Defending 5A champ Carroll rolls to 14th straight win
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The nervousness sped through Bishop Carroll quarterback Tyler Skilling Thursday night as he watched Kapaun Mount Carmel play Northwest.
The nerves were understandable, brought on by replacing Top 11 quarterback Zeke Palmer, who led the Eagles to the 2012 Class 5A title with a 13-0 record. The nerves came from the suspicion that there were doubters questioning whether he could now lead the Eagles, ranked No. 2 in Class 5A.
Coach (Alan Schuckman) asked me as I was walking through the gym today, are you nervous? Skilling said. I said, Im a little nervous. He said, Dont be nervous. It will all come.
Sure enough, Schuckman was right. And after Heights fumbled its opening snap Friday night at its own 24 and Carroll converted two fourth-down plays to score the games first touchdown just three minutes in, well, Skillings nervousness disappeared.
He helped lead Carroll to a 45-12 win over visiting Heights, ranked No. 5 in Class 6A. The Eagles have now won 14 straight games.
A lot of people were doubting me, and for a minute, I was doubting myself, said Skilling, who completed 15 of 23 passes for 201 yards, including 167 in the first half. When you get a young offensive line, a young quarterback, young receivers, and you come in and convert on a fourth down against one of the best D-lines were going to see with (Heights senior) Aderio (Ammons). We convert on that fourth down and you hear that crowd and you know, were here. Were here.
The fourth-down conversions Carroll was four for four in the first half, scoring twice went against what Schuckman had planned.
I told the coaches before the season that I was going to play more field position this year, Schuckman said, then shrugged his shoulders and laughed. I guess I went against my words. I have confidence in the offense. I have confidence in the defense. Theres going to be times when we have to make that play to win a game. The best time to work on that is Friday night.
After Skillings first pass attempt fell incomplete, he completed his next six.
Denzel Goolsby gave Carroll the 7-0 lead on his 1-yard run in the first quarter. Skilling threw a 15-yard pass play to Goolsby for the second touchdown with 6:22 to to go in the first half. Less than three minutes later, Tory Smith ran 45 yards for the 24-0 lead.
On Carrolls final possession of the first half the Eagles scored on all five Skilling threw a gorgeous pass over Scott Linneburs shoulder in the end zone. Linnebur stretched out his arms and pulled it in for the 30-yard score.
As coaches, we feel hell make the plays, Schuckman said. The touchdown pass to Linnebur was incredible.
Carrolls running game was solid with Smith, who also had a four-yard scoring run in the final period. He finished with 106 yards on 17 carries.
There were times we looked pretty good running the ball, and other times we looked pitiful, Smith said.
Heights offense had its problems. Junior running back Curtis Whitten hurt his left knee on his third carry midway through the first quarter. First-year coach Terry Harrison is hopeful he isnt out for the season, but wont know until Monday.
The Falcons lost five fumbles and quarterback Trenton Autry was intercepted by Josh Hornback.
You cant win football games when you turn it over six times, Harrison said. We had 20 plays in the first half and we had seven penalties and five turnovers. We couldnt get any rhythm.
Heights started to move the ball well in the second half, getting a 20-yard run by Tre King, a 16-yarder by Autry and a 40-yard run by Alan Garrett.
King scored on a 2-yard run with 3:39 to go in the third quarter, and Carlos Taylor recovered a Carroll fumble, returning it for a touchdown.
While Heights played better in the second half, which Harrison attributed to better field position both offensively and defensively, Carroll stumbled. The Eagles had a fumble and too many penalties for Schuckman.
Our defense needs to play at a high level all the time, he said. We had a lack of discipline, jumping offsides. Were going to coach hard against it this week. Well be a disciplined football team. If not, well be a team thats in great shape.
BC Goolsby 1 run (Ohm kick)
BC Ohm 35 FG
BC Goolsby 15 pass from Skilling (Ohm kick)
BC Smith 45 run (Ohm kick)
BC Linnebur 30 pass from Skilling (Ohm kick)
H King 2 run (missed kick)
H Taylor 5 yard fumble return (missed kick)
BC Smith 4 run (Ohm kick)
BC Weber 28 run (Ohm kick)
Rushing Heights, King 12-30, Garrett 10-29, Whitten 3-7, Wiley 2-6, McCray 1-2, Autry 12-(-2). Carroll, Smith 17-106, Weber 2-33, Goolsby 10-21, Howell 3-10, Skilling 7-(-10).
Passing Heights, Autry 0-4-0-1. Carroll, Skilling 15-23-201-0.
Receiving Caroll, Linnebur 5-90, Smith 2-62, Goolsby 5-26, Bell 2-14, Livengood 1-9.