the game with a 32-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to give Richland a 7-0 lead. He initially cut to his left, and finding that side of the field clogged up with BG defenders, reversed field, cut all the way across to the right end, and cruised into the end zone behind a lead block from Stahl.
“I just reversed field, saw an opening, and hit it,” Lewis said. “Our quarterback was out blocking for me on the play. That just shows what kind of a leader that he is.”
Player of the game: Along with his 161 rushing yards and 32-yard scoring run, Lewis also tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run with 4:48 left in the third quarter. The second Lewis touchdown gave Richland a 20-3 lead, and capped off a 39-yard, 6-play drive following a Larue interception on defense. Lewis also showed great second effort on a two-point conversion run, following Richland’s final touchdown — Stahl’s 9-yard pass to Larue with 10:10 left in the game.
Unsung hero(es): Richland’s defense bent but did not break, allowing the Marauders only a 40-yard second-quarter field goal by senior kicker Deven Wyandt.
Most vital statistic(s): Bishop Guilfoyle junior quarterback Karson Kiesewetter completed 13 of 23 passes for 164 yards, including six to junior back Cooper Rother for 83 yards. But Richland totally squelched the Marauders’ run game, as BG totaled a negative-15 yards on the ground.
Bishop Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler: “We feel like we have some really good athletes, and that we’re improving as a team. Karson Kiesewetter has been great for us all summer and through the first three games of the season, and Cooper Rother is very good. We need to be able to run the ball better.”
Richland coach Brandon Bailey: “BG is a well-coached team, and it took us awhile to adjust to what they were doing on defense. When we did so, we were able to run the football when we wanted to run it. Defensively, our kids were playing with great intensity and flying to the ball.”
Lewis on Richland’s approach: “We know that (Guilfoyle) is a tough team. We just came in prepared, ran right at them, and pushed them back when we needed to.”
Garner sidelined: Guilfoyle senior standout Haiden Garner has seen limited action this season because of a knee injury, and did not play Friday. He was using crutches while moving off the field after the game. “We’ve got an injury bug going now, but offensively, we have to find our rhythm,” Wheeler said. “We have to grow up fast.”
Secondary draws praise: Wheeler saluted his defensive secondary, which limited Richland to just 70 yards through the air. “Richland can throw the ball as well as any team in the state, but I felt like our defensive backs shut down their passing game all night,” Wheeler said. Members of BG’s secondary include Kiesewetter, Rother, Patrick Reilly, Vince Cioffari, and Ryan Hagg.
Onsides surprise: BG opened the game by successfully executing an onsides kick that Anthony Cioffari covered at the Richland 34. The Marauders were able to move the ball only 5 yards on four plays, however, before turning it over on downs. “We’re coming in trying to win every game that we play,” Wheeler said of the risky move to open the game. “We feel like we have a program that can compete at the top level.”
Guests of honor: In memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedies from the terrorist attacks on America, Richland honored the first responders, police, firefighters, and emergency workers at Friday’s game by asking them to stand for a moment of recognition prior to the opening kickoff.
Notable: Drew Abraham intercepted a pass for BG, while Stahl joined Larue as Richland players who made interceptions.
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle is 1-2 overall and in the LHAC. Richland is 3-0 overall, 2-0 in the conference.
Next week: Bishop Guilfoyle hosts Forest Hills next Saturday night. Richland visits Bedford next Friday night.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle 0 3 0 0– 3
Richland 7 7 6 8– 28
R–Lewis 32 run (Cordek kick), 7:24.
R–Stahl 5 run (Cordek kick), 10:33.
BG–Wyandt 40 FG, 7:03.
R–Lewis 2 run (pass failed), 4:48.
R–Larue 9 pass from Stahl (Lewis run), 10:10.
TEAM STATISTICS BG R
First downs 7 21
Total yards 149 443
Rushes-yards 12-(-15) 43-363
Yards passing 164 70
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 13-23-2 8-17-1
Punts-avg. 4-35.2 1-63
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-55 6-45
RUSHING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Kiesewetter 9-(-3), Abraham 1-2, Rother 1-0, Yanoshak 1-(-14). Richland, Lewis 17-161, McCracken 7-77, Stahl 14-76, Larue 3-42, Demartino 2-8, Manahan 1-2, Jordan 1-0, McMahon 1-(-3).
PASSING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Kiesewetter 13-23-2-164. Richland, Stahl 8-17-0-70; S. Penna 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Bishop Guilfoyle, Rother 6-83, Abraham 2-32, Yanoshak 2-23, Campbell 2-23, V. Cioffari 1-3. Richland, Larue 4-38, S. Penna 2-25, McCracken 1-8, Lewis 1-(-1).
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