CALUMET TWP. | Bishop Noll blanked Calumet 24-0 Friday night after a first-half romp that included a pick-six and two big punt returns that put its offense in the red zone.
Bishop Noll (3-3, 3-1) held the other Warriors to 107 total yards, made two goal-line stands, and got production from three different running backs. They and quarterback Nick Thrasher had 120 total rushing yards against their Greater South Shore Conference rival.
"We scored on offense, had a defensive touchdown and came very close to scoring a special teams touchdown," head coach Mike Juscik said. "I thought we kind of put it together for all three phases, and played some pretty good football."
Jahari Davis caught a 67-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute left in the second quarter, ran an interception back for a touchdown and returned a punt for 54 yards. Elijah Golumbeck also rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Bishop Noll's defense was stifling for most of the game, and stopped Calumet deep in the red zone twice.
"We played hard-nosed, came forward, and hit them," Juscik said. "It's a matter of going a little harder and putting in a little extra effort."
The slumping host Warriors (2-4, 1-3) lost their third straight game after racking up 11 penalties for 70 yards.
With leading rusher Anthony Mayers sidelined Friday due to injury, Bishop Noll first started rushing the ball successfully on its second possession, getting big runs from Davis and Vernard Whitfield. The Warriors got into field goal range, but kicker Aaron Garza's attempt just missed, wide left. The kicker went 1-for-3 on the night, later missing a 52-yard attempt in the second half.
Calumet got the ball back on the 20-yard line, but quickly turned the ball over. Davis intercepted a deep pass from quarterback Kyle Hubbard, gained his bearings, shook off the receiver and dashed 39 yards into the end zone.
Another Calumet drive stalled, and Whitfield ran back a punt for 31 yards, setting up the Noll offense on the Calumet 19-yard line.
Thrasher scrambled for a big 16-yard gain, and Golumbeck plowed up the middle into the end zone.
Later in the second quarter, Davis bobbled a punt that Calumet appeared poised to recover, but he caught it on a favorable bounce and ran it back 54 yards, putting Bishop Noll on the Calumet 16-yard line. Garza punched in a field goal.
The Calumet defense got a big stop with a few minutes left in the second quarter, after Bishop Noll advanced to about their 30-yard line. Bishop Noll lined up with three backs in the backfield, and handed it off to Golumbeck. Blockers appeared to clear a path up the middle, but nose tackle Samuel Watkins grabbed ahold of his leg and dragged him down just short of the yardage he needed to move the chains.
Calumet got possession on downs, and running back Noah Fowler burst down the sideline for a big 32-yard gain. But the Bishop Noll pass rush ended the drive.
Josh Rosario sacked Hubbard for a 9-yard loss and the quarterback got called for a costly intentional grounding penalty on the next play, as several pass rushers closed in.
Bishop Noll took over with 36 seconds left in the quarter. It turned out to be enough time to get on the scoreboard again.
After dropping back, Thrasher could not find any receivers open downfield, but he sidesteped a tackle and dumped a short pass to Davis, who dashed more than 60 yards into the end zone.
Neither team scored in the second half, but Calumet came close twice.
Davis fumbled a punt that Miguel Rodriguez recovered, putting Calumet's Warriors at Bishop Noll's 9-yard line. They failed to capitalize.
Nick Fowler ran a reverse to the 3-yard line, but that was as far as they got. Two running plays got stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and Hubbard was sacked for a 12-yard loss when Calumet went for it on fourth down.
Calumet got deep into Bishop Noll territory again after Hubbard picked off Thrasher and ran it back more than 40 yards. Noah Fowler found a hole and ran 19 yards down to the Bishop Noll 9-yard line, and Nick Fowler ran it down to the 2-yard line.
Bishop Noll's defense again held tough, and forced a turnover on downs.
On Bishop Noll's last possession, Thrasher ran for a 94-yard touchdown, but it was called back and replayed because a faked handoff was so convincing that a sideline official whistled the play dead when an empty-handed running back was tackled for a loss near the line of scrimmage. A few plays later, however, Thrasher managed to run for 40 yards after executing the exact same play-action fake.