For the Daily Journal
Roncalli’s offense didn’t need to operate with pinpoint precision to win Friday’s homecoming game against visiting Brebeuf, but the Rebels did anyway in the first half, when the outcome was still in doubt.
Quarterback Conner Gore completed his first seven passes, Class 5A No. 1 Roncalli converted its first eight third-down tries and the Rebels scored on each of their first five possessions en route to a 45-18 Circle City Conference victory.
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The win was Roncalli’s 21st straight, dating to the start of the 2016 season, and improved the Rebels to 6-0 this season overall and 2-0 in conference play. Brebeuf fell to 2-4 and 0-2.
Gore completed 16 of 19 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns. He deliberately threw away one of his incompletions, and another was a wide-open drop in the end zone.
“(Gore) threw some absolute bullets on third down,” Roncalli coach Scott Marsh said. “He had to put the ball in some tight spaces, and the running game and the offensive line did a great job as well.”
Gore completed passes to six different receivers. Michael Dill caught five passes for 60 yards and was the recipient of a few of those third-down conversions. Jacob Luedeman (four catches, 42 yards) and Hayden Moran (three catches, 31 yards) each caught Gore touchdown passes.
The Rebels’ defense didn’t allow Brebeuf a third-down conversion in nine tries, and registered three interceptions and five sacks. Ethan Newett hauled in two of those interceptions, and Roncalli converted both into touchdowns.
The Rebels built their lead to 45-7 late in the third quarter before they began inserting second-team players.
“We got pressure, and got them in a lot of second- and third-and-longs,” Marsh said of Roncalli’s defense. “We’ve got an emotionally mature group of kids. They know how to have fun, but they know when to flip the switch.”
Roncalli plays next Friday at Fishers.