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Bishop levels the Knights

November 12, 2012

The Broncos’ magic trick: Carl Olsen (11) to Curran Simpson (foreground) continues to surprise opponents and gain TDs or at least massive yardage.Photo by Greg Lippincott

No surprise. The Bishop Broncos destroyed the Desert Christian Knights, 49-7, in round one of the CIF football playoffs.
The Broncos’ offense was nothing short of spectacular, scoring 5 touchdowns in 10 plays, four in the first half, the fifth in the first 65 minutes of the second.
The Knights, who finished second in the Desert Mountain League behind the juggernaut that is Boron, have some big running backs but only one made it into the end zone. Bishop’s defense may not match up in sheer mass, but they’re fast and honed in on Josh Kay, Kurt Jolin and Steve Horner like proverbial heat-seeking missiles.
Bishop beat Desert Christian in pre-league, 47-27. Add in this defeat and Bishop is 2-1 over the last year. Unfortunately, that one Knight win knocked the Broncos out of the 2011 playoffs.
Now, it’s on to round two, a road trip to Los Angeles to take on the number-four seeded Salesian Mustangs who beat San Juan Capistrano 74-7. The Mustangs are 10-1 and odds are they won’t roll over and play dead for the Broncos.
Speaking of playing dead, the Knights bore an eerie similarity to the Rosamond Roadrunners: no passing game, not much kicking going on either. The Knights’ tendency to gift Bishop with great field position on turnovers on downs kept coming back to bite them, over and over again.
Desert Christian started near midfield with a strong kick return by Horner. The Knights gained 6 yards in four plays, suffered a 3-yard loss on a David Tanksley sack. The fourth down conversion backfired and Bishop started it’s brief drive at mid-field.
Quarterback Kyle Batchelder handed off to Ryan Devore who sprinted into the end zone for Bishop’s first TD. One play, one score, 7-0.
The Knights battled their way to Bishop’s 24 after starting on their own 38-yard line. The journey took close to five minutes as Roman Amisone, Batchelder, Drake Trimbell and Tanksley dragged down Desert Christian rushers. On fourth-and-seven, Knight QB Luke Nelson threw an incomplete pass and Bishop regained possession on its own 31.
Carl Olsen came onto the field for the first play of this 69-yard drive; Broncos fans knew what was coming. Batchelder to Olsen who let fly a perfect spiral to Curran Simpson. Simpson went 63 yards before being dragged down at the 6. Dustin Waasdorp rushed for the final 6 to put Bishop ahead 14-0 three plays, 2 TDs.
Back came the Knights’ offense for another slamfest that ate the final four-plus minutes off the quarter and dragged into the second.
Desert Christian had slogged from its own 21 to Bishop’s 6 before the wheels came off the drive. Jolin fumbled, Bishop recovered and started its next adventure deep in its own territory.
Bishop finally gave spectators a longer look at its offense: all of five plays. Devore got the hand-off on the first play and would have gone the distance if not for Horner. From near midfield, Noah Stevens rushed for 6; a well-blocked Devore advanced the ball to the Knights’ 26. Cam White made it to the 15 on a pass reception and Stevens finished it off with a TD. Eight plays, 3 TDs, Bishop ahead 21-0.
The Broncos gave the Knights a break on their next possession. At fourth-and-9, Desert Christian went for a punt. A roughing-the-kicker penalty against Bishop gave the Knights a first just inside Bishop territory, but to no avail. A pass play from Bishop’s 31 was intercepted by Olsen who ran back to the Knights’ 45. From there Devore got the hand-off, bounced through the Knights’ defense like a pinball and into the end zone. Nine plays, 4 TDs for a 28-0 lead.
Bishop was on the receiving end to start the second half. Stevens ran the ball to Bishop’s 31. A well-blocked Devore went the distance for Bishop’s fifth TD in 10 plays for a 35-0 lead.
The Knights took 11 plays to send Kay into the end zone for their lone TD, taking only a nibble out of Bishop’s lead at 35-7.
Bishop answered quickly. From near midfield, Batchelder connected with Cy Scott for a 15-yard gain. A quick pass to Devore, a 44-yard run and Bishop took a 41-7 lead. Chris Frohreich had been perfect on points-after. He missed the PAT but an encroachment penalty against Desert Christian gave him the Mulligan and the chance to maintain a perfect PAT record. Bishop led 42-7.
By the fourth quarter, the clock was running and coach Bill Egan had gone to his bench that now included players called up from the High Desert League champion JV team.
Roland McClean scored Bishop’s final TD from the Knights’ 24. Bishop led 49-7 with more than seven minutes left in the game.
The Knights went four and punted. The Broncos ate up the final four minutes on the clock and now turn their attention to the Mustangs.

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