Last week, the Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles had a defensive performance that didn’t sit well with them. The Golden Eagles gave up 34 points in just a six-point win over Newton.
Carroll made it a point to clean up its defense for its matchup with Salina Central in the Class 5A football playoffs.
The Golden Eagles executed their plan by only allowing 14 points — all of which were in the first quarter.
The result on Friday night was a 52-14 home victory for Bishop Carroll.
“We made some adjustments defensively,” senior defensive back Tanner Chrisman said. “We watched film and Coach pointed out exactly what we needed to work on so we would be better for this game.”
But by the look of it in the early going, a “too close for comfort” game was shaping up.
That is until Carroll’s offense said otherwise: The Golden Eagles scored on their first seven drives of the game.
By the half, Carroll held a comfortable 28-point lead.
The Golden Eagles didn’t take their foot off the gas offensively, and defensively Carroll was able to shut Salina Central down for three scoreless quarters.
Senior Gunner Lynch said the success was credited to Carroll’s ability to execute well on both offense and defense.
“We played as a team tonight for sure,” Lynch said. “These past couple of weeks it’s been either offense or defense, but tonight we were all united and came as a team and performed well.”
The team’s unity is a product of what Bishop Carroll head coach Dusty Trail believes to be one of Carroll’s tougher seasons.
An injury-stricken team forced the Golden Eagles to adapt to new circumstances.
“These kids are tough kids, grinding it out … it’s been a tough year for us — a lot of key guys for us have gotten injured,” Trail said. “We’ve always taken the ‘next man up’ mentality, and these guys take that to heart, and the next guy up works his tail off, and gets in there and the other guys support him.
“That’s what it takes.”
Carroll’s road ahead only gets tougher as it prepares for a rematch against Northwest. The Golden Eagles lost to the Grizzlies by a last-second field goal in the first game of the season.
After Trail heard of the rematch, he said to his team in the postgame speech on Friday that they “know their opponent, you know what they’re capable of.”
Trail said the team needs to stay focused and have another “good week of practice” heading into the rematch.
“It’s going to be a dog fight, it’s going to be a battle,” Trail said. “We’re excited for it.”