Chestnut Ridge unofficially tops Johnstown in weather stopped game
Written by: Nate Cobler on Saturday, September 1st, 2018
By Nate Cobler
NEW PARIS – Friday night was the first match up between Chestnut Ridge and Johnstown on the gridiron.
It’s safe to say it will be the most memorable too.
“This is a very strange night,” Trojans coach Tony Penna Jr. said. “We just didn’t think we could get away from this lightning. It’s coming back down right now as we are talking. It’s pretty tough.”
The game was “called” in the words of Chestnut Ridge Athletic Director Mark Clevenger with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Unofficially, the Lions came away with a 22-0 victory to remain unbeaten in their first year back in the Laurel Highlands Conference.
“If it is a win, its kind of bittersweet I guess,” Chestnut Ridge coach Max Shoemaker said with a laugh. “This is a confusing night. Coach Penna was concerned about kids warming up again, so we always want to have the safety of student-athletes first. It’s better to error on the safe side then put them at risk.”
However, this wasn’t the first time Shoemaker has experienced a night like Friday’s in his 38 years as a coach. He reminisced about a game just a few years ago that the Lions were a part of that ended at 11 o’clock at night.
In the limited time that they had, Chestnut Ridge’s dynamic duo of fullback Jared McGill and quarterback Logan Pfister made their presence felt. The pair split the Lions’ 12 carries equally with Pfister’s 71 yards and two touchdowns leading the way.
“As of right now, it’s working real well,” said McGill, who had 27 rushing yards and the only other score of the night. “We feed off of each other. I have a big run and then they key on me. He then pulls it and runs. It’s working well so far, so we will see how it works the rest of the year.”
It took a little while until McGill, Pfister, and Co. to get things rolling but it came with some help.
On Johnstown’s second possession of the night, Roderick Rosiek fumbled the ball deep in the Trojans’ end of the file with the Lions’ Trey Maxwell coming up with the recovery. Two plays later, Pfister rumbled around the right edge from five yards out. A botched snap on the extra point turned into a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
The second score of the night came on a near five-minute drive, that was capped off with McGill running over several Trojan defenders on his way to the endzone.
In what would be the final score of the game, Chestnut Ridge again had prime field position as Johnstown had a bad snap on a punt from their own 30. The ball turned over at the Trojans’ 13. On the first play of the Lions’ drive, Pfister rumbled for all 13 yards and the score with 2:29 left in the half.
“Ridge has a nice team with some nice weapons,” Penna Jr. said. “Once they got things rolling, McGill and the quarterback was just a little too much. We did a decent job early with McGill and his talent level but they pulled and went to the quarterback and we weren’t effective in stopping him. We handed them too much, when they are good already.”
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