CONSHOHOCKEN — Bonner-Prendergast coach Greg Bernhardt never defers after winning the coin toss, and yet, he did Friday night. He was anxious to put his defense on the field to see how a week of preparation for Archbishop Carroll would play out. First throw of the game, Mike Ockmiey snagged his second pick in as many games and put Bonner Prendie on the board.
It didn't end there, however, in the next two possessions by Carroll, junior quarterback Sean McMorran threw another pick and had a three-and-out. Bonner returned the favor by marching down the field with 10 plays and 72 yards for another score.
Bonner set the ground on fire and runs over Carroll en rote to a 42-20 victory.
"That was the first time in 14 years that I deferred the kick. I wanted put our defense out there first and I wanted them to have a good game, and they did,' Bernhardt said.
However, as happy as Bernhardt was with his team's performance, he was equally concerned.
With his third interception under his belt into the second quarter, McMorran got the run game going. Using the tandem of 6-2, 215-pound running back Austin Tilghman and junior back Shawn Springs, Carroll started to punch holes in Bonner's defense. Down two scores with less than six minutes left in the first half, the Patriots used eight plays and went 99 yards to put seven points on the board.
"We made some good plays in the first half and we stuck around,' said Carroll coach Joe Powell. "We felt pretty good at halftime.'
"We had a chance to go up 21-0 here, and we didn't punch it in,' Bernhardt said.
The score at the half was 14-7. It didn't stay that way for long.
The first of two incredible kickoff returns by Friars' Kyle Dawson put them at the 50-yard line to start their drive and they made Carroll pay.
Rickey Wilson Jr., once an Archbishop Carroll player who transferred to Bonner-Prendie in his sophomore year, had his coming out party Friday night back on his old turf. Running for 184 yards and three touchdowns, Wilson was the backup running back just last week, and moved into the starting position because of injury. Carroll couldn't put a tackle on him; even in situations where he seemed locked up tight, he'd work free and tack on a few more yards.
"We had a great practice throughout the whole week, and I knew I was going to get my chance,' Wilson said. "It was fun, my offensive line was blocking for me and I was just running hard.'
Wilson had four carries for 26 yards and Tyler Higgins capped off the drive with a 15-yard catch for a touchdown.
"Rickey's a hard worker, he's low to the ground and keeps his legs moving,' said Carroll's Powell of his former player. "To his credit he broke a lot of tackles and made a lot of plays.'
Two possessions later, the Patriots went 58 yards for a touchdown and the score was 21-14 in favor of the Friars and it seemed like a game. But Dawson came back to bite them on the return again, taking the ball 90 yards to extend Bonner-Prendie's lead to two scores once again, 28-14, and the Friars would only extend it from there.
Wilson Jr. scored on the Friars' next two possessions on a 38-yard run and a 7-yard punch-in to put Bonner up 42-14 with nothing more than garbage time left on the clock.
Carroll, which had come back to beat Radnor in week one after being down, didn't have a repeat in week two. Quarterback McMorran was 4-for-12 for 65 yards with 5 interceptions.
"He was trying to make plays and he threw some bad balls that amounted to picks,' Powell said. "He's a first-year starter, he's a young kid, he's a junior, and he's going to get better.
"We have all the confidence in the world in what he's doing running our offense.'