Using a stout defense and an offense that chewed up clock before gobbling up yardage late, the Bedford Bisons slugged their way to a 13-0 victory over Bishop McCort Catholic on Friday at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

Bedford (3-0) picked up touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters and held off a Crimson Crusher attack that ran only four plays in Bisons territory.

“The defense certainly played outstanding,” Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. “Any time you can shut anybody out in this conference, that’s a big deal. They have some good players, too, and they practice every day as well.

“I’m extremely proud of how physical our kids played. To shut them out is a pretty significant accomplishment.”

While it was a cast of many contributing to Bedford’s success on both sides of the ball, it was senior Miles Washington who came up with the Bisons’ first big play and also the play that tied a royal blue bow to the victory.

Washington’s interception from teammate Steven Ressler’s deflection set the Bisons up at their own 48 less than 3 minutes into the first quarter. Mixing in an up-tempo pace during the seven-play march, Bedford cashed in on Elijah Cook’s 6-yard run up the middle. Lizzy Martz missed the point-after kick, leaving the score at 6-0 with 7:53 left in the first.

With 1:19 left in the fourth, Washington crossed the goal line from 10 yards away to clinch Bedford’s third straight win to open the season. Martz tacked on the point-after kick to set the final.

“Miles is a senior leader and a captain,” Steele said. “He’s worked extremely hard. 

“He had a nice game. 

“We need to get him the ball a little more, because he’s such a weapon.”

Carrying that six-point lead into the third quarter, Bedford seized control of the field-position battle with a punt from the Bishop McCort 43 that pinned the hosts at their own 6. A return punt led to a Bedford drive that was halted at the Bishop McCort 15 when an airborne Mercury Swaim lost a fumble while sweeping his way to a first down.

With Bishop McCort finally across midfield, Boyd Becker sacked Will Miller on a fourth-and-4 for a 13-yard loss, giving Bedford a short field. Only a fumble at the 1 by Ressler – recovered by the Crimson Crushers’ Grant Jeanjaquet with 5:46 remaining – kept Bedford from adding to its lead on the ensuing possession.

“We knew we had to scratch and claw,” Bishop McCort coach Brian Basile said. 

“We played good enough defense to win this game. We caused three turnovers, we just couldn’t get the offense on track. They controlled us up front, and we struggled with that.”

A three-and-out and a punt to the Bishop McCort 49 gave Bedford the opportunity to finally slam the door with Ressler dashing for 28 yards on the first play. A trio of carries by Cook and then Washington’s touchdown closed out the late scoring march.

Swaim, who also picked off a Levi Allison pass with 19 seconds remaining, led the Bisons with 74 yards on the ground, followed by Cook’s 61 yards and 49 more by Ressler.

Miller paced the Crimson Crushers’ offense with 84 rushing yards, most coming on read option runs.

“Will did a nice job,” Basile said. “They were keying on him a little bit. We tried to move it around a bit, but we just couldn’t get any real rhythm at all.”

Bedford returns home to host Penn Cambria next Friday while Bishop McCort welcomes Cambria Heights.

Shawn Curtis is the sports editor for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5085. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnCurtis430.​

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