LORETTO - Just when Bishop Carroll Catholic figured it had slowed Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic running back D.J. Kitt down at the end of the first half, BG's other running back, Cody Rossman, picked up the slack.
Kitt gained 97 yards of his first six carries, including a 42-yard touchdown run, but he was held to minus-5 yards on his last three of the first half. Rossman gained 52 yards in the second half as he became BG's go-to guy.
When Carroll's chilly Saturday night homecoming game at DeGol Field was over, Kitt had gained 143 yards on 13 carries, and Rossman amassed 92 yards on 20 carries and scored the last touchdown in the once-beaten Marauders' 28-0 win over the winless Huskies.
"We have a bunch of backs that we really like," BG coach Justin Wheeler said. "We think we're pretty skilled at a bunch of different positions. We're just trying to spread the ball around, and we think we can be a pretty good team down the road if we continue to get everyone involved.
"D.J. is a tremendous back, and he does some great things for us. We're trying to keep some kids healthy and give some other kids some reps, but overall, both of those kids are great running backs."
"Cody and D.J. ran the ball real well tonight," BC coach Greg Snyder said. "They got yards after contact, and that was a big part. Their line is really good, and those guys run hard. Coach Wheeler is doing a heck of a job with his team."
The BG defense limited BC to just 123 total yards (all rushing) and only 26 yards in the second half. The closest BC came to scoring was on its second series when it made it to the BG 2, but a false start penalty, two runs for no gain, another for 1 yard and Owen Wolf's tackle of quarterback David Maruca at the 4 on fourth down stalled the threat.
"The defense had our moments," Wheeler said, "but we looked good. We're always excited to get a shutout. There are things we need to improve on, but Bishop Carroll played a great game. Those kids played hard."
"We were able to move the ball in the first half pretty efficiently," Snyder said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't mix the run and the pass. We weren't hitting our passes, and that's going to catch up with you."
BG held a 7-0 lead in the second quarter thanks to Kitt's 42-yard first-half run, but BG QB Pat Irwin (6-of-9, 99 yards passing) finished off a 12-play, 96-yard in 4:40 by hitting Damon Rickens on a 22-yard TD pass on fourth-and-7.
"We called a boot, and Pat made a read," Wheeler said. "That was his third choice on the play. He made a great read, and Damon Rickens ran a great route."
Irwin, who intercepted two passes on defense, took it in himself in the third quarter on a 5-yard run on a series in which he completed three pass, including two to Rickens. Jared Verba's PAT made the score 21-0.
In the fourth, the combination of Kitt and Rossman finished off an eight-play, 60-yard drive with a Rossman 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 2:29 left.
The Marauders are now 5-1 and making a push toward the District 6 playoffs.
"5-1 feels great," Wheeler said. "These kids put a lot of hard work into it, and it's great to see them get the rewards for their hard work. They have big aspirations. We've put ourselves in a pretty good position, but it's the Laurel Highlands. We know we have tough games every week."
Notes: BG sacked Maruca three times. ... Wolf recovered a fumble. ... BG was flagged six times for 72 yards. ...Cassidy Black was named the BC homecoming queen.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle7 7 7 7 - 28
Bishop Carroll0 0 0 0 - 0
BG-Kitt 42 run (Verba kick), 8:37.
BG-Rickens 22 pass from Irwin (Verba kick), 11:23.
BG-Irwin 5 run (Verba kick), 2:44.
BG-Rossman 1 run (Logue kick), 2:29.
T-Score (Conversion), Time.
RUSHING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Kitt 13-143, Rossman 20-92, Irwin 8-49, Nardelli 1-5, Little 1-0. Bishop Carroll-Lesney 16-75, Lessard 6-31, Keim 1-9, Repko 1-5, Swatsworth 1-3, Woo 1-2, Ratchford 1-1, Shuty 2-1, Maruca 10-(-4).
PASSING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Irwin 6-9-0-99. Bishop Carroll-Maruca 0-6-1-0, Shuty 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING: Bishop Guilfoyle-Rickens 3-61, Nardelli 2-29, McCloskey 1-9. Bishop Carroll-none.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-Irwin 2. Bishop Carroll-none.