Forest Hills used two turnovers to take an early lead against Bishop Guilfoyle on Saturday night at Mansion Park.
But the Marauders regrouped in dominating fashion, scoring five consecutive touchdowns en route to a 40-14 LHAC victory over the Rangers (2-2).
Marauders quarterback Brandon Chadbourn passed 44 yards for a touchdown, returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score and ran back a punt 80 yards for a touchdown to spark Guilfoyle (2-2).
“They were just simply bigger, faster and stronger than us all the way around,” Forest Hills coach Don Bailey said. “They beat us up front the whole game. We have to depend on our quarterback making plays for us. They’re bringing seven or eight people and it’s hard for him to make a play.”
The bounces went in Forest Hills’ favor early.
The Rangers punted on their first possession, but the ball was misplayed, and Forest Hills’ Ian Shugars pounced on it at the Marauders 26-yard line.
On the next play, junior quarterback Joe Donoughe passed to Shareef Blough in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Guilfoyle countered with a nine-play, 79-yard drive capped by DJ Kitt’s 3-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 7-all. The Marauders gained most of the yardage on eight runs, but Chadbourn converted on fourth-and-6 with a 14-yard pass to Matt Gormley to extend the drive.
“We knew they had some injuries, and we faced that a few years ago so we know what it’s like,” Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler said. “This week we put it on our offensive line to get us a win. We have to be able to count on them any week.”
Bishop Guilfoyle was threatening again, but defensive back Donoughe stepped in front of a pass and returned the interception 66 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-7 with 6:50 left in the opening half. Donoughe ran down the right sideline, before making a cut inside near the 20.
“The safety made a great play on the slant call,” Wheeler said. “He’s a heck of an athlete. We told our guys afterwards it’s about what happens next. For the first time we flipped a switch and had a good rest of the game.”
Once again, Guilfoyle countered quickly as Sam McCloskey ran 17 yards, and 15 more yards were added after a facemask call. McCloskey then scored from 26 out to tie the game.
The Marauders led 21-14 at halftime after Chadbourn and Gormley teamed on a 44-yard touchdown pass.
“We have Brandon back as the quarterback,” Wheeler said. “He’s just a phenomenal kid. I’m glad he’s healthy for the first time in a while. He got hurt last year in the Forest Hills game. This team, they rally around him.
“Tonight was the first night he played quarterback since the opening scrimmage,” said Wheeler, who added that Chadbourn had been limited to playing defense most of the season. “We lost our quarterback Damon Rickens last week.”
Guilfoyle’s defense held the Rangers without a first down in the second quarter. The Marauders posted first-half advantages in rushing (153-36), total yards (223-107) and first downs (8-4).
“We were fortunate enough to be in the game at halftime,” Bailey said. “When we kicked off, we wanted to kick the ball on the ground. But we kicked it in the air and Chadbourn ran it back. He’s a heck of an athlete. We didn’t want to kick it to him but we did.”
Guilfoyle’s Chadbourn return-ed the second-half kickoff 84 yards for a score that made it
McCloskey added a 45-yard touchdown run, and Chadbourn had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown to give Guilfoyle five straight scores.
Even when things went badly, they turned out OK for the Marauders, as Chadbourn lost the ball near the 2-yard line while trying to get it to Gormley on the punt return.
But he fell on the loose ball in the end zone to complete the touchdown with 34 seconds left in the third.
“He’s an outstanding athlete and he runs well,” Bailey said of Chadbourn.
Guilfoyle ran 30 times for 202 yards, with McCloskey gaining 103. Chadbourn passed for 87 yards.
Forest Hills was limited to a net 37 rushing yards on 24 carries. Donoughe passed for 114 yards, completing 10 of 25 passes.
“I thought a big turning point was when we lost Dustin Ohler right away. When we lost him, that was a key,” Bailey said of an injury to his linebacker-running back with 8:43 left in the first quarter. “We’re missing six possible starters already. We’ve got more guys in the MASH room than we have on the field. They’re all good players, starters, for us.”
But Bailey said the major takeaway from this LHAC game was simple.
“They beat us up front and that’s where most battles are won and lost,” Bailey said.