Bishop Carroll’s football team has been so effective at scoring this season that a scoreless first quarter Friday night might have seemed to be a bit of a shock.
Not to worry.
The Golden Eagles scored on the first play of the second quarter – getting 28 in the period – en route to a 48-0 rout of Valley Center.
The victory sewed up the Class 5A-District 5 title for the top-ranked Golden Eagles (9-0), as well as a home game against Goddard in next Friday’s first round of the playoffs.
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Carroll had a little trouble getting started, fumbling the ball away twice in the opening period. But senior quarterback Colton Howell ran 16 yards as the second quarter began, and the Eagles were rolling from there.
“We did some things that we haven’t been doing all year, put the ball on the ground … we were playing out of control,” Carroll coach Alan Schuckman said. “We’ve got to keep things intact.”
Howell said the coaches voiced their displeasure after the quarter.
“You might say that a few coaches on the sideline got fired up on us,” Howell said. “Then we kind of picked things up.”
Of course, it always helps to have a talented running back like senior Denzel Goolsby.
“Good things happen when he has the ball: punt return, kick return, wherever, he’s a good option to have,” Schuckman said.
Goolsby’s do-it-all night included 184 rushing yards and 131 more on the punt-return scores.
He was unfazed about the scoreless first quarter.
“We just made a few adjustments, and people picked it up,” Goolsby said. “We know we can play at a higher level, so we just needed to make the adjustments.”
After Howell’s score, junior Evan Nichols picked off Valley Center’s Dylan Scheer for the second time, and Goolsby scored on a 41-yard run three plays later.
Nichols’ two pickoffs could almost be considered like assists in hockey for Carroll’s scores.
“Offense feeds off defense; that’s what Coach preaches, that’s what we do,” he said. “We go out there and get turnovers, the offense goes out there and gets touchdowns.”
Less than two minutes later, Howell found Jordan Dutton for a 29-yard touchdown. The Hornets then went three-and-out, and Goolsby returned the punt 53 yards, giving Carroll a 28-0 halftime lead.
The Eagles were penalized 15 yards to open the second half for arriving late back to the field, but used an onside kick to regain possession at their 39. On the next play, Goolsby took the ball straight up the middle 61 yards for a 35-0 lead.
“I was just thinking, ‘Don’t get caught from behind,’ ” Goolsby said.
He then added a 70-yard punt return TD with 7:39 left in the third quarter.
Howell ran the final three yards for Carroll’s last touchdown with 1:34 left in the period, triggering a running clock for the fourth quarter.
BC – Howell 16 run (White kick)
BC – Goolsby 41 run (White kick)
BC – Dutton 29 pass from Howell (White kick)
BC – Goolsby 53 punt return (White kick)
BC – Goolsby 61 run (White kick)
BC – Goolsby 70 punt return (White kick)
BC – Howell 3 run (kick failed)
Rushing – Valley Center: Scheer 14-17, White 3-16, Hurtt 7-(-20). Bishop Carroll: Goolsby 17-184, Howell 6-24, Weber 3-33, Seyfert 1-13, Theis 2-7, Allen 2-(-1).
Passing – Valley Center: Scheer 5-28-5-67, Boone 1-1-0-18, Skaff 0-2-0-0. Bishop Carroll: Howell 9-16-1-119, Allen 0-1-0-0.
Receiving – Valley Center: Wetig 3-51, King 3-34. Bishop Carroll: Dutton 2-33, Jenkins 2-27, Mans 1-35, Leland 1-14, Seyfert 1-9, Sanders 1-5, Goolsby 1-(-4).