The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

September 17, 2013

Freshmen making impact for Panthers

PITTSBURGH — Tyler Boyd knew Pitt needed a jolt after watching quarterback Tom Savage’s first pass against New Mexico end up in the hands Lobos defensive back Dante Caro.

The freshman wide receiver provided one the next time Savage reared his right arm. Savage found Boyd down the middle of the field for 51 yards to set up a 4-yard touchdown toss to freshman Scott Orndoff and send the Panthers on their way to a 49-27 rout.

“I just wanted to spark it, spark it for my team,” Boyd said. “I wanted to make that play to get everything going. Once that happened, everything got rolling and everybody got pumped, excited and started making plays as well.”

And the freshmen led the way.

Pitt (1-1) recovered from a pounding at the hands of Florida State in the opener to bounce back behind a sea of new faces, including Boyd and running back James Conner.

Conner carried for 119 yards and two scores while Boyd scored twice and racked up 195 all-purpose yards.

“He was fun to watch,” Chryst said of Boyd. “I think he can still be better. I certainly appreciate the way he approaches the game and competes and plays.

“He’s fun to be around.”

Beyond the images of Conner running over Lobos defenders and Boyd running by them, there was also Orndoff’s first career score and Terrish Webb – one of Boyd’s high school teammates – fumble recovery. Dorian Johnson even saw time on the offensive line, and was on the field when Savage connected with Orndoff.

Orndoff is simply following Boyd’s lead. Boyd was arguably the best player in blue in the loss to Florida State and was even better against the Lobos.

“He just gets it,” Savage said of Boyd. “There are some kids like that, and he’s one of them. You get into a game and he just knows how to come down with the ball. He does it non-stop at practice, so I wasn’t surprised at all when he made that play.”

In the backfield with Savage, Conner bulldozed his way to his first 100-yard rushing performance as a Panther. After Pitt struggled to establish itself on third down, Chryst made it a point to get the ball in the hands of Conner and other backs early.

“We were able to get him a few more rush attempts,” Chryst said. “I thought that was the way he ran last game, so that’s good.”

More attempts gave the Panthers ground game more results. Conner left most of New Mexico’s front seven on the ground Saturday, using his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame to plow through tackles and also broke out a nifty spin move to elude a few others.

“I just wanted it real bad,” Conner said. “It was a game we felt we could take advantage of and coach thought we could do some things.”

The Panthers play at Duke on Saturday.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

AP Sports Video
Poll

Should the NFL get rid of the extra-point attempt after a touchdown?

Yes
No
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow