Bishop Canevin beats Greensburg Central Catholic, off to best start in 10 years

Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 10:54 PM

Sophomore Jason Cross came off the bench to pass for 149 yards and two touchdowns as Bishop Canevin, off to its best start in 10 seasons, remained undefeated with a 20-14 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic on Saturday night at Dormont Stadium.

An interception by Cross at the Centurions’ 20-yard line midway through the third quarter led to the decisive score. Keshawn Harris scored five plays later on a 4-yard run to give the Crusaders (5-0, 2-0) the margin of victory.

Tyree Turner led Greensburg Central with 145 passing yards and a 4-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to bring the Centurions (3-2, 1-1) to within six.

Greensburg Central had three possessions in the last 10 minutes in attempts to tie the score or take a lead, but the Centurions were turned back each time by the Crusaders defense.

“Our defense, that’s what we’re going to hang our hat on,” Bishop Canevin coach Richard Johnson said. “We’re a defensive football team, and this is the first homecoming (game) that our seniors have won. These guys have stuck with us. They believe in us as a staff. What we’re selling, they’re buying into.”

GCC finally turned the ball over on downs with 2 minutes, 15 seconds to go, allowing the Crusaders to run out the clock.

Bishop Canevin is 2-0 in the Eastern Conference, 5-0 overall for the first time since 2011 when the Crusaders were under the guidance of legendary coach Bob Jacoby.

Greensburg Central dropped to 3-2, 1-1.

Bishop Canevin leads the all-time series against the Centurions 10-9-1.

“They were ready and we weren’t,” said Centurions coach Marko Thomas. “That’s what it came down to. I think we were a little too arrogant coming out. A lot of kids think we’re above what we were. I called a crappy game, too, so I’ll take the blame there.”

Each team committed four turnovers. And each team committed more than 100 yards in penalties.

The Centurions recovered four fumbles, and Bishop Canevin picked off two passes and recovered two fumbles.

The Crusaders began four consecutive possessions on the GCC 9, 24, 20 and the 40, but were turned back each time. Braden Travis returned a fumble to the Centurions’ 9, only to have Taishaun Jamison bat away a fourth-down pass near the goal line.

A fake punt by Bishop Canevin’s Xavier Nelson was stopped short of the sticks at the GCC 40. But the play was costly as GCC’s Jaydin Canady was ejected from the game after a punch was thrown.

The Centurions recovered fumbles on the next two possessions to keep the contest scoreless.

“Our defense stepped up, but we still got bad penalties,” Thomas said. “We’re still taking personal fouls and first downs and jumping offsides. Our defense has played pretty well all year.”

Bishop Canevin opened the scoring in a 24-yard pass from Cross to Jayden Linsey with 6:20 left in the half.

GCC tied it on Taishaun Jamison’s 11-yard reception from Turner.

The Crusaders took the lead for good on a Cross pass to Xavier Wilson with 25 seconds left before intermission.

Cross had replaced starting quarterback Kole Olszewski after the freshman suffered an injury.

“We put a lot of the young man’s shoulders,” Johnson said. “We want him to come through and tonight he did. We’re going to put him in uncomfortable positions, and he came through tonight.”

GCC will play Friday at Springdale while the No. 3 Crusaders visit No. 1 Clairton.

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