WJAC’s Friday Night Rivals presented by your Local Honda Dealers continues as undefeated Chestnut Ridge makes its way to Bedford for a Week 7 clash.
What a start it has been to the season for Chestnut Ridge, adding another dominant win to their resume as they came away victorious by a score of 33-0 on Friday. Jared McGill ran for 117 yards and two of the four Lions rushing touchdowns on the night. Quarterback Logan Pfister added a pair of touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground in the win. McGill made a play on the defensive side of the ball as well, coming away with an interception. Bedford fell to 4-2 on the season after a hard-fought 11-7 loss to Somerset, ending their three-game winning streak. The Bisons were unable to get much going offensively, settling for just a rushing touchdown by quarterback Steven Ressler.
Outscoring opponents 166-43, Chestnut Ridge has been strong on both sides of the ball, winning six games to start this 2018 campaign. While averaging just 13 passes per game, the Lions have been ruthlessly efficient, completing over 70 percent of their throws. Pfister has thrown for 671 yards and five scores. Pfister does plenty of work on the ground as well, leading the team in rushing attempts while gaining 348 yards and adding six ground scores. McGill is the lead back with 408 rushing yards and another six touchdowns. When Chestnut Ridge does throw, it is normally to Mason McVicker or Derrick Weaver, who have 45 percent of the total receptions and 59 percent of the receiving yards. Weaver is the big play threat, with 23.4 yards per catch and three touchdowns.
Very much a running team, the Bisons, coached by Kevin Steele, have thrown just 37 passes. Ressler has thrown for 277 yards and two scores and added 227 yards on the ground plus five touchdowns. Dylan Arnold has been tough to keep out of the end zone for opposing teams, racking up 11 rushing scores to go with 680 yards. Freshman receiver Mercury Swaim leads the receiving bunch with eight receptions, 133 yards and two scores.
Allowing just over seven points per game, the Chestnut Ridge defense has been stout. Trey Maxwell and McVicker both average over seven tackles per game to lead the Lions. Nine different players for Chestnut Ridge average at least four tackles per contest. Surprisingly for such a strong defense, the Lions have only forced seven turnovers, intercepting three passes and recovering four fumbles. Jacob Mowry has come away with three of those seven, falling on two fumbles and picking off a pass.
Bedford has been strong defensively, but not quite as strong, allowing just under 18 points per game. Swaim leads the team in tackles, accumulating 48 with Elijah Cook just behind him with 47. Brandon Dawson has racked up eight tackles for loss this for the Bisons. Even without an interception, Bedford has forced six turnovers with six different players each recovering a fumble.
Chestnut Ridge sits in a tie with Richland atop the Laurel Highlands standings through six weeks, as both teams remain undefeated. Bedford sits in a tie at 4-2 for fourth place in the conference with Forest Hills. Only Bishop Guilfoyle has allowed less points than the Lions in the conference so far.
Chestnut Ridge is 7-5 in the series dating back to 2006, but Bedford won the last matchup 42-7 in 2015. Prior to the Bisons victory, the Lions had won four straight over Bedford.
After a 3-7 campaign in 2017, the Bisons have already surpassed their past win total and are looking to keep moving up the standings with an upset over the top dog. No stranger to success under Max Shoemaker, Chestnut Ridge is 25-6 over the last three seasons. Still tied with Richland, the Lions will look to continue to win and keep pace with them as the battle atop the Laurel Highlands continues. They will meet on October 26th in the final week of the regular season.
TIME: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
WATCH: WJAC 6.2 Me TV (6.2 over-the-air, Comcast 110-187-202-248, Armstrong 410, Atlantic Broadband 110, Windstream 16, Laurel Highland 15) Johnstown/Altoona/State College
ANNOUNCERS: Brian Tripp (play-by-play), Rick Hull (analyst), Josh Kurelac (sidelines).
2018 JOHNSTOWN FRIDAY NIGHT RIVALS SCHEDULE
***ALL GAMES AT 7 P.M. ON WJAC Me TV
Friday Oct 5 Chestnut Ridge at Bedford
Friday Oct 12 Bishop Guilfoyle at Forest Hills
Friday Oct 19 Altoona Area at State College Area
Friday Oct 26 Bishop Guilfoyle at Bishop McCort