When asked how difficult it was getting his football team to focus on playing a winless Valley Center squad Friday night, Bishop Carroll coach Alan Schuckman replied candidly, and without hesitation.
“We want to play on this field in the first round of the playoffs,” he said. “We can’t look past anybody, no matter what their record is.”
The Eagles took the second step to winning a Class 5A-District 8 title with a 52-0 rout of visiting Valley Center, and improved to 8-0 on the season.
With a playoff berth already clinched, the Eagles can clinch the district title by beating host Liberal next week.
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Liberal is 3-5, but Schuckman said history isn’t exactly on his team’s side.
“We’ve won at Liberal only once in the last 20 years, so we know it’s going to be a challenge,” Schuckman said. “We need a good week of preparation, because we are going to face an athletic team.”
Quick offense and big plays from its defense served as ammunition for Carroll in the first half Friday.
Valley Center turned the ball over twice and never made it into Carroll territory. In fact, the Hornets made it past their 30-yard line only once.
“I was pleased with how we played defensively,” Schuckman said. “We forced some turnovers while not allowing the big play.”
It took Carroll 25 plays and eight minutes to score 42 first-half points. Its average starting field position was Valley Center’s 49.
The majority of the Eagles’ offense came from the two Blakes — Bell and Rollins.
Bell threw for 132 yards and four consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter — two of which went to Rollins.
“We wanted to come out and establish our offense and put the game away quickly,” Bell said. “We couldn’t take any plays off.”
To go along with his two touchdown grabs, Rollins also rushed for another while racking up 144 yards of total offense.
“I feel like my role in this offense is crucial,” Rollins said. “I’m a senior, a captain and whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it in order for us to win.”
Valley Center (0-8, 0-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Bishop Carroll (8-0, 2-0) 14 28 10 0 — 52
BC—Rollins 25 run (Straka kick)
BC—Weber 1 run (Straka kick)
BC—Weber 7 run (Straka kick)
BC—Nance 6 pass from Bell (Straka kick)
BC—Rollins 8 pass from Bell (Straka kick)
BC—Rollins 11 pass from Bell (Straka kick)
BC—Crippen 27 pass from Bell (Straka kick)
BC—Straka 26 FG
Rushing—Valley Center, Hopper 16-23, Foster 6-11, Williams 5-10, Wilcox 4-1. Carroll, Rollins 10-91, Bell 6-62, Hill 13-58, Weber 4-48, Holman 5-4, Crippen 1-3.
Passing—Valley Center, Williams 4-14-33-2. Carroll, Bell 14-20-159-1.
Receiving—Valley Center, Wilcox 2-22, Foster 1-7, Nibarger 1-4. Carroll, Rollins 4-53, Nance 5-37, Crippen 2-30, Mies 1-17, Gilmore 1-11, Brittain 1-11.