Carroll dominant again in beating Andover
No. 1 Carroll has no trouble with Andover
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ANDOVER After another convincing victory Friday that returned Bishop Carroll to the Class 5A football semifinals, senior quarterback Zeke Palmer took a shot at evaluating the Eagles’ latest performance.
“I’d probably say a C-plus or a B-minus,” Palmer said of Carroll’s 49-14 win. “We did a lot of good things, but there’s so much we can correct.”
Keep in mind the critique came from a player who completed 15 of 16 passes for 182 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. Palmer was good, but so were running backs Tory Smith and Jalen Hernandez, who combined for 248 rushing yards and two touchdowns as Carroll improved to 11-0.
Then there was Carroll’s defense, which limited Andover to 124 yards and stopped 19 of the Trojans’ 44 rushing attempts for no gain or negative yardage. Junior defensive back Jacob Fayette highlighted the Eagles’ performance with a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter.
Criticize if you must. But Andover coach Mike Lee wasn’t buying it.
“They are very good,” Lee said. “The thing that you don’t necessarily get when you watch them on film is they are so fast. They’re fast and they’re physical. It’s a very, very complete team – one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
Carroll coach Alan Schuckman earned his 150th victory in 18 seasons with the Eagles. But he was more interested in learning Carroll’s next test would be a home game against Salina South, which defeated Emporia 35-20.
“This is a team thing,” Schuckman said. “(The milestone) is really immaterial to me. I’m more interested in getting these kids where they want to go.”
Andover, which avenged a regular-season loss to Arkansas City last week in the first round of the playoffs, started promisingly with Gage Moss’ 52-yard run on the game’s third play. But Carroll’s Blayne Martin recovered Andover quarterback Cole Gumeringer’s fumble three plays later, and the Eagles went to work with a strong south wind at their backs.
Palmer guided Carroll to three first-quarter scoring drives, keeping the initial march alive with a 30-yard screen pass to Hernandez on third and 30. His one-yard touchdown sneak was followed by a 22-yard touchdown run by Smith on Carroll’s next series.
The Eagles led 21-0 after another sneak by Palmer on their final play of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Palmer directed a 14-play, 85-yard drive that finished with a 15-yard touchdown to Troy Dewey.
Palmer was 9 of 9 passing in the second quarter for 91 yards. He ended the game with 13 consecutive completions.
“I know we were trying to get our running game going,” Palmer said. “I had no idea we were throwing it that much.”
Palmer’s second touchdown pass was a 16-yarder to Matt Denning in the third quarter that stretched Carroll’s lead to 42-0. The Eagles churned out 162 yards on the ground in the second half, including a 40-yard touchdown by Smith that completed Carroll’s scoring.
Despite a running clock in the fourth quarter, Andover got a 13-yard touchdown run from Elijah Renoux and a 15-yard TD pass from Gumeringer to Dallas Bruner. The Trojans finished the season 8-3 after posting 2-7 and 1-8 records the previous two seasons.
“You could tell we were out of our element,” Lee said. “We had a little deer-in-the-headlights things going early. We didn’t necessarily play like we’ve played. We were kind of caught up in the big game moment.”
C – Palmer 1 run (Ohm kick)
C – Smith 22 run (Ohm kick)
C – Palmer 1 run (Ohm kick)
C – Dewey 15 pass from Palmer (Ohm kick)
C – Fayette 72 interception return (Ohm kick)
C – Denning 16 pass from Palmer (Ohm kick)
C – Smith 40 run (Ohm kick)
A – Renoux 13 run (Hayashi kick)
A – Bruner 15 pass from Gumeringer (Hayashi kick)
Rushing – Carroll, Smith 15-158, Hernandez 13-90, Goolsby 8-27, Weber 3-15, Skilling 1-0, Mans 2-(-2), Palmer 5-(-39); Andover, Moss 2-54, Biberstein 9-28, Renoux 7-27, Olson 4-3, Gumeringer 20-2, Starks 1-(-2), Hayashi 1-(-3).
Passing – Carroll, Palmer 15-16-0-182; Andover, Gumeringer 1-7-1-15.
Receiving – Carroll, Denning 5-51, Bongartz 2-43, Hernandez 1-30, Dewey 2-26, Linnebur 2-14, Goolsby 1-10, Henning 1-6, Harvey 1-2; Andover, Bruner 1-15.