West Catholic Football - PSD file photo
Archbishop Carroll Football - PSD file photo
CATHOLIC LEAGUE GAME OF THE WEEK
Who: Archbishop Carroll vs. West Catholic
When: 12:00 PM Saturday, September 15
Where: Drexel University (Maguire Field)
Records: Archbishop Carroll 2-0, 0-0; West Catholic 2-1, 0-0
Most Recent Performance: Archbishop Carroll overwhelmed Seton Hall Prep (NJ), 54-28, on a televised tilt; West Catholic did likewise against Hudson Catholic (NJ), 40-14, at Rutgers University.
Importance: This is the Catholic League Blue Division opener for both squads. Carroll moved over from the larger-enrollment Red Division after last year, increasing the Blue from seven teams to eight while decreasing the Red from seven to six. Both of these squads will be in the mix for the title, so because the regular-season best record determines the Catholic League champion, it is pivotal to emerge victorious despite being so early in the season.
All-Time Record: West Catholic leads the series, 27-25.
Archbishop Carroll Notes: The Patriots have scored 96 points in two games and established a school record with 633 yards from scrimmage in the win over Seton Hall Prep . . . The running game of senior Josh Bowman (14 carries, 198 yards, 3 TDs), sophomore Brennan Robinson (12-174-2), and senior Raphael Manning (16-147-1) has been a force . . . Junior quarterback Russel Minor-Shaw has also contributed with his legs (15 carries, 90 yards, TD), but it’s been his arm (15 for 24, 275 yards, 6TDs) that has kept defenses off balance . . . Senior receiver Koran Butler has snared six passes for 181 yards and three scores, all team-highs . . . Defensively, senior safety Zach Butler picked off two passes against Olney. The defensive quad of senior Jaelen Parker, senior Shawn Johnson, junior Richie Kimmel, and junior Jamil Thomas has helped limit opponents to less than four yards per carry.
West Catholic Notes: The Burrs fell one game short of the division crown last year but return numerous mainstays . . . After a one-point loss to rugged Pottsgrove and a two-point win over Paramus Catholic (NJ), West Catholic shelled Hudson Catholic . . . Senior running back Jacir Savoy has rushed for 260 yards on 52 carries. He has scored four touchdowns – two by reception, one by run, and another on a kickoff return . . . Junior QB Zaire Hart-Hawkins has completed 41 of 74 passes for 511 yards and five scores. Among his top receivers are senior Seth Degree (13 for 179, 2 TDs), junior Julio DaSilva (7-102), and Savoy (9-87-2) . . . Senior Nadir Morton-Andrews returned an interception for a TD; junior Shakur Smalls also has a pick . . . Senior middle linebacker Kha’Jey Frazier, outside linebacker Zahir Booker and end-rusher Tre Johnson have helped pace the stingy defense.
PATRIOT CHAT: “It’s not a surprise they are playing well,” said first-year head coach Kyle Detweiler. “They have a had a great track record of success. We need to put ourselves in the best position to win for both the division and the postseason.”
“This game is one of the most important games on our schedule,” said senior safety Zach Butler. “It’s the first shot to show the PCL who our team is. We expect the game to be a high level of competition and a battle. We don’t overlook any opponent on our schedule and plan to go 1-0 every week.”
“This game is critical in our race to take over the Blue Division,” said senior linebacker/fullback Jaelen Parker. “We expect to come out fast because we are playing great competition. It will be a four-quarter dogfight, but as a unit, we are looking forward to the competition.”
“This game is going to end up being one of the biggest games for us and them,” said senior two-way lineman Pat Griswold. “They are a good team and we have to play our best football, and we are prepared to do that. I can’t wait to get out on that field and play. I’m expecting it to be a hard-fought league game for both of us.”
(PSD video by Chip Frenette, edited by Austin Ampeloquio)
“This game is probably the most important game that our team, as a unit, will play,” said junior linebacker Richie Kimmel. “With my whole family being alumni from West Catholic, it makes this game even better. I’m going to take it personally. Also, this is the first time in almost 10 seasons that Carroll football could go 3-0 to start the season, so we’re working our tails off to accomplish that goal. I expect this game to be a dogfight. I know they have speed, physicality, and have size. But, my teammates and I are ready to put it all on the line for this school and this football program.”
BURR CHAT: “They have been scoring a lot of points,” said head coach Brian Fluck. “We have to come in and match their intensity, and we have to make good decisions. It’s gonna be a chess match.”
“This is our first league game of the season,” said senior middle linebacker Kha’Jey Frazier. “This is where we live up to the reputation that we built over the last three weeks. We are all hungry for game day and we all are ready for war. I have my brothers with me so I’m confident to go against whoever.”
“This game is a very important game because it’s the start of the league games and we want to set a tone for the other teams that we are coming,” said senior wide receiver/wide receiver Seth Degree. “I expect this game to be a brawl. With our guys and what we have in store, we will come out with determination and integrity to win. We are dogs and we all eat. West Catholic pride.”
(PSD video by Zamani Feelings, edited by Austin Ampeloquio)
“We treat every game the same and the goal is to be 1-0 every week,” said running back/defensive back Jacir Savoy. “Make the plays you are supposed to make; make the plays nobody else can make.”
“This is a big game for us because we haven't won our league championship in two years,” said senior defensive end Tre Johnson. “We are coming for what is ours.”
Prediction: Talk about a September league opener feeling like a playoff game. Both teams enter with a major chip on their broad shoulders. Carroll wants to prove it belongs; West Catholic is still angry about coming oh-so-close to winning last year. Nitpicking here, but since Carroll was unable to play Boys’ Latin last week because the game was cancelled, the Patriots might need some time get started, and that could prove costly. In a game that won’t be decided until the fourth quarter, West Catholic ekes out a 26-20 victory.
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.)