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Kiesewetter Quarterbacks Guilfoyle to 5th Trip to Chocolatetown @BGMarauderFball @CantonHighPa

Written by: on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

 

Karson Kiesewetter had himself quite a night in front of a nice sized Class A crowd last evening. In what was a PIAA state semi-final home game for Bishop Guilfoyle at Altoona’s Mansion Park, Kiesewetter ran for 133 yards on 20 carries and scored all three touchdowns as his Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders toppled the top-ranked Canton Warriors by the score of 20-7. He also completed five passes for 82 yards and was seen coaching the coaches by telling them that he could run the ball a little more often if they would let him.
“He’s incredible,” said an elated Marauder head coach Justin Wheeler, “It’s been so fun to watch him mature as a quarterback and as a player. He’s our guy. He came to the sidelines several times and said, ‘Let’s go! Give me the ball. I can win this for you.’ He’s had some big games this year, but none bigger than tonight to get us to Hershey.”

 

Because both teams control the clock with a pounding run game, possessions were not many, but were precious. “In games like this, once you get a lead you don’t want to do anything stupid,” stated Wheeler, “we wanted to make sure we ran the ball when we needed to. We watched Old Forge last week against Canton and Old Forge threw some interceptions. We wanted to limit second half possessions to three each, maybe four and it kind of played out that way. We stuck with the run as Karson and Cooper (Rather) were getting it done for us.”
Each team had one possession in the scoreless first quarter. After BG received the opening kickoff, they drove from their 33 to the Warrior 41 before Canton’s defense stiffened and forced a punt. The Canton returner possibly made an error by catching the punt at his own 4. He did make his way to the 10, but a touchback would have put the ball at the 20. Canton then used the last 8 minutes of the quarter and 8 seconds of the second quarter to mount a 17-play drive that got as far as the Guilfoyle 29 before a yard loss, a 5-yard penalty, and a 15-yard sack prompted Canton to punt from the 50.

A short punt gave the Marauders possession at their 34. Seven plays later Guilfoyle had the ball at the Canton 26. Deven Wyandt’s 42-yard field goal try was barely long enough, but just wide giving the football back to the Warriors at their own 20. Canton once again drove into BG territory but was thwarted when two penalties and a 15-yard loss for intentional grounding pushed the line of scrimmage all the way back to their own 29.
The subsequent 28-yard punt was returned 11 yards setting BG up at the Canton 46. From there it only took 3 Kiesewetter runs to score. On the first one, he found lots of room once he broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and scrambled 33 yards to the Warrior 13. The second play he ran for 8 yards and then followed that up with a 5-yard quarterback keeper for the score. Wyandt nailed the PAT and with 3:22 remaining in the half Guilfoyle led 7-0.

On the kickoff, a Canton player tried to let the ball roll out of bounds, but the ball bounced off his foot before going out of bounds at the 16-yard line. The Marauder defense came up big again by forcing a three and out. This time the Canton punt to midfield was return 10 yards to the Warrior 40 with 1:36 left on the clock before half. A second down penalty moved the ball back to the 50, but three straight completions by Kiesewetter put his team on the Canton 8 with only 20 seconds till the half. That’s when Kiesewetter found room outside and sprinted 8 yards to score his second TD with 13 ticks remaining on the clock. That put BG in front 14-0 heading to the intermission.

Canton received the second half kickoff and came out of the gate on a mission. They used up almost 6 minutes on the clock and drove 66 yards in 11 plays scoring on Riley Parker’s 1-yard run on 4th down. Bailey Ferguson booted the extra point cutting Guilfoyle’s lead in half as the Warriors trailed by just 14-7.

On their next drive, the Marauders moved the ball from their 27 to the Canton 26 before giving it up on downs. During that drive Kiesewetter bailed his team out twice early on by running for first downs on third down. Otherwise, BG would have been forced to punt probably giving the Warriors good field position. Being able to continue that drive also helped with milking the clock as Canton started their second drive of the half in the last quarter. Just like the first quarter each team only had one possession in the third quarter.
The Warriors drove into BG real estate, but the drive was stalled due to some outstanding defense by the Guilfoyle eleven. Punting on 4th and six, the Warrior coaches opted to fake the punt, but the Marauders were ready and only allowed 2 yards to take over at their 45. Aided by a couple of penalties, BG moved the ball down to the Canton 22 where Wyandt missed a 38-yard FG attempt.

With three minutes remaining, Canton had to open it up. They tried a flea flicker but after catching the pass, the receiver’s lateral was wide of the target and Guilfoyle recovered the fumble at the Warrior 15. A penalty on Canton and 3 runs put the ball at the one. Then Kiesewetter’s quarterback sneak put the nail in the Canton coffin with only 1:22 left in the game. “He’s a special kid,” said Canton’s head coach, Tyler Sechrist. “We think we have athletes, but he made some moves and we just couldn’t make the play on him. I know we did better in the second half containing him, but man he’s something special. He’s a playmaker,” Sechrist added.

On the first play after the kickoff, Marauder Vincent Cioffari intercepted Cooper Kitchen’s pass. A couple of knees and this one went into the books as a Bishop Guilfoyle Marauder 20-7 victory. When asked what this means to the program Wheeler grinned and said, “This is incredible. When we won in 2014, I thought this is a once in a lifetime experience. Then we went back (to Hershey) several times and we were like ‘okay, it never gets old.’ It’s incredible especially with a group of guys no one knew, no one expected them to be here. I’m just happy for them. They’re excited, excited for their family and the school. It’s a great time to be a Marauder!”

Bishop Guilfoyle raised its record to 10-4 and will play Redbank Valley for the Class A title at Hersheypark Stadium on Thursday December 9 at 1:00 P.M. All four of BG’s losses were to 2A teams. They have not lost to a single A team this year. Canton suffered its first defeat of the year and finished 13-1. “The outlook is good for Canton football,” stated Sechrist, “We got a lot of kids coming back. We have 5 seniors. We have all our running backs coming back. But nothing is guaranteed in life or football. I told them if we are going to get back here, we have to work hard at it. It’s not going to be given to us.”

Stats: Bishop Guilfoyle outgained Canton 233 yards to 194 for the game. Canton did have more rushing yards than BG, 179 to 151, but the Marauders had 82 passing yards to the Warriors’ 15. Riley Parker led the Canton ground game with 133 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Canton had 15 first downs and BG had 14. The Marauders were the benefactors of two Warrior turnovers, but played error free football as far as turnovers go.
Quotes: Wheeler also had this comment on his team, “I said at the beginning of the season that there weren’t too many people who knew any of my players. You know we had one of the best players in the state go down with an injury (Haiden Garner) and early on we took our lumps a little bit. We figured it out, who we were and this win is a testament to these guys. They battled every day, they fought every day, and people now know who they are. They’re a team going to Hershey and I’m so proud to be their coach.”

Sechrist stated, “We didn’t play our best game today. We had a lot of mistakes and penalties. You can’t play that way against a team like Bishop Guilfoyle. They’re too good of a team to make mistakes against. We just didn’t play sharp enough.”

Wheeler had this to say about his defense, “One of the things I’ve done since I’ve been here is to try to instill that defense wins championships. Early on we had a hard time stopping people as we replaced 10 guys on defense from last year. So, it took some time for the guys to trust us and believe in what we were doing. The last half of the season they were doing it and tonight against an outstanding football team they played a great game.”
When asked how it feels to go to Hershey with this group Wheeler had this comment, “This one is in left field. We were just trying to win a game in week 3, in week 4. To see these guys mature into what they are now… You always want to peak at the end and we’re hitting our stride right now. It’s fun to be a part of.”

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