WARMINSTER >> It took 45 minutes Friday night for Archbishop Carroll to put together something — or really anything, for that matter — that resembled an effective offensive drive.
Then the Patriots scored a touchdown. And then another.
“It’s what we needed,” said Carroll wide receiver Khadir Roberts. “For our guys, it’s important that they go into practice next week with a little bit of a good feeling.”
Sure, Carroll’s offensive contributions came in the waning minutes of a 39-14 loss to Archbishop Wood at William Tennent High School. To first-year coach Dan Connor, who gave a subtle fist-pump at the final whistle, the timing of those touchdowns made no difference.
The same couldn’t be said for Wood’s bench. Players on the Vikings’ sideline looked morose after Roberts hauled in a 73-yard touchdown reception with 2:30 to play, and then a 30-yarder less than 80 seconds later.
“I think (the Patriots) are a young team, and you could see how hungry they were to get something going at the end,” said Wood quarterback Jack Colyar, who had three passing touchdowns to go with 162 yards through the air. “You have to give them credit. That’s what they were playing for, and they got it done.”
For three quarters, Archbishop Carroll (0-8 overall, 0-5 league) had no answer for Colyar and Archbishop Wood (5-2-1, 4-1).
The Vikings used their trademark no-huddle offense, buoyed by Colyar under center, to push around the green Patriots. Nasir Peoples and Shawn Thompson scored on 13- and 12-yard runs on Wood’s first drives to provide an early lift, and Mark Webb’s 64-yard catch-and-run connection with Colyar capped a productive first quarter for the hosts.
At halftime, Wood had gone 6 for 6 on third-down conversions and took a 32-0 lead into the locker room. That’s when Connor reminded his Patriots to focus on the intangibles. In the second quarter, Connor removed one of his players for committing a dead-ball, personal-foul penalty. He coached them against having conversations with officials.
“The little things are everything,” said Carroll quarterback Stephen Honick. “Because if you forget to do them, one thing becomes two things, and it spirals out of control. We have to keep focused like we did in the fourth quarter.”
Pinned at their 27-yard line, the Patriots counted on focus to prevent their first shutout of the season. Honick heaved a second-down pass toward midfield, where Roberts beat a Wood defender to a tip-drill ball, and then raced half the length of the field to put Carroll on the board.
“The ball just slowed down in midair,” Roberts said, laughing.
On Wood’s next play, Carroll defensive lineman Derrick Brown forced and recovered a fumble to set up Roberts’ second touchdown, on a beautifully executed wheel route.
“The momentum at the end of the game, and really the entire second half, was big,” Connor said. “You have to take something from this game. (Wood) is one of the best teams in the state, and probably could be a nationally ranked team.
“We were able to put two scores up, get a stop defensively, and that’s how we can keep building.”