For years the Archbishop Carroll Lions mantra has been “Restore the Roar”. A homecoming victory over WCAC rival Bishop McNamara on Saturday will prove they’re on the right track.
Once one of the prominent programs in the region, the Lions have failed to meet their on-field expectations for a majority of the past two decades. A school that at one point rivaled Dematha for DMV football royalty, hasn’t had a winning season since going 6-4 in 2010.
Insert head coach and Carroll alum, Robert Harris.
“Being a graduate in the class of '91, it was always about building a community and winning culture,” Harris said. “We’ve been trying to bring that back for the last five years and I think this group here epitomizes what we’ve been looking for”.
The Lions are off to a 4-1 start, including three consecutive victories over DCSAA foes. Riding a potent rushing attack and stingy defense, the combined score of those contests was 118-18.
The WCAC’s Bishop McNamara is a step up in competition. Predicated by the potency of a high octane offense, the Mustangs averaged 45 points per game in their 3 victories this season.
Junior running back Tyvon Edmonds has rushed for 393 yards and eight touchdowns, while senior wideout Kenneth Womack has notched 17 catches for 339 yards and three scores of his own.
If Carroll is to continue its hot start, they’ll need to find a way to slow the Mustangs’ offense.
“McNamara is a rival, they’re a great team,” Harris said. “We’ve been gridin’ and looking to improve weekly in preparation for this game”.
One of the Lions' greatest improvements is on the defensive side of the ball. In 2018, Carroll allowed over 30 points a game. This season, defensive coordinator Derian Quicks’ unit is playing as one.
“The guys are playing faster because we have kept it simple,” Quick said, “our underclassmen are performing on a high level with our seniors leading the way”.
After recording a shutout at Ballou last weekend, the Lions have relented only 12 points in their last 10 quarters of play. One of those seniors, Caleb Mungo has registered 4.5 sacks. Against Bishop McNamara, leading tacklers Jeremiah Arbertha and Shon Reid will lead the way in attempting to corral the Mustangs’ playmakers.
On the offensive side of the ball, Carroll's success starts with its’ strong offensive line, anchored by five-star Oklahoma commit, Anton Harrison. The Lions rush for 227 yards a game, led by sophomore Elijah Solomon, who has run for over 100 in each, totaling 493 — while senior Lorenzo Green has added 336 yards and eight scores. The big-play passing threat of Jordan Harris-to-Tauriaj Broussard will make it difficult for McNamara to stack the box.
With a victory on Saturday, Archbishop Carroll Lions will ensure their first .500 season since 2015 and in doing so, make themselves eligible for the DCSAA playoffs. Furthermore, a win over WCAC rival Bishop McNamara will bring them one step closer to restoring the roar.
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