O'Connell quarterback

Bishop O'Connell quarterback Gus Bayer waits for the snap from center. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

The highlight of the Bishop O'Connell Knights' lopsided 45-7 loss to the visiting Bishop Ireton Cardinals on March 20 was an efficient 55-yard scoring drive late in the second quarter.

The six-play march was capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Gus Bayer to Jack Perkins, then Cole Jackson's extra point. That cut Ireton's lead to 13-7, which stood at halftime and the drive swung the momentum in O'Connell's favor in what was the opening game for both high-school football teams.

Bayer was 4 for 4 passing on the drive, including a 33-yarder to Robert Root.

Any emotional edge O'Connell gained quickly evaporated in the third quarter when Ireton scored two quick touchdowns and totaled 20 points in the period to take control.

Other than that scoring drive, O'Connell produced little other offense. Bayer was 11 of 23 passing for 91 yards, but the Knights had negative yards rushing because of multiple sacks.

Perkins had six catches for 53 yards and Root three for 42. Justin Joyner had nine yards rushing but did not play in the second half because of a hand injury. Perkins had 68 yards in kick returns.

On defense for O'Connell, Regan McCallister, Durate Alves and Jai Thompson had tackles for losses, Paris Patterson deflected a pass and Joseph Mahoney had a sack and broke up a pass.

O'Connell has three more games scheduled in a delayed and shortened season because of the pandemic.

"We have 11 seniors, so they are very excited to be doing what they love as well as the other players," O'Connell coach Ken Lucas said. "This short season is a great chance to evaluate the players and to develop young players for what we hope is a full season coming this fall. That's how we are using the games and practices."

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