DuBOIS – The Johnsonburg Shamrocks finished as the runner-up in the CPYFL junior varsity division this season after the DuBois Panthers won the title game 13-0 over the Shamrocks Saturday afternoon at Mansell Stadium in DuBois.
“I’m proud of all the kids,” Johnsonburg coach Bill Dilley said. “They’ve all worked hard. Since the end of July, we’ve been working hard. We’re proud of them.”
Johnsonburg opened the game by winning the toss and deferring to the second half, electing to kick the ball off to start the game. The Shamrocks had a plan in place as the team successfully executed a surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff to start the game with the ball.
“An onside kick on the opening kickoff, we got in position but we turned it over,” Dilley said. “That’s tough to overcome.”
Johnsonburg garnered a pair of first downs to reach the DuBois 35-yard line but a fumble on the next play ended the drive for the Shamrocks.
DuBois went three-and-out on its next drive and the Shamrocks then also had to punt. Johnsonburg was winning the battle of field position early in the game until the Panthers broke a 91-yard touchdown run with 4:27 left in the first quarter. The successful conversion put DuBois ahead 7-0.
The Shamrocks started the ensuing drive from its own 45-yard line and were able to earn a pair of first downs. Johnsonburg had moved the ball to the DuBois 21-yard line and had a 3rd-and-2 but another Shamrock fumble turned the ball over to the Panthers.
DuBois fumbled on the next play and the Shamrocks were back in business in the DuBois red zone. The Panthers were able to intercept a pass on a 3rd-and-7 from the 9-yard line and turn the ball over back to DuBois.
Neither team could get any serious threats on offense for the rest of the first half as the Panthers held a 7-0 lead entering halftime.
DuBois’ defense frustrated the Shamrocks throughout the afternoon as the Panthers forced seven turnovers from the Johnsonburg offense.
A 34-yard run by DuBois late in the third quarter put the Panthers ahead 13-0 and was enough to seal the win for DuBois. It was set up by a long screen pass the Panthers completed on the play before.
“One big play and the screen there. Those were the only big plays we gave up,” Dilley said.
DuBois finished the season with an undefeated record while Johnsonburg’s only two losses of the season were to the Panthers.
This season, the championship trophies in the CPYFL were awarded in memory of the late Tom Launer. Launer was a head coach for the Shamrocks and then for the varsity football team, the Johnsonburg Rams. Presenting the awards were Becky Launer, Shane Launer and Ed DeCecchis.