DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
The Roncalli High School football team was missing three of its better run-stoppers because of injuries.
That spelled disaster as Bishop Chatard’s Gabe Coleman carried the ball 38 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns as the Class 3A No. 1 Trojans downed Class 4A No. 5 Roncalli 31-8 at Lawrence Central on Saturday night.
The game was postponed Friday night because of lightning.
“There is no doubt they dominated the line of scrimmage,” Roncalli coach Bruce Scifres said. “We had five starters not dress, and three of our better run stoppers on our defensive line. They dominated up front all night long.’’
The three defensive line starters out were Tyler Lucas, Will English and Luke Mullen.
“I sure hope so,” said Scifres on whether the linemen might be back soon. “We need them.”
The Rebels (1-2) also were hurt by losing two fumbles and an interception.
“You can not have turnovers like that against a team that is (as) physically dominant as they are,” Scifres said. “They’re going to run it right down your throat. We had some key penalties, too. Any mistakes like that, you pay for.
“We dug a hole for ourselves and couldn’t get out it.”
Chatard (3-0) raced to 14-0 lead with touchdown runs of 27 and 33 by Coleman in the first quarter.
“He’s a workhorse,” Trojans coach Vince Lorenzano said. “We’ve got some good backs. The line came together. We were missing two starters. These kids are resilient and tough kids.”
The Trojans added a 7-yard touchdown pass from Lewis Dilts to Matthew Adkins just before halftime to take a 21-0 lead. Chatard added a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter. For the game, Dilts completed 4 of 7 passes for 55 yards.
Roncalli finally scored to cut the deficit to 24-8 on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Strader to Will Harris. Nate Fries ran for the two-point conversion. Strader completed 18 of 28 passes for 166 yards. Fries was the Rebels’ leading rusher with 32 yard on nine attempts.
Following Roncalli’s touchdown, Chatard went on a time-consuming drive capped by Dilts’ 3-yard scoring run. The Trojans held a more than 6-minute edge in time of possession in the second half.
“That’s something we always like to do, it’s important to us,” Lorenzano said of leading time of possession. “It will bode well for us later on. We’ve played three tough teams (Lawrence Central and Brebeuf) and we’ve got another one (Cathedral) coming at us (on Friday).”
The Rebels host Plainfield (2-1) on Friday night.
“Plainfield is big and physical, so we have our work cut out for us,” Scifres said.
The Rebels lead the all-time series 34-21 and haven’t beaten the Trojans in a regular-season game since 2010. The Rebels knocked off Chatard 31-6 in the Class 4A sectional last year. Chatard returns to Class 3A after a two-year stint in Class 4A because of the IHSAA success factor system.