Light helps keep Eagles rolling
TYRONE — Tyrone 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior Denver Light will be going to Fordham University next fall to play linebacker.
But if he has more games like he had against Bishop Carroll on Friday night at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field, he might start to get some attention as a quarterback.
Light threw for 176 yards and four touchdowns, including two to sophomore Damon Gripp, and he led a defense that didn’t allow an offensive first down until the third quarter in a 44-7 win over the Huskies.
“It feels good,” said Light, who completed 12 of 19 passes, including seven in a row. “I’m going to Fordham as a linebacker, and I’m excited about that, but I still have to come out and play quarterback and do what I can do back in the backfield to help my team.
“He did really well,” Tyrone coach Jason Wilson said. “(Bishop Carroll) stacked the box and sending blitzes, so we switched to a shorter passing game. We did much better when we came out in the second half, even in the second quarter, standing in the pocket, find those receivers and hitting them.”
The Golden Eagles are 3-0 for the first time since 2014.
“This senior group and this team really came together over the summer, actually leading back to last winter,” Wilson said. “I knew there was a good group of leaders. They’re playing very well right now, and the results are showing.”
Light executed the Eagles’ new run-pass-option offense perfectly on their second possession.
Tackle-breaking tailback Zac Albright, who followed up a 200-yard effort against Central by running for 101 yards on 16 carries, reeled off runs of 21 and 24 yards on the first two plays. Light then hit Albright for 11 yards, and he followed with a 10-yard scoring strike to Tommy Hicks.
BC’s only touchdown came when senior Jarrett Grove slipped past Tyrone’s punt protection, blocked the Aric Reader punt, scooped the ball up and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown 2:15 into the second quarter, tying the score.
“We just had a miscommunication there,” Wilson said. “A guy came free through the middle, and we corrected it as soon as it happened.”
On the next series, after Hicks returned the kickoff 46 yards to the 50, Light threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Gripp on a fade pattern.
“He’s a heck of an athlete,” Light said of Gripp. “He reminds me of a young Parker Mitchell. He can just get up and get a ball, and I trust him completely.”
Junior kicker Keegan Raabe kicked a 21-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half to give the Eagles a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Any momentum BC (1-2) had evaporated when Reader recovered a fumble on the first play of the second half at the BC 33. On the next play, Light tossed a touchdown pass to Brandon Homan 23 seconds into the half.
“Any time you turn the ball over, when you have some momentum going, it definitely deflates you,” BC coach Sean Billings said. “I think that was a big point. You could kind of see the wind come out of our sails.”
BC’s only first down in the first half came off of a Hunter Dumm run on a fake punt. The Huskies tried another fake punt in the third quarter, but Trevor Hogue was stopped short of a first down.
Four plays later, Light connected with Gripp on a beautiful 46-yard TD pass on another fade pattern. Raabe’s kick made it 31-7.
“I know my guys can get past them,” Light said. “I’ve got some athletic wide receivers, and I know my line can block for me. So any time we call a fade or a long pass, I’m just looking to get it up and have them make a play.”
Sophomore Brandon Lucas entered the game at QB midway near the end of the third quarter, and he threw a 19-yard TD pass to Hicks.
Lucas ran 65 yards for a touchdown with 3:28 left in the game. There was a bad snap on the PAT, and the 5-3, 120-pound Raabe picked the ball up and found some open space, but he got leveled by a BC defender. A couple teammates carried the banged up Raabe off of the field.
“He’s all right,” Wilson said. “He just needs to take a knee when he gets it. I guess we really never talked about what we do when the snap goes to him. But we talked (on the sideline) about what we do in that situation.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll 0 7 0 0 — 7
Tyrone 7 10 14 13 –44
T–Hicks 10 pass from Light (Raabe kick), 5:21
BC–Grove 25 blocked punt return (Hogue kick), 9:45
T–Gripp 33 pass from Light (Raabe kick), 7:25
T–Raabe 21 FG, :00
T–Homan 33 pass from Light (Raabe kick), 11:37
T–Gripp 46 pass from Light (Raabe kick), 6:53
T–Hicks 19 pass from Lucas (Raabe kick), 11:08
T–Lucas 65 run (run failed), 3:28
TEAM STATISTICS BC T
First downs 5 13
Total yards 164 357
Rushes-yards 39-114 28-162
Yards passing 50 195
Passing (comp.-att.-int) 4-9-0 13-21-0
Punts-avg. 4-35.2 4-22.2
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-55 3-20
RUSHING–Bishop Carroll, Becquet 10-54, Dumm 3-22, Hogue 8-13, Zazvrskey 13-12, Novak 1-2, Grove 2-2, Beiswenger 2-(-1). Tyrone, Albright 16-101, Lucas 2-67, Zimmerman 1-4, Beck 1-(-2), Hicks 1-(-2), Light 7-(-6).
PASSING–Bishop Carroll, Zazvrskey 4-8-0-50, Novak 0-1-0-0. Tyrone, Light 12-19-0-176, Lucas 1-1-0-19, TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Bishop Carroll, Hogue 2-43, Dumm 2-7. Tyrone, Homan 2-56, Gripp 2-54, Hicks 3-40, Albright 2-19, Locke 1-16, Lehman 2-10.