Saints only team left in way of Bishop Carroll's legacy

Bishop Carroll's Josh Hornback (8) & Aquinas' Jacob Leikam (21). (by Brooklyn Bockover & Nick Smith)
By: Mark Schremmer for
Nov 28, 2014

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Through the first 12 games, the Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles defense has played as well if not better than any team in the school’s storied history.

However, none of that will matter if the Eagles are unable to bring home a state championship.

Bishop Carroll (12-0) and St. Thomas Aquinas (9-3) face off in the Class 5A state championship at 1 p.m. Saturday at Pittsburg State University’s Carnie Smith Stadium.

The Eagles enter the game having allowed only 58 points all season. None of those points have been yielded against Carroll’s first-team defense.

“We’ve had some very good defenses since I’ve been here,” Bishop Carroll coach Alan Schuckman said. “I told the kids that they have the opportunity to carry a legacy here, but it can all change on Saturday. I kind of used it to challenge them and put them in that talk to where they could be the best defense in the history of Bishop Carroll.”

Carroll has registered six shutouts this season and is coming off a 49-0 semifinal win over a Salina South team that scored more than 30 points in seven of its 11 previous games.

Senior Samuel Honas is among Carroll’s defensive leaders with nine sacks. Mark Quaney leads the team with four interceptions.

“They have a program,” St. Thomas Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling said. “They’re extremely well coached. They build their players from the bottom up, and they have a lot of kids out for football. It’s very similar to what we had at Hutch. You have kids who put their time in and when they’re seniors, they want to be successful. They want their time on the field.

“Honestly, they don’t have a lot of weaknesses, even when you look at their special teams.”

Offensively, the Eagles are led by senior running back Denzel Goolsby, who has rushed for 1,508 yards and 30 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Colton Howell has passed for almost 1,400 yards while rushing for more than 700.

“Goolsby is really good,” Dreiling said. “There is no doubt, and we have faced really good running backs week in and week out. But I think the key when you’re playing a team like this is that you can’t let their quarterback get his yards on the ground. You can’t let him be a dual threat. While you’re trying to stop their running back, you can’t forget about their quarterback. He makes them go.”

Dreiling, who helped build Hutchinson into a state powerhouse, is in his first season as head coach at Aquinas. In one season, he has taken the Saints from a 3-7 record to a team that is one win away from a state title.

“I see a Randy Dreiling coached team,” Schuckman said. “They’re a team that doesn’t make mistakes, a team that takes advantage of the other team’s mistakes, a team that is very physical and disciplined. It’s exactly what I thought it would be once I turned the tape on.”

The Saints are in this position despite suffering a rash of injuries throughout the season. Leading rusher James Consentino broke his leg in a Week 9 loss to Pittsburg. Aquinas also has lost its right guard, center, linebacker, cornerback, backup running back and slotback for the season.

“We’re not using those as excuses,” Dreiling said. “They’re not excuses. We’re still winning. They’re only excuses if you lose. It’s given a heck of an opportunity for these other guys who we never thought would be starting are all of a sudden starting and playing in playoff games and will be playing in a state championship game.

“I think first and foremost, our guys have stepped up and performed for the guys who have been injured. It’s been their turn and the next guy up as they say.”

The Saints’ flexbone offense is rushing for about 340 yards per game. St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Karter Oderman rushed for four touchdowns during the Saints’ 42-41 win over Shawnee Heights last week.


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