No. 2 Cavaliers get first complete game, tops Florida’s Bishop Moore; Venerable rushes for 167 (VIDEO HERE!!)

by Donald Daniels

There was a sense of relief after final whistle sounded in Archbishop Spalding High’s 41-18 win over Florida’s Bishop Moore.

Unable to get in games with Virginia’s Benedictine College Prep (game cancelled due to thunderstorms) and Good Counsel (game stopped in fourth quarter because of lightning and ruled no contest), being able to play a full game was victory in itself for the second-ranked Cavaliers (1-0 overall).

“It felt good to play a game where we could play all four quarters, we played hard, battle through a little bit of adversity and you have to give credit to Bishop Moore, they didn’t fly all the up here to lose and they played us tough to the end,” Spalding coach Kyle Schmidt said.

Last year, the Cavaliers’ match with Bishop Moore was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. This year’s match was in doubt at the start of week as Hurricane Florence was projected to hit Maryland and a state of emergency was declared by Gov. Larry Hogan.

The game was a go by Wednesday with Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolinas and parts of Virginia and Georgia. The only affect of the massive storm at Whittles Field in Severn Friday evening was some light rain.

Sophomore running back Jayon Venerable had 167 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries for Spalding.  The Cavaliers defense posted five sacks, six tackles for a loss and a blocked punt.

Spalding struggled early offensively, going three-and-out on its first drive, and Bishop Moore defensive back Channing Stotts intercepted Austin Tutas on the Cavaliers’ next possession. The Orlando school took advantage with Dylan Brazil’s 55-yard reception, setting up a 24-yard field goal from Kyle Garson.

The Cavaliers got into rhythm as Venerable capped off a three play drive, bursting up the middle and bouncing off several Hornet defenders with 60-yard touchdown run.

“Jayon has home run ability and it is enticing to the get the ball in his hands,” Schmitt said. “It was huge that he was able to keep his balance and score and that play really jump started us.”

“I just fighting to keep my balance after the first few hits, but once I saw the end zone I just wanted to score,” Venerable said.

Spalding’s defense forced a three-and-out, and senior Jordan Best blocked the punt, giving the Cavaliers the ball at the Hornets’ 22-yard line. On the next play, Tutas delivered a strike to Chris Clark for a 22-yard touchdown reception, pushing the lead to 13-3.

Venerable got his second score – a 17-yard run down the right sideline – giving the Cavaliers a 20-3 advantage with two minutes left in the half. Bishop Moore gained some momentum before halftime as Bryce McGill hit a streaking Brazil (eight receptions for 128 yards) for a 65-yard touchdown with 1:15 left in the half.

The Cavaliers pulled away in the second half with a Tutas 17-yard scoring throw to Will Sherwood and Venerable’s five-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Senior quarterback Jayden Umbarger, who committed to Navy, added a one-yard plunge in the fourth.

Tutas, a sophomore, went 16-of-30 for 178 yards (24 yards rushing) and two scores as Spalding compiled 439 yards, but had three interceptions and lost a fumble.

“You could tell that we were playing our first full game, it was messy at times and we will clean that up, but I am really impressed with the guys because I know that they were frustrated that they didn’t play a full game,” said Schmitt. “I am very happy with the effort and to get a W in the left hand column.”

No. 2 Archbishop Spalding 41, Bishop Moore (FL) 18

Bishop Moore 0 10 0 8 – 18

Spalding 0 20 14 7 – 41

Second quarter

Moore – Kyle Garzon 24 field goal

Spalding – Jayon Venerable 60 run (Valez-Marrero kick)

Spalding – Chris Clark 22 pass from Austin Tutas (kick failed)

Spalding – Venerable 17 run  (Valez-Marrero kick)

Moore – Dylan Brazil 65 pass from McGill (Garzon kick)

Third quarter

Spalding – Sherwood 17 pass from Tutas (Valez-Marrero kick)

Spalding – Venerable 5 run (Valez-Marrero kick)

Fourth quarter

Moore – Crankfield 4 run (Crankfield run)

Spalding – Umbarger 1 run (Green kick)