Back after a decade absence as West’s football coach, Weston Schartz had the Pioneers swinging with the No. 1 team in Class 5A like it was 1997 all over again.
Then, in 2 minutes and 45 seconds, Bishop Carroll jarred him back to reality with a 28-point blitz to spur on a 59-13 rout and improve to 4-0 on Friday evening at Northwest.
It was a sharp reminder that the glory days have faded at West, and it’s going to be a long-term project restoring them.
“We’re not at their level,” Schartz admitted. “We used to be. Hopefully some day we will get back to that. But right now, they’re just better than us.”
If it’s any consolation for West, there might not be a better team than Carroll in 5A. In their four games, the Eagles have out-scored opponents 203-29.
Carroll is to the point where it can nit-pick blowout victories. Instead of praising the varsity offense for scoring seven touchdowns in nine drives without a punt, Carroll focused on its 10 penalties.
“We’re definitely improving, but we can still keep improving,” said Jalen Hernandez, who led Carroll with 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns. “We had way too many penalties. We can’t have that many against good teams like that.”
Carroll coach Alan Schuckman chose to chastise his team for what he perceived to be a lackadaisical effort from the defense to begin the game. After 14 minutes, West believed it could compete after a 53-yard Trevon Mitchell touchdown to trim Carroll’s lead to 10-7.
“I thought we panicked a little early,” Schuckman said. “The last few weeks, it’s been pretty easy for us. I think they thought they were all going to be easy, and they’re not. From this point forward, they’re all going to be difficult.”
The rout was on when Carroll took over the next possession. Zeke Palmer directed a 9-play drive capped by his 1-yard sneak for a touchdown. Cornerback Anthony Troilo jumped a hitch route and returned his interception 34 yards for a score. Two consecutive West miscues gave the Eagles a short field for two more touchdowns.
A 10-7 battle gave way to a 38-7 halftime romp.
“Being the No. 1 team, you’ve got to respond like one and I think we did,” Troilo said. “It was a great feeling being able to return that. You see it a million times in practice and when it finally happens in a game, it’s just amazing.”
The Eagles once again was victorious without being pushed. But West left an impression with the players and coaches. The Pioneers picked up 13 first downs and ran for 211 yards.
“They have a lot more athletes now,” Hernandez said. “They’re going to be good.”
Maybe Schartz has West in line to return to its past prestige. He certainly has the City League’s attention in his first season. Now he just needs time.
“We’re not where they are right now,” Schartz said. “But we’re getting there.”
BC—Hernandez 17 run (Ohm kick)
BC—Ohm 24 field goal
W—Mitchell 53 run (Daignault kick)
BC—Palmer 1 run (Ohm kick)
BC—Troilo 34 interception return (Ohm kick)
BC—Denning 12 pass from Palmer (Ohm kick)
BC—Smith 2 run (Ohm kick)
BC—Smith 37 run (Ohm kick)
BC—Hernandez 19 run (Ohm kick)
BC—Goolsby 26 run (Martinez kick)
W—Patrick 47 run (Daignault kick missed)
Rushing—Carroll, Hernandez 6-77, Smith 10-75, Goolsby 9-60, Palmer 5-42, Miller 2-17, Weber 3-16; West, Patrick 22-103, Mitchell 7-66, DJ Jones 9-43, Fonseca 1-2, Do. Jones 3-(-3).
Passing—Carroll, Palmer 15-21-0-162; West, DJ Jones 4-11-2-60.
Receiving—Carroll, Denning 6-55, Armstrong 4-45, Goolsby 2-33, Henning 1-10, Hernandez 1-10, Linnebur 1-9; West, Malcolme 3-46, Mitchell 1-14.