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Football

Bishop Diego Throttles Carpinteria in ‘Little Big Game,’ 55-0

Junior running back Evan McKeegan scored three touchdowns and was named Player of the Game

Junior Evan McKeegan stiff-arms a defender and dashes for the end zone on one of his two 48-yard touchdown catches. Click to view larger
Junior Evan McKeegan stiff-arms a defender and dashes for the end zone on one of his two 48-yard touchdown catches. (Christian Eckert/ Noozhawk Photo)

Bishop Diego was firing on all cylinders in a Friday night rout of Carpinteria High in the annual "Little Big Game" rivalry matchup. The Cardinals put up 55 points, scoring a touchdown on every drive but their first; and held Carpinteria scoreless. 

Bishop got off to a hot start, with star running back John Harris taking a carry 50 yards for the touchdown on the Cardinal's second drive of the game. Harris completed the game with four carries for 58 yards and the touchdown.

After a quick stop, Bishop drove 65 yards in three plays, as senior quarterback David Gladish found junior Isaiah Veal near the left sideline for a 21-yard touchdown pass and catch.

Gladish had by far his most efficient game of the year, completing four passes on four attempts for 123 yards and three touchdowns.

From there, it became junior running back Evan McKeegan's game. McKeegan scored a touchdown on the next three Bishop drives: one 83 yard run and two 48 yard receptions from Gladish. A 76-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Chris Jablonka made the score 42-0 at halftime. 

Evan McKeegan was named Player of the Game after his breakout performance. Click to view larger
Evan McKeegan was named Player of the Game after his breakout performance. (Christian Eckert/ Noozhawk Photo)

McKeegan had been injured since week two with a high ankle sprain. It certainly didn't show Friday night, as he was named Player of the Game and presented the GI Forum Trophy after the game.

"It feels amazing to come back in this way," said McKeegan. "It's a great rivalry and I've always wanted this trophy."

A 48-yard touchdown run by Mark Soracco and a 78-yarder by Tommy Murillo rounded out the scoring for Bishop. 

Carpinteria was led offensively by Jacob Garside, who notched 39 rushing yards on the night. Quarterback Mikey Garibay added 27 yards passing and Terrell Richardson hauled in two catches for 29 yards.

Bishop's defense was simply impenetrable, holding the Warriors to 81 yards on the game and forcing 9 punts. Senior Michael Agnoli was a defensive presence, as was Jablonka.

The rivalry between the two teams dates back to 1946. This year, Carpinteria moved to the Frontier League, and while it is no longer a league matchup, the rivalry was still tangible Friday night.

Bishop Diego’s Tyler Green bears down on Carpinteria quarterback Vance Keiser. Click to view larger
Bishop Diego’s Tyler Green bears down on Carpinteria quarterback Vance Keiser. (Javier Delarosa)

"We know that any time we play Carpinteria it's going to be a hard-fought contest," said Bishop head coach Tom Crawford. "You never know what might happen. Teams really get up for playing one another and they play hard. Any time you can beat your rival, you've got to enjoy that moment."

The offensive break out was a welcome sign for coach Crawford after Bishop was shut out last week against Santa Fe Christian. 

"Last week we had four trips inside the red zone with no points," commented Crawford. "The last couple games we were uncharacteristic in terms of the amount of mistakes we made. I hope the guys understand that it's in our control in terms of executing fundamentally and if you can do that, you're going to be OK."

With the victory, Bishop improved to 4-2 on the season and hosts Fillmore next Friday for Homecoming.

Carpinteria fell to 1-4 and plays next week at Santa Paula.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A Bishop defender dives on a fumble in the second quarter. Click to view larger
A Bishop defender dives on a fumble in the second quarter. (Christian Eckert/ Noozhawk Photo)

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