Bishop Carroll charged from behind during the second half for a big win Friday night at Hollidaysburg High School, outscoring Blairsville by 14 points during the final 24 minutes to advance to the District 6 Class A championship for the eighth consecutive season.

The Huskies overcame a four-point halftime deficit against the Bobcats, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 33-23 victory.

The Huskies, down 10-6, had to regroup at halftime.

“We came in and said to keep our composure, because we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Bishop Carroll quarterback Brock Lauer, who rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries in the game. “We had to play together as a team, and the first half is not usually our half. We came out and buckled down up front and got the job done.”

The game turned into a battle of the Bishop Carroll rushers and a superb Blairsville passing attack. Senior Paul Forcellini led all players in rushing with 203 yards on 19 carries, with 146 of that coming in the second half. The Huskies amassed 338 yards on the ground, while Blairsville passed for 264 yards and rushed for 91 more.

The Huskies came out in the third quarter and scored 14 points, taking advantage of a Bobcats turnover and a strong running game that was not as effective in the first half. Carroll drove 74 yards on 10 plays during its first drive, with Forcellini scoring on a 1-yard run with 5:05 left in the third quarter.

Forcellini also burst up the middle for the two-point conversion to give the Huskies their first lead of the game, 14-10.

On the next series, Bishop Carroll’s Matt Stoltz picked off an Adam Highberger pass to set up possession at the Blairsville 32. That led to a 17-yard pass from Lauer and tight end Jeff Minemyer over the middle.

“That was an audible by our quarterback,” Huskies coach Craig Sponsky said.

The run for a two-point conversion failed, but Bishop Carroll had a 20-10 lead with 3:32 left in the third quarter.

The Bobcats responded, putting together a drive that forced them to convert on three fourth-down plays. The combination of Highberger to Andy Ostach resulted in 14 catches for 155 yards and three touchdowns.

On the last of the fourth-down conversions, Highberger used a bootleg to his left and found Ostach open for a 1-yard score that narrowed the Bishop Carroll lead to 20-17 on the fourth play of the final quarter.

The Huskies charged back, taking advantage of a key interference penalty against the Bobcats on a fourth-and-21 to score again. Lauer carried the ball in from 26-yards out, but the run failed to give Bishop Carroll a 26-17 advantage with 4:06 left.

The Bobcats were upset with the interference call.

“The most critical call was on a fourth-and-21,” Blairsville coach Ab Dettorre said. “I can’t wait to see that one on the film. That really hurt us.”

Nevertheless, back came the Bobcats, but Lauer made an interception of a Highberger pass in the end zone to stop the drive.

Forcellini then sprinted for an 80-yard touchdown with 2:44 left, and Highberger hit Ostach for a 16-yard touchdown with 1:54 left to set the final score.

Sponsky did not have to say much to his team at halftime.

“Just to calm them down,” Sponsky said. “They were making little mistakes. If you continually make mistakes against a good football team, you are not going to be successful.”

This is the third year in a row that Bishop Carroll has defeated Blairsville in the semifinals.

The Huskies will face the winner of tonight’s Portage/Bellwood-Antis game for the district title next week.

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