For one quarter, Bishop Carroll played football as well as it could be played. Blake Bell didn’t want that to go to waste.
Ahead by three points with 7:22 remaining, Bell pulled his team together and led a 12-play, 64-yard touchdown drive to put the finishing touches on the Eagles’ 39-29 victory over host Northwest.
The Eagles scored 32 points in the second quarter, but needed that final drive to end a resilient comeback attempt by Northwest (1-1, 1-1 City League). The drive lasted five minutes and ended with Bell scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.
“We didn’t want all that good stuff we did in the second quarter to go to waste,” Bell said. “I told the guys we had to get it going and everyone stepped up.”
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Carroll’s final drive ended a 22-point Northwest run that cut the lead from 32-7 with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter.
On that final drive, the Eagles (2-0, 2-0) converted a critical third-and-1 play to set up the final score. Converting on third and fourth down was key for the Eagles. The Eagles converted on 5 of 6 third downs and one fourth-down attempt during four scoring drives.
“That’s always a big stat,” Carroll coach Alan Schuckman said. “That’s what keeps drives alive.”
After a scoreless first quarter, both teams scored on their first possessions of the second quarter. Carroll scored on a Brandon Weber 10-yard run and Northwest countered with a Ethan Chadick 57-yard pass play to Markel Oliver.
Carroll responded with four consecutive touchdowns, blowing the game open 32-7.
The Eagles moved the ball at will with Bell completing passes all over the field and the Carroll backs exploiting the Grizzlies’ respect for the passing game. The Eagles had a balanced first-half attack with 155 yards through the air and 140 on the ground.
“I was to blame for what happened defensively in the first half. It’s our responsibility as coaches to get the team going and we didn’t do that,” Northwest coach Weston Schartz said.
The Grizzlies gained a little momentum to end the first half on a 60-yard Demarcus Robinson run. It carried over as Northwest held Carroll scoreless in the third quarter while scoring two touchdowns by Chadick. A Ryan Hubbard punt return and an Anthony Collins punt block led to the drives.
“We had some success with big plays, but they took us totally offensively for the most part,” Schartz said. “They played great defense.”
The usually high-powered Northwest run game was held in check by the Eagles. Robinson finished with 19 carries for 103 yards, but most came on the 60-yard run.
Carroll 39, Northwest 29Carroll (2-0, 2-0) 0 32 0 7 —39Northwest (1-1, 1-1) 0 14 15 0 —29
BC—Weber 10 run (Straka kick)NW— Oliver 57 pass from Chadick (Drake kick)BC— Bell 4 run (kick blocked)BC— Mies 7 pass from Bell (pass failed)BC— Weber 26 pass from Bell (Straka kick)BC— Rollins 14 run (kick failed)NW— Robinson 60 run (Drake kick)NW — Chadick 1 run (Drake kick)NW— Chadick 2 run (Robinson pass from Chadick)BC— Bell 1 run (Straka kick)
Rushing—Carroll, 21-36, Rollins 14-74, Weber 7-36. Northwest, Robinson 19-103, Chadick 6-0, Thurman 2-2.
Passing—Carroll, Bell 24-38-286. Northwest, Chadick 5-15-88.
Receiving—Carroll, Crippen 5-53, Rollins 5-31, Weber 6-83, Brittain 2-30, Mies 2-15, Gilmore 4-68. Northwest, Oliver 1-57, Riveria 2-21, Robinson 1-3, Hubbard 1-7.