Bishop Carroll honored fallen teammate Thomas Goetz before Friday’s game against archrival Kapaun Mount Carmel. The final score was an added tribute.
“Football was put in perspective this week,” coach Alan Schuckman said. “What our kids have been through this week, and the way they battled, I’m awfully proud of them.”
The Golden Eagles jumped to a 10-0 lead after one quarter and whipped Kapaun 38-6, clinching the City League title.
The fact that Carroll’s point total matched Goetz’s jersey number — 38 — was not lost on the Golden Eagles or their coach. It offered some solace to what has been an emotional week at the school.
“We wanted to come out and do it for Tom,” running back Tory Smith said.
Goetz has been on the players’ minds all week.
“In practice on Thursday, we saw a white dove fly down, symbol of the Holy Spirit, then (Friday) we get his number up on the (score)board, so we know he’s with us,” senior receiver Matt Denning said.
Quarterback Zeke Palmer and Denning have a special chemistry that is evident on the field. Palmer attributed that to extra work together during the summer.
“I think it showed (Friday),” he said. “I like throwing to him, and I think he likes catching my (passes).”
Carroll (6-0, 6-0), as it has all season, balanced its attack. Palmer passed for 196 yards — many to Denning, who was able to drag Crusader defenders for additional yardage after the reception.
When the Golden Eagles weren’t passing, running backs Smith and Denzel Goolsby were running through large holes. Smith finished with 128 yards in 17 carries, scoring two touchdowns — one on a 62-yard run where he took the handoff and sped through the middle, racing past Kapaun to the end zone.
Goolsby did most of his damage in the second half, including Carroll’s final touchdown on a spinning 14-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Kapaun (1-5, 1-5), as was the case against East a week ago, couldn’t mount any sustained offensive attack, only managing field goals of 30 and 35 yards from Blake Bombardier.
“We’re City League champs — finally, after watching Heights go through everything. It feels good, too, to get that first step out of the way,” said Denning, who caught 11 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. “We’ve got a few more to go to the ultimate (state title).”
With the league title in hand, Carroll will turn its attention to the second step — district play begins next week against Eisenhower.
BC – FG Ohm 28
BC – T. Smith 1 run (Ohm kick)
KMC – FG Bombardier 30
BC – Armstrong 11 pass from Palmer (Ohm kick)
BC – Denning 8 pass from Palmer (Ohm kick)
BC – T. Smith 62 run (Ohm kick)
BC – Goolsby 14 run (Ohm kick)
KMC – FG Bombardier 35
Rushing–Kapaun: Dempsey 8-85, Heiland 15-71, Rasmussen 10-41, Dougherty 1-(-4). Bishop Carroll: T. Smith 17-128, Goolsby 7-53, Hernandez 4-46, Palmer 6-24, Weber 2-5.
Passing–Kapaun: Rasmussen 5-11-1-67. Bishop Carroll: Palmer 17-26-1-196.
Receiving–Kapaun: Dempsey 2-10, Baxter 1-34, Hamilton 1-18, McGrath 1-5. Bishop Carroll: Denning 11-131, Armstrong 2-34, Goolsby 2-12, T. Smith 1-14, Bongartz 1-5.