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1988 Retrospective - Week Eleven

The first playoff game in thirty years for the Johnstown Trojans would not have gone better had it been scripted. It was a beautiful, sunny mid-November Saturday afternoon and in front of a huge home crowd at Point Stadium, Johnstown was in total control of this game from start to finish, defeating Indiana 27-5.

The Little Indians, in their first season of WPIAL competition, could only muster a chip shot field goal and a late safety against the Trojans. On the other hand, Alex Roebuck threw two touchdown passes, Mark Roebuck rushed for a score and Chuck Wyatt scored on an unbelievable special teams play (more on that in a moment).

Mark Roebuck got the Trojans on the board first by breaking off a 71-yard touchdown run. Doug Goff added the PAT and it was 7-0.

Indiana answered back with a drive deep into Trojan territory, but as mentioned above, they couldn’t advance the ball past the goal line. Rotosky was forced to attempt and make a 21-yard field goal.

JHS took a 14-3 lead into the half following an Alex Roebuck-to-Goff touchdown pass that covered 19 yards. Goff added the PAT.

Alex Roebuck’s second touchdown pass was the only scoring of the game in the third quarter as he connected with Wyatt from 19 yards out. The kick was no good and the Trojans took a 20-3 lead into the final quarter.

Alex Roebuck was sacked in the end zone for a safety, but that would be all the points Indiana would earn on this afternoon.

The final score of the day would result in a play that was not only one of the most impressive plays of the 1988 season but in the entire program’s history. Wyatt kicked the ball off and was the first down the field and made the initial hit on the Indiana returner which caused a fumble. Wyatt then was able to recover the fumble for the final Trojan TD of the afternoon. Davitch recalled the play: "Chucky made so many big plays for us that season, but this one was amazing. I had never seen anything like it before and never saw anything like it since." Wyatt himself recently recalled the play, "It was the best kick I got off all year and I was just hyped I just ran downfield full speed even though I was supposed to be the safety on that play."

You knew it was a special day for the Trojans, even the inconsistent placekicking game which often forced Davitch to go for two, was dependable as Goff hit his third and final PAT of the afternoon (he was three-for-four on the day, only his perfect three-for-three game against Belle Vernon was better) and the final was set at 27-5.

"At that time, we put our best skill players in the single digit uniform numbers. Their coach [Dan Cardone] had a funny line at the end of the game. When a reporter asked him what the difference in the game was, he said, ‘no one could catch number one, two, three, four or five!’" Davitch said.

Cardone was also impressed with a catch that Wyatt made right in front of the sideline. Davitch remembers the play: "the ball was overthrown and Chucky totally laid out right in front of their bench and made the play. I really feel that morally, that hurt them because it made us appear that we could do it all that afternoon. Even on some mistakes, we were able to come up big."

So the rare Saturday afternoon game at the Point for the Trojans resulted in a win and improved the team’s record to 11-0.

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