As Joe Bulanda’s game-tying field goal attempt at the end of regulation on Friday fell short, preserving Bishop Luers’ 41-38 victory over rival Bishop Dwenger, several thoughts went through Blitz’s mind.
The Knights are still in the driver’s seat in the SAC.
Despite the two-minute offense lacking much urgency, the Saints had a phenomenal game plan.
And perhaps most importantly, the Battle of the Bishops is THE best rivalry in the SAC, no question.
Yes, it was THAT kind of night at Shields Field, another epic in a showdown that dates back to 1967. There were turnovers (four in the first eight minutes of the game alone), big-time plays (Da’Von Doughty, KJ Tippmann, Brody Glenn…Blitz sees you) and huge moments (Saints converting all three fourth-down tries, including two on final drive).
It was everything that Blitz hoped for as he pulled into the overflow parking at Northwood Middle School across from Shields Field on Friday. The crowd only grew the closer game time got, and even significantly after, to the point that the track surrounding the field was full of Bishop Luers fans who had nowhere else to go, considering for some reason the grassy area on either side of the visiting bleachers was roped off.
By the time the dust cleared, Bishop Luers had made plays when it counted. Carson Clark, who looked off for most of the night as the Bishop Dwenger defensive pressure was able to force him into some questionable throws, connected with Brody Glenn (his fourth TD of the night) with a little under six minutes remaining to put the Knights back in front by three. A missed PAT, the second of the night for Bishop Luers, left the door open for the Saints to tie the game with a field goal.
While the Saints ended up failing to win or tie the game on that ensuing possession, Bishop Dwenger had to be proud of playing its most complete game of the season. Bohde Dickerson looks like the long-term answer at quarterback. His ability to move in the pocket, make throws on the run and scramble for yardage when needed are all great attributes, and he looks more and more comfortable with each passing week. KJ Tippmann was a bruiser per usual, amassing 184 yards and two scores on the ground, while Rocco Ciocca and Jack Tippmann were big time in big moments.
But in the end, the Knights executed when they needed to despite just 64 yards rushing, three turnovers and being outgained by nearly 150 yards overall. Sir Hale was able to move the chains at times in the second half with runs up the middle. Clark was able to find his receivers while on the run as he evaded incessant pressure. And a defense that had been burned at times throughout the course of the game stiffened late.
So Bishop Luers remains atop the SAC at 7-0 and ends a five-game losing streak to its rival in the process. While the Saints were not able to keep its roll going over the Knights, they did play their best game of the season.
For all those that make the case that their rivalry is the best. With all due respect to the Totem Pole, Carroll and Homestead and all of the other showdowns around the region, nothing beats the Battle of the Bishops.
Anybody that experienced last night at Shields Field can heartily agree to that.