Bishop Kelly wasted no time Thursday as Rex Irby broke free for an 80-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and the Knights rolled to a 42-14 win over Vallivue at Bishop Kelly High.
The play set the tone for a dominant night for the Knights (2-0), who racked up 396 yards of offensive — 266 on the ground — and forced eight turnovers.
Bishop Kelly offensive coordinator Chris Martineau noticed Vallive favored a five-man front and pressure up the middle. So he opted to have the speedy Irby take a direct snap out of the Wildcat on the first play of the game and break to the left.
Eighty yards later down the sideline he stood alone in the end zone and the rout was on. But he deflected the credit.
“I’ve got to thank my offensive line,” he said. “Without them, I would have had negative 100 yards. The blocking was great. I got touched one time, so I have to thank my linemen. I didn’t really do anything.”
The Knights’ offensive line dominated from Irby’s opening snap to the final play, allowing Bishop Kelly to cycle through its full stable of running backs and average 6.6 yards per carry.
Irby finished with 103 yards on seven carries. Luke Burley ran for 73 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. And Ivan Torrez finished with 57 yards and a TD on 14 carries.
“We do have a lot of kids,” Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said. “But you’ve got to give a lot of credit to that offensive line and those fullbacks. Jonny Baumgardner, you watch him block, and Jake (Jorgensen) and Ben (Hruby), they were unbelieveable.”
That domination in the trenches extended to the defensive side as well, where Bishop Kelly shut down Vallivue’s double-wing running game — 73 yards on 37 carries — and forced it to become one-dimensional. And with the Falcons limited to the air, the Knights’ defensive line pinned its ears back and pressured Vallivue quarterback Colton Yasinski into throwing lofted balls from his back foot and into six interceptions. Backup Parker Williams also threw an interception.
“We’ve practiced this in practice,” said junior Vince Sengelmann, who intercepted two passes. “It’s instinct to go up and get the ball. That’s what we did.”
Vallivue only mounted one serious threat when Kade Linder hauled in a 3-yard TD pass on 4th-and-goal early in the second quarter to pull within eight points. Linder finished the first half with 10 catches for 116 yards, but Bishop Kelly held him without a catch in the second half.
Three plays later, Sengelmann sprinted past his defender, Bronson King delivered a perfectly placed rainbow and Sengelmann slipped an ankle tackle for a 67-yard TD catch to restore a two-touchdown lead.
Vallivue never got any closer the rest of the night.