JOHNSTOWN - Momentum played a big role in Friday night's non-conference football game at Knox Field.
The Johnstown Sir Bills and Tamarac Bengals battled to a scoreless draw through the first half.
However, the Bengals made the most of a Johnstown miscue early in the third quarter to punch in the game's only score and take home the 6-0 victory.
Johnstown’s Ryan Auty (4) looks for running room as Tamarac’s Brandon Barbera, center, and Nick Arnold, left, defend during Friday’s game at Knox Field in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Bengals (opened the second half with a pooch kick that Blake Brown covered for the Sir Bills on their 45-yard line. Unable to advance the ball, Johnstown was forced to punt.
Johnstown punter Adam Caputo reached down to receive a low snap and his knee touched down ending the play and giving Tamarac possesion on the Johnstown 29.
A pair of penalty flags moved the line of scrimmage back to the Johnstown 45, setting up a first and 25. Tamarac quarterback Dan Motzer missed on a pair of pass attempts before connecting with Pat McLoughlin on a 32-yard completing for a first down on the Johnstown 13-yard line. Two plays later Motzer and McLoughlin hooked up again on a third-and-one for a first down on the 2-yard line. Motzer capped off the drive with a 2-yard plunge into the end zone.
"Offensively, we marched up and down the field but just couldn't finish," Tamarac coach Eric Roadcap said. "We would go from the 15 to the 20 and stall. The offense did a great job, we just need to be able to finish the play."
The Sir Bills' defense remained steady in the Tamarac red zone but the stalled drives hampered the Johnstown offense.
The Bengals punted the ball three times but turned the ball over on downs consistently deep in Johnstown territory.
In the fourth quarter, a Bengal punt pinned the Sir Bills on their own 2-yard line.
The Bengals' offense pushed for a safety but Caputo managed to escape the end zone but putting the ball on the 6-inch line.
Quarterback Matt Szurek moved the ball out to the one but a flag flew on the play, which Tamarac refused setting up third and long on the one.
Szurek moved Johnstown out of the shadow of its goal post when he broke through for an 13-yard gain and a first down. He backed up the play with a 22 yard romp.
A pair of penalties dropped the Sir Bills back to the 20 where the drive stalled.
However, Johnstown got a break when Caputo's low punt hit a Tamarac lineman and the Sir Bills got new life with a first down on their 36-yard line.
The Bengals defense dug in, forcing the Sir Bills to turn the ball over on downs with 1:48 left in the game.
"We were on the 1-inch line and then Szurek makes a good run and now we are starting to move the ball," Johnstown coach Matt Benton said. "You can see that when our kids start to generate off big plays. they start to go forward. Then it starts to calm down a little bit and we stall. It is all about momentum. They had a lot of momentum and patience and kept going forward."
Szurek finished with 57 yards rushing on 22 carries and was 3 for 9 passing. Johnstown finished with 79 yards total offense.
Nick Arnold led the Bengals with 41 yards rushing on 10 carries, while Motzer completed 11 of 22 passing attempts for 123 yards.
"The defense stepped up tonight, it is just a tough loss being 6-0," Benton said. "We re going to have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do with the offense. We really struggled. We are going to have to do something that is a little more vertical running and try to implement our quarterback more into the game. We will keep plugging away at it."
Johnstown (0-3 overall, 0-2 division) will travel to play Glens Falls next Saturday.
Tamarac 6, Johnstown 0
Tamarac0 0 6 0 - 6
Johnstown0 0 0 0 - 0
T - Dan Motzer 2 run (kick failed), 8:11.