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1988 Retrospective - Week Two

Week Two of the 1988 football season for the Johnstown Trojans started in a similar fashion as Week One in that the defense pitched another shut out. That defensive unit put the Trojans in position to score on more than one occasion and Alex Roebuck had two first half touchdown passes, the first to Chuck Wyatt and the latter to Rob Veney, while Mark Roebuck rushed in from 14 yards out to close out the Trojans’ scoring in the fourth quarter. Doug Goff was two-for-three on extra point attempts and the Trojans defeated Derry 20-0 and improved to 2-0 on the young season.

After the game, the Tribune Democrat’s Sam Ross, Jr. wrote that “Jerry Davitch’s dream is to have his Johnstown High School football team to go 11-0 and have no one notice until it’s all over.” Not to play the role of “spoiler” but that is nearly what happened. The community did take notice and take a lot of pride in the team as it ran through an undefeated regular season and won a playoff game before they were eliminated from the WPIAL postseason.

This game was the first chance the home fans got a chance to see the squad at the Point Stadium and they did not go home disappointed. At this point of the season, as is the case with many teams, both great and not-so-great, the defense was ahead of the offense. This was the case in the Altoona game and the trend continued for the home opener with Derry.

Coach Davitch recently reflected on this point, “when people think of that ‘88 team they tend to think of the big playmakers we had like Chucky Wyatt, Alex and Mark Roebuck, and B.J. Gibson. We had a lot of great players at the skill positions and a tough fullback in Doug Goff but what a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of these kids played defense and played it well.”

“Many of the opportunities on offense that our team gained in the both the Altoona game and the Derry game were thanks to the defense.” These were either in the form of turnovers or field position.

The win by the Trojans avenged a 20-13 loss to Derry from the year before.

Doug Keklak can be reached at

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