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Big first half too much for Bishop Carroll to overcome against Lawrence

Lawrence RB Graham Hough carries the ball in the second half of their win over Bishop Carroll
Lawrence RB Graham Hough carries the ball in the second half of their win over Bishop Carroll(Matt Henderson)
Published: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:03 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Down 30-14 coming out of halftime, nearly all of the game’s momentum swung the way of Bishop Carroll coming out of the makeshift locker room, but it was enough as the Golden Eagles fell on the road Saturday 37-28 to Lawrence.

Lawrence, Class 6A’s top ranked team, improved to 4-0 despite being held to just 7 points in the final 24 minutes--most of those without star running back Devin Neal--their 30 points first half holding up in the end.

Neal, the state’s top rated recruit and a KU football/baseball commit, returned the opening kick past the 40 yard line and did the bulk of the work the ensuing drive, finishing it out with a four yard score. The Chesty Lion defense held on 4th down as Carroll chose not to punt in their own territory, but Lawrence was forced to punt themselves. The following Carroll drive was a disaster for the Golden Eagles, one they couldn’t advance beyond their own 10 yard line that resulted in a botched snap on the punt recovered for a second Lawrence touchdown.

Then the Carroll offense got into a groove, lead by a fourth down pass from Aiden Niedens to Oscar Gallardo that saw Gallardo wrestle the ball away from the defender in the air to come down with the grab. Hunter Trail capped the drive with a 10 yard score to put the Eagles on the board.

But that drive just fired Lawrence back up, with Neal leading the charge downfield before Graham Hough punched in the short score to put the lead back to 14. Lawrence’s next drive resulted in a field goal, and that defensive stop from Carroll got its offense back going, with a big pass to Noah Ferguson setting up Trail for his second rushing score with just over a minute left in the half.

Bishop Carroll RB Hunter Trail takes a carry in the second half of their loss to Lawrence
Bishop Carroll RB Hunter Trail takes a carry in the second half of their loss to Lawrence(Matt Henderson)

That time was more than enough for Lawrence, however, as the Chesty Lions marched right down the field to score with seconds to spare. Jackson Dooley on third and long found John Green on a ball that went through the hands of Eagle DB Michael Polley for the first down, the next play a touchdown. But the extra point was missed, sending the game to the locker room at 30-14.

The second half started with a bang for Carroll. Polley fielded the opening kick, found an opening and took off for a 98 yard score for an immediate jolt of energy for the Golden Eagles. They successfully went for two to cut it to a one possession game.

Lawrence’s offense wasn’t slowed initially the next drive, but once they hit the red zone Carroll came up with a much needed stop, forcing a field goal try that hit the upright to keep the momentum going for Carroll. They in turn marched right back down the field, Niedens capping it with a touchdown on the keeper to cut it to two. But the Golden Eagles couldn’t make it two straight successful two point conversions, losing the ball on the carry to keep the score at 30-28.

The game looked like it would keep going the way of Carroll, with Cade Gatschet coming up with an interception to give the Eagles the ball right back. But Trail couldn’t keep hold of a carry, losing a fumble that gave the ball right back to Lawrence. Then again the Carroll defense got a stop, this time holding on 4th down, but it would lead to a second straight fumble. Niedens looked to have a first down on the receiving end of a trick play but it was punched out and recovered by the Lions.

That would be it for Carroll’s offensive chances, with Lawrence killing the clock and Hough adding his second score of the game in place of Neal to extend it to a 9 point game. Carroll had one last chance to extend it late, but Ferguson was called short of the line to gain on a 4th down reception to end the final chance the Golden Eagles had.

Carroll, who falls to 3-2, was set to host Lawrence Free State next Friday, but that game’s status is currently unknown with the Lawrence school district prohibiting travel to Sedgwick County as of this week.

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