BG Silences Clairton; Hailed State Champions

Marauders one-up the Clairton Bears to capture the PIAA Class A Title.

PHOTO%3A+The+Marauders+react+to+winning+the+PIAA+Class+A+State+Championship.
Back to Article
Back to Article

BG Silences Clairton; Hailed State Champions

PHOTO: The Marauders react to winning the PIAA Class A State Championship.

PHOTO: The Marauders react to winning the PIAA Class A State Championship.

Photo courtesy: Brad Young

PHOTO: The Marauders react to winning the PIAA Class A State Championship.

Photo courtesy: Brad Young

Photo courtesy: Brad Young

PHOTO: The Marauders react to winning the PIAA Class A State Championship.

Jordan Rhone, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






HERSHEY – It all started in 2006 when nine fourth grade boys signed up for the Altoona Central Catholic football program. On the other side of town, a St. Rose of Lima fourth grader did the same. Little did they know that eight years later they would be hoisting a state championship trophy and showcasing a gold medal in which only 1 in 140 Class A schools across Pennsylvania can do annually.

The 15-0 Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic football squad walked onto the field of Hersheypark Stadium on Friday morning eagerly awaiting the 1:10pm kickoff against the 15-0 WPIAL Champion – Clairton Bears. It was the only battle of the unbeaten during the PIAA Championship weekend. The Clairton Bears were sporting the nation’s second highest scoring offense in high school football history. The Marauders were bringing to the table their unstoppable, top-ranked defense in the state.

Bishop Guilfoyle entered the game as the underdog for the first time in 16 weeks of action. This served as motivation for the Marauders as they prepared for the biggest game of their respective careers. Sticking with tradition of the past several games, a hard-fought, scoreless start to the game ensued in the first quarter. Both the Marauders and Bears provided sound defensive coverage, as well as struggled to get the ball in the end zone.

Clairton’s Ryan Williams hit Aaron Mathews through the air only seconds into the second quarter to begin the scoring affair. After a failed two-point conversion, the Marauders bounced back. With 7:06 to go in the first half, Brandon Chadbourn used his arm to hurl the football to Sam McCloskey which resulted in a 22-yard touchdown carry for BG. Watch the stellar duo below:

After a failed scoring attempt on that BG scoring drive, the score was tied up at six apiece. Sophomore Lamont Wade, a notable Clairton athlete, dashed down the left side of the field to catch a 64-yard pass from Aaron Mathews to give the Bears the lead once again with 6:08 left before halftime. The Guilfoyle defense stepped up and stopped the two-point conversion attempt, giving Clairton a 12-6 lead.

Brandon Chadbourn knew his team needed to come out in the 3rd quarter with a lead, so he took it upon himself to ensure that this would happen. With under four minutes to go, Chadbourn raced by the Clairton defenders for a 13-yard touchdown run. Josh Trybus kicked what would be a crucial extra point to give the Marauders a 13-12 halftime lead. This was the first time all season that the Clairton Bears were trailing at the half.

After 11 minutes of scoreless play in the second half, Sam McCloskey rolled around his right tackle to sprint 13 yards for the Marauder touchdown. A failed two-point conversion attempt for BG would leave the Marauders with a 19-12 advantage to end the third quarter.

The final 12 minutes of the title game proved to be filled with excitement. With 10:29 to go in the state matchup, Lamont Wade would give Clairton a boost of motivation. Wade found an open hole on the right side of the field which he would benefit from. His 64-yard touchdown run would cut the Guilfoyle lead down to one point. The relentless BG defense contained the Bears on the two-point conversion attempt that followed.

After several scoreless drives by both teams, it all came down to a red zone confrontation between the explosive Clairton offense and the immovable BG defense. On four straight scoring attempts by the Bears, the Marauder defensive crew continuously halted the opposition. The slogan “defense wins championships” rang true for the Marauders late in the fourth quarter.

The ball was back in possession of the BG squad with under two minutes to go. After running the ball several times to shed time, quarterback Brandon Chadbourn took a knee to commence the title game’s ending. However, before the clock struck 0:00, Clairton lineman Vance Gibson abruptly charged onto the field from the sidelines directly at Bishop Guilfoyle players. Gibson took off his helmet and threw it at the Guilfoyle teammates, striking, but not seriously injuring, one player.

After discussing the incident, the head official announced that the penalties called on Clairton would force the clock to run. Due to the Bears having no timeouts left, the game was officially over. The Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders captured the PIAA Class A State Title with a 19-18 victory over the Clairton Bears.

Evan Chadbourn jumps into the arms of his older brother, Brandon Chadbourn, following BG's state title victory over Clairton.

Photo courtesy: Brad Young
PHOTO: Evan Chadbourn jumps into the arms of his older brother, Brandon Chadbourn, following BG’s state title victory over Clairton.

Senior Owen Wolf has been anticipating this day since he was a child. “This is something my teammates and I have been looking forward to since we started playing football in fourth grade,” Wolf said.

Andrew Berger, who finishes his career as a Marauder with the most sacks in the state, is proud of his team. “It’s really something special. We made history and now we’ll be remembered forever,” Berger said.

This is the Bishop Guilfoyle football program’s first state championship title. It also comes with a perfect 16-0 record. Ten seniors finished their tenure as Marauders; Andrew Berger, Brandon Chadbourn, Matt Gormley, D.J. Kitt, Anthony Livoti, Ian Luther, Sam McCloskey, Nick Miller, Eric Price, and Owen Wolf.

Matt Gormley believes his team’s will to win has led them to the position they’re in today. “Winning the state championship is a great feeling. We worked so hard for this from the beginning. It really is a dream come true,” Gormley said.

The 2014 Marauders are just the second team from District VI to prevail as state champions. The only other team was the 1999 Class AA Tyrone Golden Eagles. Other area teams to attend the state title game in recent years include the 2003 Bishop Carroll Huskies (runner-up), 2009 Bishop McCort Crushers (runner-up), and the 2011 Tyrone Golden Eagles (runner-up).

Sam McCloskey, who will be playing at Lehigh University next fall, realizes how special this title is. “This state championship means a lot to me, this team, and this community. Every high school athlete aspires to win a state championship. We’ve been very fortunate to get to this point after putting a lot of work into it,” McCloskey said.

Reigning as a state champion is a title that stays with each member of the winning program for a lifetime. Senior D.J. Kitt takes great pride in accomplishing this feat. “My high school football career has been a great journey. The best part of it was being able to play with my best friends. Winning a state championship is a dream come true and it’s something no one can take away from us.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email