RADNOR >> The loud echo of helmets hitting against the Archbishop Carroll benches could be heard by all in attendance. In a game in which the outcome was decided early, the Patriots’ frustration was apparent and the outcome was more about “character” than points.
Behind quarterback Jack Colyar’s three touchdowns and running back Nasir Peoples’ punt return for touchdown, Archbishop Wood cruised to a 49-7 Philadelphia Catholic League victory over Archbishop Carroll.
The Vikings scored five consecutive touchdowns in the first half, way more than what they’d need to lock up the win. Colyar threw for 132 yards and two touchdowns while also adding one on a quarterback sneak. Peoples ran for 49 yards and a score as well as his 70-yard punt return to the house. The look of disgust on the faces of the Patriots described exactly how the first half had gone and head coach Dan Connor stressed how there was more to this game than the scoreboard.
“We made every mistake possible in the first half,” Connor said. “When you make mistakes against a good team in a pressure-packed game like Homecoming, you can’t let the pressure affect you negatively. The halftime talk was a gut check to the team.”
Even after Wood (6-2, 4-1 PCL Red) came out and scored again to begin the half, Carroll (2-6, 0-5) tried to make the Vikings earn it on a nine-play drive. On the Patriots’ ensuing possession, their playmaking halfback provided a spark.
Dahmir Ruffin took a swing pass from Kamal Gray (115 passing yards) and turned it into a 71-yard score. Ruffin finished the game with 93 receiving yards and his quarterback noted how his teammate consistently makes plays like that.
“Some of the things he does I’ve never seen done before,” Gray said. “He’s a great player and friend since we were young. He’s always been a leader and a playmaker.”
Connor has also come to expect plays like that from Ruffin.
“(Dahmir) is the guy that all of the others look up to,” Connor said. “He’s our star player and has proven it two years in a row.”
The Patriots picked up three first downs on their final drive, all coming through the air from Gray and showing character. Those loud echoes of helmets at least transitioned to clapping and pats on the back.
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