GIRARD — St. Mary’s Colgan football played the role of the spoiler on Friday, beating Girard on homecoming night, 35-13, to improve to 2-3 on the season, while the Trojans slip to 1-4.
Colgan’s speed was on full display, as the Panthers went up and down the field with relative ease at times, and snuffing out many of Girard’s plays on defense en route to a 22-point victory.
“I thought we played really well as a whole,” SMC head coach Chuck Smith said. “Our defense really played well, our offense made some big plays and our special teams [played well]. It was just a good team win, and a win that we really needed too.”
Girard hit the scoreboard first, scoring on the first possession of the game to go up 7-0, but the Panthers answered back with a touchdown of their own and tact on seven more points before the end of the quarter to go up 14-7, heading into the second.
After receiving the opening kickoff, GHS quarterback Eric Wilson connected with Jordan Hopson on a 32-yard pass to put the ball on Colgan’s 32-yard line.
Wilson found Hopson again on a third-down reception to put the ball on the 15-yard line, and Camden McFarland ran the ball three consecutive times, eventually crossing the goal line on a 7-yard run.
It didn’t take long for Colgan to answer back however, as the Panthers tied the score at 7-apiece at about the halfway point of the quarter.
SMC moved the ball into Girard territory on a 12-yard pass from Billy Dickey to Jeremiah Buche, before an offsides called on Girard, and a pair of Josh Hayes and Max Wilson put the Panthers in the red zone.
The 58-yard drive was capped off with a one-yard touchdown run by Dickey.
Colgan added another seven points right before the end of the quarter, with a 32-yard bomb from Dickey, which dropped in right over the shoulder and directly into the hands of Buche for the touchdown.
Beginning the second quarter with a three-and-out, SMC extended the lead to 21-7 on a punt returned for a touchdown, as Max Wilson capitalized on good blocking, running the ball into the endzone from nearly 50 yards out.
The defenses held strong throughout the second and third quarters, as neither offense found much success.
The Panthers were able to score seven points in the third on a touchdown pass from Dickey to Buche from 28 yards out to go up 28-7.
In the fourth quarter, each team added a touchdown, but Girard couldn’t dig out of the hole.
The Trojan’s defense forced a three-and-out to to begin the fourth, and found themselves in good field position after the snap went sailing over the head of the punter, who quickly picked it up and kicked the ball out of bounds at Colgan’s 32-yard line.
With Girard knocking on the door of a touchdown, Hayes intercepted pass and ran the ball down to the Trojan’s nine-yard line, before being brought down.
The quick change in circumstances resulted in seven more points for the Panthers, after Dickey threw to Buche in the endzone to go up 35-7.
GHS added on one more touchdown on a one-yard run by McFarland, but it was too little, too late, and Colgan held on for the win.
“The kids have played a tough schedule to this point and we really needed the win,” Smith said. “We’re really going to feel a whole lot better in the morning when we watch the film. I’m really proud of the effort they put in all season long and it’s good to get a win.”
Girard hits the road to take on Southeast at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Colgan will be at home against Riverton at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Jordan Buckamneer is a sports reporter of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @jbuckamneer.