ARMAGH - Two things were on the minds of everyone on the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic football team Friday night.
And each revolved around a victory.
The Marauders needed to win to keep pace in the District 6 Class A standings, and they needed to win to wash out the sour taste left behind after last week's loss at Bishop McCort.
They did just that.
Led by a strong offensive output and a stout defense, Bishop Guilfoyle concluded its regular season by pounding United, 40-0.
"We knew coming down here that United was going to give us the best game that they could," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler said. "This was their senior night, so we knew they were going to give us their best game. We told our kids that we wanted to come ready to play."
But in true fashion, Wheeler wasn't completely satisfied with the rout, especially being on the receiving end of a shutout just a week earlier against a fellow playoff team.
"We've got to get better," he said. "We had a lot of turnovers last week. We've got to protect the ball and get back to doing what we did all year - play hard and finish games.
"We played well all year. Last week was a little uncharacteristic for us. It was definitely a bizarre week for us. We told our kids that some of that stuff happens in life, so it's about what you do the next day. You just have to look forward and not in the rearview mirror."
The Marauders' Sam McCloskey intercepted United quarterback Matt Dill's pass on the third play of the game and returned it to the 9, setting up Cody Rossman's touchdown run on Guilfoyle's first play from scrimmage.
The Lions (0-10) forced Bishop Guilfoyle to go three-and-out on its next series, but the Marauders needed only two plays on their following drive.
Rossman rumbled 12 yards and Pat Irwin placed a beautiful touch pass to Damon Rickens for a 17-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
"We had some better field position, so to start from that was nice," Wheeler said. "We had a Power-I package in this week, get some bigger kids in, trying to get them the ball and getting that kind of field position worked well for us."
In the second quarter, Jextin Pugh powered his way into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown, Irwin tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Nate Nardelli, and Rickens connected with McCloskey for a 32-yard pitch-and-catch to give Bishop Guilfoyle (8-2) a 33-0 lead at halftime.
"They spread you out, they use formations - they got us into the coverages they wanted," United coach Greg Mytrysak said of Guilfoyle's execution. "They took advantage of it. You can do all of that and then not make a play. They did it, and then finished they play. That's the difference. That's what good teams do. They get you where they want you and then make you pay for it."
The defense showed up as well.
Bishop Guilfoyle held United to just 72 total offensive yards.
"I always like to credit the opponent," Mytrysak said. "They did a nice job. We thought we had some things we could do and then there would be a breakdown, a mistake. We can't overcome that mistake. That's been the tendency of us all year."
Rossman finished with 75 yards on 11 carries, while Irwin was 3-for-6 for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Irwin also added a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
Rickens caught two passes for 40 yards and was 4-for-9 for 59 yards under center.
"Both our quarterbacks are great kids," Wheeler said of Irwin and Rickens. "Pat had a great game. He's just a tremendous leader. He runs the offense really well, does the things we ask him to do, and he did another great job tonight.
"Cody is the heart and soul of the team," he added. "He's a tough kid, he's a hard worker. He's just a tremendous athlete. When he's having a great night and opens up the middle, it kind of sets the tone for us."
Guilfoyle will travel to either Penns Manor or Juniata Valley for the quarterfinals next Saturday.
The Hornets, along with Penns Manor and Portage, each won, preventing the Marauders from sneaking into the top four and hosting a playoff game.
"For us, we've been trying to get our kids all year to understand that it doesn't matter who we play," Wheeler said. "We think we're a pretty good football team. We've come a long way in a year.
"But this is going to be an exciting week for our kids. We told them that the first season is over and the second season has begun. We've got to get ready for playoffs. It doesn't matter who we play, but we're going to try to give them a great game."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle14 19 7 0 - 40
United0 0 0 0 - 0
BG-Rossman 9 run (Logue kick), 10:04.
BG-Rickens 17 pass from Irwin (Logue kick), 3:01.
BG-Pugh 3 run (run failed), 10:05.
BG-Nardelli 6 pass from Irwin (kick failed), 8:21.
BG-McCloskey 32 pass from Rickens (Logue kick), 0:44.
BG-Irwin 1 run (Logue kick), 6:51.
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Rossman 11-75, McCloskey 5-47, Irwin 3-26, Kitt 5-17, Young 1-10, Little 1-9, Pugh 2-6, Yasulitis 4-4, Rickens 1-2, Luther 2-2, Norris 1-1, Leamer 1-0, TEAM 3-(-3). United-Oliver 3-22, Lowther 1-15, Lavis 11-13, Skavang 9-12, Hropovich 2-1, TEAM 1-(-2), Dill 2-(-5).
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Rickens 4-9-0-59, Irwin 3-6-0-46, Hagg 0-1-1-0. United-Dill 2-16-3-16, Hropovich 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Rickens 2-40, Gormley 2-19, McCloskey 1-32, Irwin 1-8, Nardelli 1-6. United-Oliver 1-10, Hropovich 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-McCloskey, Miller, Livoti. United-Rape.