In the first Battle of the Bishops played at Shields Field, Class 5A No. 5 Bishop Dwenger notched a new first in its long-standing rivalry with Bishop Luers – invoking the mercy rule and a second-half running clock against the Knights.
Quarterback Brenden Lytle threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns by halftime in the Saints' 47-0 victory over Bishop Luers Friday. Dwenger, which led 40-0 at halftime, claimed its fourth straight victory in the annual matchup of the SAC's two Catholic schools. After winning the past two games in the series by a combined three points, the ease in which the Saints posted scores and amassed passing stats caught Lytle off guard.
“That's a shock to me,” Lytle said. “We just came out ready to play, and our receivers put on a show.”
And it started from the outset. On the game's first offensive play, Lytle hit Michael Ledo Jr. in stride for a 67-yard touchdown pass. While a penalty negated the score, the reception set the tone for the night. Ledo caught three other passes in the first quarter alone, good for 89 yards.
“I've never seen anyone run a route like (Ledo),” Lytle said. “With his speed, he just gets open and I throw it to him.”
While the Saints (6-1, 6-1 SAC) connected for huge gains seemingly at will, their three-man defensive line perhaps impressed even more. Luers' offensive front struggled mightily to protect Carson Clark in his first career start, as the hosts' defense forced the sophomore into several hurried throws and two interceptions.
“Those are some solid seniors in there that are doing a great job,” Dwenger coach Jason Garrett said. “A lot of those guys had experience last year, and Coach (Casey) Kolkman, our scheme, those are things we pride ourselves on. Everything starts with defense, and you see when those guys up front do their job and win in the trenches, then good things happen.”
When Clark found time, he did show glimpses of what earned him the starting nod in the rivalry game, primarily connecting with Luers speedster Jamic Johnson.
“We've been wanting to get the ball in Clark's hand,” Johnson said. “He's a playmaker, and he knows I'm a playmaker. Once that happens, there's no one that can stop us.”
Leading 12-0 after one quarter, the Saints exploded for four second-quarter touchdowns against the Knights (1-6, 1-6). Patrick Finley, Hayden Ellinger and Devon Tippmann ran for scores, and Finley's 56-yard touchdown catch with 11.8 seconds to go before halftime pushed Dwenger's lead to 40-0, triggering a second-half running clock.
“It was a great game plan,” Garrett said. “Coach (Mark) Watts and our offensive staff, we saw some things that we thought we had an advantage in some of the matchups. You're happy when the plan is fulfilled.”
Notes: Dwenger improved to 33-25 all-time against Luers ... The Saints' 47-point victory margin stands as the most lopsided score in the series since a 62-0 Dwenger victory in 2009 ... The teams combined for six first-half turnovers.