Archbishop Carroll Patriots
Who: Archbishop Carroll vs. Neumann-Goretti
When: 6:00 PM Saturday, October 5, 2019
Where: South Philadelphia Supersite (2926-2968 South 10th Street)
Records: Archbishop Carroll (4-2; 3-0); Neumann-Goretti (6-0; 3-0)
Most Recent Performance: Archbishop Carroll held off host Conwell-Egan, 27-23; Neumann-Goretti romped past visiting Bishop McDevitt, 44-0.
Importance: Since both are the only 3-0 teams in the Catholic League Blue Division, the winner of this contest would control its own destiny over their final three games.
All-Time Record: Archbishop Carroll leads, 37-10-1.
Archbishop Carroll Notes: The Patriots have outscored their division foes by 82-44 . . . Carroll would be feeling much better about this challenge had they not lost several key players to injury in last week’s win aforementioned win over Conwell-Egan. Among the walking wounded is senior quarterback Russel Minor-Shaw, who drives opponents crazy with his throwing and running ability. If he can’t go, junior Nate Gould would be the likely replacement . . . Junior Brennan Robinson is coming off an eight-carry, 76-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance . . . The secondary has picked off seven passes, three by junior Nick Lamey and two by junior Malachi Hansen.
Neumann-Goretti Notes: Domination to the tune of a 198-29 scoring margin and three shutouts has elevated the Saints to consideration as one of the area’s top squads . . . It’s very difficult to throw against N-G. Of the team’s nine interceptions, eight have come over the past four games. Seniors Ron Holmes and Ubayd Steed have three apiece. Sophomore Anthony Johnson returned one to the house; junior Naseem Bailey did likewise on a kickoff return . . . On offense, Junior Tysheem Johnson has corralled 729 yards and 11 touchdowns on only 90 carries. He also returned a punt for a score . . . Sophomore quarterback Marqui Adams is an efficient 34-61 for 550 yards and five touchdowns.
PATRIOT CHAT: “This game is crucial to the team because going into this game, both us and Neumann are undefeated in league play,” said senior linebacker Rich Kimmel. “Someone is going to be walking away Saturday with a loss; that’s just the way it goes. So, we’re going to be working even harder this week as a team to make sure we continue to reach our goals.”
“This game is a huge statement game for us,” said junior defensive back/wide receiver Nick Lamey. “With a lot of key injuries and missing players for this game, it’s going to be tough. But I’m still very confident in what this team can do, and I feel like these injuries will only bring us together more and toughen us up. This game means everything to us. Everyone on this team wants this win bad.”
SAINT CHAT: “For us, it’s just another obstacle to getting to the state championship,” said senior defensive back Ron Holmes. “We’re going into it with last year’s heartbreaking loss in mind when we lost to them in the final seconds of the game, but we’re not looking at it as a game for revenge. So far, we’re playing outstanding football on all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams. We’re hoping to continue on this path in our next game and for the rest of the season.”
“Our upcoming game against Archbishop Carroll is very important,” said sophomore quarterback Marqui Adams. “We don’t underestimate their athleticism at all. They are the number-two seed in our division and have great skilled athletes. We have a job in front of us, and we need to come out and execute early to get the win. I know that, for them, we are the team to beat. So I’m sure they will come ready to play and be on their ‘A’ game.”
Prediction: The health of Carroll’s players could change the trajectory of this intriguing match-up. The Patriots need to be in tip-top shape if they are to defeat Neumann-Goretti. The Saints are a team that seems capable of scoring in bunches. They try to force opponents to pass and then take advantage of their pass rush and opportunistic secondary. Carroll will play to the end, but Neumann-Goretti will remain undefeated after a 29-18 victory.
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.)