Greater Johnstown and Bishop McCort seek first win in Friday Night Rivals matchup

WJAC’s Friday Night Rivals presented by your Local Honda Dealers continues with Week 6 as Bishop McCort will travel to Greater Johnstown Friday night at 7 p.m. on WJAC MeTV.

One team will get the opportunity to put a number into the win column as each team enters with an 0-5 record. Bishop McCort, coached by Brian Basile, is coming off a 36-14 defeat at the hands of Forest Hills. Forest Hills took an early 14-0 1st quarter lead and never relented en route to a win. Similarly, Greater Johnstown went down early, trailing 28-0 at halftime of an eventual 42-6 loss to Bishop Guilfoyle.

McCort’s five losses have come by an average of just over 20 points, but they have dropped two games by a field goal or less. In Week 2, they fell 19-16 to Somerset and dropped a 14-13 contest at Cambria Heights on September 14th. Greater Johnstown’s have losses have been by an average of 26.6 points per game with just one contest decided by less than ten points.

Tony Penna’s Trojans have struggled offensively, averaging just 99 yards per game through the air and 82 on the ground. Four players have attempted a pass, with freshman D’Andre Sampson leading the way with 49 attempts for 268 yards. Sammy Barber has thrown for 159 yards and three scores through the air. Roderick Rosiek has been the main back on the ground, carrying 55 times for 193 yards. When going to the air, Tyjon Jones is the favorite target, hauling in 20 catches for 252 yards and a touchdown, thus far.

Currently tied at the bottom of the Laurel Highlands with Greater Johnstown, Bishop McCort has struggled to move the ball this season, as well. The Crushers average just over 50 passing yards per game and just over 75 rushing yards. Both Levi Allison and William Miller have thrown over 20 passes this season, with each throwing for at least one score. Miller is the main ground threat, picking up 245 yards and contributing two scores. Eight different receivers have at least one catch for the Crushers.

Brock Moore and Tyjon Jones have led the way defensively with 22 and 18 tackles respectively for Greater Johnstown. Jones has been the main playmaker, coming away with five of the eight turnovers forced by the Trojans, intercepting four passes and recovering a fumble. Rosiek and Moore have added picks for the Trojan defense.

Brandon Bair has been a tackling machine for the Crushers, averaging over nine tackles a game, while adding in a pair of tackles for loss. Kole Lichtenfels has an interception and a fumble recovery for the defense.

If either team is able to get their offenses going in Week 6, they should be able to come away with win number one as each team has had a tough time on that side of the football. Neither team has scored more than 20 points in a game this season.

These sides are knotted up at 7-7 in the last 14 matchups, with Greater Johnstown winning the last five. Bishop McCort won six straight in the series from 2004 to 2009. Greater Johnstown used 13 4th quarter points to pull out a 23-15 victory a season ago.

It has been a tough start to the year for the young Crushers after back-to-back 10 win seasons in 2016 and 2017. This is similarly unfamiliar territory for Penna’s Trojans, as they’re coming off an 8-4 2017.

Both of these programs are looking to get back on track with a victory Friday night.

TIME: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

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).




Friday Sept 28 Bishop McCort at Greater Johnstown

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