Despite a lightning delay and a rainy first quarter, Carroll looked as in-sync as the team has all season Friday at Zollner Stadium. The Chargers (7-1) picked up their biggest win of the year, defeating Concordia (1-7) 69-7 after leading the Cadets 62-0 at halftime.
“It’s a combination of special teams, offense, putting together drives, our O line blocking great and the running backs finding the holes and our receivers playing well, and then the defense getting us the ball back, so it’s a team effort,” Carroll quarterback Jeff Becker said.
Despite the slippery conditions, the Chargers still managed to utilize their passing game throughout the matchup, with Becker and junior Owen Scheele combining for 233 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Becker threw three touchdown passes in the first half, including a 9-yard reception by Gabriel Starks, a 37-yard bomb to Cooper Rudolph and a 29-yarder to AJ Lazoff. Scheele added a 38-yard touchdown pass down the sideline to senior Jameson Coverstone late in the first half.
Carroll’s first touchdown of the night, a 4-yard rush by senior Luke Carmody, was facilitated by a blocked punt that set the Chargers up with a first and goal at the Cadets’ 8-yard line before the game was postponed for more than an hour due to lightning being spotted in the area. After play resumed, the Chargers continued to come up with big plays on special teams, including junior Dylan Bennett recovering a Carroll kickoff and running it into the end zone, and sophomore Braden Steely returning a Concordia punt for a touchdown.
Becker also tacked on two rushing touchdowns while matching Carmody’s team-high 81 yards on the ground in the win. Rudolph led the receiver corps with 98 yards and a touchdown through the air.
“You go into every game with a game plan, and we knew ours,” Becker said. “We don’t let the rain stop us, unless it gets really bad. We handled the conditions really well, and that’s about it. It was great to see Cooper have a great game. He stepped up big.”
Carroll’s final touchdown of the night was a 35-yard rushing touchdown by freshman Nate Starks, who locked down the backfield in the second half, with just over five minutes left to play.
Concordia’s lone touchdown didn’t come until the fourth quarter on a 61-yard run by Dontrell Johnson. The first nine of the Cadets’ 10 possessions in the game ended with punts, while the Chargers’ offense outperformed them 448 yards to 183. Concordia converted just one of 10 third-down attempts. Bennett, a linebacker for the Chargers, racked up three tackles for loss in the win.
The Chargers host Wayne in their regular-season finale Friday, having won seven straight games so far.
“It’s a great feeling beating all those teams this year, and these last two weeks we don’t take a week off,” Becker said. “We showed it today. We’re going to go in there and play our game and then come off the field, but it’s more like ‘Let’s get settled in, let’s do our game plan and let’s get ready for sectionals,’ because that’s what we’ve been waiting for since Week 1.”