Kapaun’s backfield depth helps wear down East 28-14
If Kapaun Mount Carmel football coach Dan Adelhardt needed to sell the strategy behind using four running backs, that job would be getting easier by the week because the Crusaders keep winning.
Fortunately for Adelhardt, all four backs have bought into the benefits of a timeshare, and all are producing in relatively brief appearances.
In Kapaun’s 28-14 win over East on Thursday night at Carpenter Stadium, Devin Dempsey, Alexander Norris, Branden Williams and Ethan Harp combined for 175 yards on 26 carries.
None of them got more than nine carries and none was even the Crusaders’ leading rusher – that distinction belonged to quarterback Brock Monty, who had 144 yards on 16 carries.
But limiting each running back’s carries is beneficial because it increases the possibility for effectiveness late in the game, when a full-time back may be wearing down.
“I’ve never heard them complain,” Adelhardt said. “If Ethan wasn’t a defensive player, he’d get more touches. We’ve got to have him in the fourth quarter, we’ve got to have him on special teams and we’ve got to have him on defense. So that’s been the plan, to spread it around and give a lot of people touches.
“Devin could probably be a 1,000-yard rusher if he played full-time, but we don’t want that. He’s got to play cornerback.”
The contributions of those two-way players were evident Thursday, as Kapaun shut down East for more than three quarters until the Aces scored their only offensive touchdown in the fourth against Kapaun’s reserves.
Dempsey, a 5-foot-8, 145-pound senior, has the most big-play potential, and his 32-yard run was the longest Thursday by a Kapaun running back. Harp, at 6-1, 205, isn’t quite as shifty but equally dangerous. Norris and Williams can lead drives, as they did in Kapaun’s first two scoring series against East.
“We’re just happy with the way the system is right now,” Dempsey said. “We’re one team — unity. Our virtue of the week is solidarity, and I think we’re living up to that virtue.”
The Crusaders needed to use their running game judiciously Thursday because they almost always had the ball. In the first half, Kapaun ran 41 plays to East’s 16. The Crusaders had two 14-play scoring drives and found versatility as Monty supplemented his running with 121 passing yards.
“We need to be able to do that,” Adelhardt said. “We need to be able to run the football and control the clock. We can pass it, too, and we’ve got to be able to get first downs. It’s nice to be able to grind.”
|Kapaun (5-0, 5-0)||7||7||7||7||—||28|
|East (2-3, 2-2)||0||0||0||14||—||14|
K—McGrath 6 pass from Monty (Wells kick)
K—Dempsey 4 run (Wells kick)
K—Williams 6 run (Wells kick)
K—Harp 13 run (Wells kick)
E—Viera 8 fumble recovery (T. Thomas kick)
E—D. Thomas 11 run (T. Thomas kick)
Rushing—Kapaun, Monty 16-144, Dempsey 7-64, Norris 9-54, Harp 5-32, Williams 5-25, Ayala 1-5, Schoelwer 1-(-1), Nguyen 4-(-8); East, D. Thomas 12-68, Hisken 10-27, Bousfield 7-(-17), Wimes 1-(-17).
Passing—Kapaun, Monty 10-16-121-0 INT; East, Bousfield 5-22-98-0.
Receiving—Kapaun, McGrath 5-33, Dempsey 3-20, Puritty 2-68.
Maize 34, Salina Central 28 — Connor Lungwitz threw three touchdown passes and Chase White rushed for 257 yards for Maize. Lungwitz hit Tevin Davis with a 28-yard TD pass early in the third quarter for the only points of the second half.
M — Stewart 24 pass from Lungwitz (Jobe kick)
S — Maldaner 9 run (Robl kick)
M — Jobe 7 pass from Lungwitz (Jobe kick)
S — Maldaner 7 run (Robl kick)
S — Veal 3 run (Robl kick)
M — Stewart 72 run (kick failed)
S — Veal 40 run (Robl kick)
M — Lungwitz 2 run (kick failed)
M — Davis 28 pass from Lungwitz (Jobe pass from Lungwitz)
Rushing — Maize, White 33-257, Stewart 4-80, Lungwitz 7-10, Davis 5-8. Salina Central, Maldaner 24-113, Veal 21-100, Peters 9-67, team 1-(-1).
Passing — Maize, Lungwitz 13-21-2 221. Salina Central, Maldaner 13-27-0 184.
Receiving — Maize, Jobe 3-80, White 4-53, Davis 3-63, Stewart 3-43. Salina Central, Kossow 6-96, Rayas 5-81, Veal 2-7.