MARPLE — There were 8 minutes and 18 seconds left in the game when wide receiver Dominic Busby pulled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aiden Gilman to get Seton Hall Prep within 13 points of Archbishop Carroll Friday afternoon.
That score touched off a wild celebration on the visiting sideline and gave the Pirates life.
Center Patrick Griswold and left tackle Kevin Cone, the only seniors on Carroll’s offensive line, saw Seton Hall whooping it up and quickly called the rest of the offensive line together for a little pep talk.
“We told them that we came out in the second half ahead, but now they were back in it,” Griswold said. “We can’t take our foot off the gas pedal.”
“We have to be the leaders,” Cone added. “We have to keep going.”
It was the kind of leadership you expect from seniors and the boost the Patriots desperately needed.
With the offensive line leading the way, Carroll scored on each of its next two possessions. More importantly, the Patriots chewed 7:59 off the clock to grind out a 54-28 nonleague win over the Pirates in the first game of the Philly-North Jersey challenge.
Carroll (2-0) threw one pass in its last 13 plays, and drove 80 and 87 yards, respectively, to put the Pirates away.
“That was the plan,” Carroll coach Kyle Detweiler said. “I didn’t want to give the ball back to that team. Their quarterback is as good as any we’ve seen and we wanted to control the clock and keep the ball out of his hands.”
Detweiler wanted to keep the ball in the hands of an offense that produced 647 total yards, 459 of which came on the ground and nearly produced three 100-yard rushers. The engineer of that offense, which averaged 11.76 yards per play, was quarterback Russell Minor-Shaw.
The stocky 6-0, 225-pound junior put on quite a show. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball 11 times for 64 yards and another score to overshadow the 260-yard, two-touchdown effort by Gilman.
“The coaches made good calls and I made the right reads,” Minor-Shaw said modestly. The coaches put me in a position to be successful.”
“The first time he took a snap out of the shotgun was in May,” Detweiler said of Minor-Shaw. “He’s getting more and more comfortable back there and continues to improve every week. And we’re keeping the menu tight with him and keeping the reads simple, but he’s doing a great job.”
It helps that Minor-Shaw has a lot of weapons at his disposal and the Patriots used every one Friday. Joshua Bowman carried the ball 11 times for 141 yards and kicked off the scoring with a 75-yard TD run on the third play from scrimmage.
Raphael Manning had 10 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. Brennan Robinson scored three times, once through the air and twice on the ground, and finished with 95 yards rushing and 21 receiving. Koran Butler pulled in four passes for 116 yards and one touchdown.
“We have a lot of guys with speed, especially at receiver,” Minor-Shaw said. “I know I can throw it up there and they’re going to go and get it.”
In the end, though, it all came down to the big guys up front and the line delivered.
“He was on today,” Griswold said. “He did everything. I have to give it all to Russ and all the guys on the offense. They really played their best today.”
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