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Top-ranked Carroll rolls past Northwest

Top-ranked Bishop Carroll keeps rolling against Northwest

Published Sep. 28 at 11:17 p.m. | Last updated Sep. 29 at 11:46 a.m.

When Bishop Carroll senior Bryce Harvey suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament before the season, it could have been a blow to the Eagles. Harvey is a talented, speedy receiver who was an All-City League player in 2011.

The Eagles are counting on Harvey returning for the postseason, but in his absence Matt Denning has proved to be a big-time receiver. He had two catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns as top-ranked Carroll improved to 5-0 with a 61-14 win at Northwest Friday night.

Running back Denzel Goolsby had 61 receiving yards on four catches. Running back Tory Smith is another option. He had one catch for 18 yards.

And Johnny Armstrong, who didn’t play in 2011, had three catches for 50 yards, including a key fourth-down catch early in the second quarter.

“I think what we have is a lot of depth at the receiver position, both outside and inside receivers,” Carroll coach Alan Schuckman said. “We always seem to have one or two guys to go to, but right now, we have a lot of options, plus three good running backs. We’re pretty blessed.”

Quarterback Zeke Palmer smiled when asked if he ever feels like he can throw to anyone when he steps to the line of scrimmage.

“That’s every play,” said Palmer, who was 10-of-15 passing for 237 yards in the first half. “Our guys know what their jobs are. They’re a smart group of receivers. If our first set of reads isn’t there, they’ll scramble and get open.

“Our wideouts do a great job of getting away from the defense. Our inside guys do a great job of making the tough catches.”

After two straight incompletions on Carroll’s opening series, the Eagles were forced to punt. Northwest drove 59 yards on 10 plays to score the game’s first touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Chris Hughes to Deron Thompson.

Carroll responded with a 10-play scoring drive — capped by Smith’s 15-yard run — that had six running plays, four passing.

Carroll took its first lead on a play-action pass, when Palmer found Denning over the middle. Denning, who won the Class 5A 400 meters in the spring, went 74 yards to give Carroll its first lead at 14-7 with 1:42 to go in the first period.

Palmer gave a nod to Armstrong’s catch over the middle on the fourth-and-4 play from the Northwest 45 early in the third. It was a low snap, but Palmer picked it up and found Armstrong over the middle. Four plays later, Smith scored on a four-yard run for a 20-7 lead with 8:24 to go in the first half.

“He made a heck of a catch,” Palmer said of Armstrong.

Carroll’s passing game caused problems for Northwest.

“We thought we were controlling the line of scrimmage, but they start dinking-and-dunking with their passing game, so then your kids soften up on the run because they’re worried about the passing game,” Northwest coach Steve Martin said. “So then they can start hitting some things inside.”

The Eagles’ defense did its part, holding Northwest to 140 rushing yards. Anthony Troilo and Josh Hornback both had interceptions. Troilo’s third quarter interception set up Hernandez’s 13-yard scoring run, while Hornback returned his interception 36 yards for a touchdowns.

Carroll also blocked a punt, its third this season, setting up Smith’s six-yard scoring run late in the first half.

“That football team is one of the best football teams I’ve seen,” Martin said. “They’re special.”

Carroll (5-0)142813661
Northwest (3-2)707014

NW—Thompson 31 pass from Hughes (Steven kick)

BC—Smith 15 run (kick blocked)

BC—Denning 74 pass from Palmer (Palmer run)

BC_Smith 4 run (miss kick)

BC—Denning 34 pass from Palmer (Smith run)

BC—Hernandez 16 run (Ohm kick)

BC—Hernandez 13 run (miss kick)

BC—Hornback 36 INT return (Ohm kick)

NW—Thompson 14 run (Stevens kick)

BC—Skilling 35 run (miss kick)

Individual statistics

Rushing—Carroll, Hernandez 5-53, Smith 9-39, Skilling 2-37, Newell 4-19, Palmer 2-19, Goolsby 6-(-1). Northwest, Thompson 19-72, Hughes 17-56, Colburn 3-11, Thurman 4-7, Brazell 5-(-2), Gaither 1-(-4).

Passing—Carroll, Palmer 10-15-237-0. Northwest, Hughes 8-13-93-2.

Receiving—Carroll, Denning 2-108, Goolsby 4-61, Armstrong 3-50, Smith 1-18. Northwest, Thompson 1-31, Gaither 3-23, Beckner 2-20, Ortiz 1-11, Sutton 1-8.