High School Sports

Sacred Heart squeaks past St. Patrick for bragging rights in Bishop family

St. Patrick's Robert Starks scored on an 8-yard touchdown reception against Sacred Heart.
St. Patrick's Robert Starks scored on an 8-yard touchdown reception against Sacred Heart. Pine Belt Sports

This game meant a little more than just a non-district game for the Bishop family of Sacred Heart and St. Patrick. Bragging rights were on the line.

It was Joseph Bishop and his Crusaders who got the last laugh, though, beating the Fighting Irish 21-14 to snap a two-game skid.

“There was a little smack talk here and there,” Sacred Heart’s Joseph Bishop said about conversations with his cousin, St. Patrick quarterback Carson Bishop. “They were talking a little smack, just texting-wise, and it was nice to stick it to them a little bit.”

The game didn’t just end in Sacred Heart’s favor, Joseph Bishop picked off Carson Bishop with less than 30 seconds left in the game to seal the win. The Irish had a chance for a late-game comeback, but Joseph Bishop made sure it didn’t happen.

“I’ll talk to him about it at all of the family dinners,” Joseph Bishop said. “I’m not going to let that one go.”

Despite the close finish, Sacred Heart held the 21-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter. After a huge third-and-20 conversion from Crusader quarterback Zach Weatherell to Paul Rowell that went for a 72-yard score, St. Patrick needed a touchdown, a defensive stop and another touchdown to force overtime.

Prior to Weatherell’s touchdown pass, he was struggling. Sacred Heart could have ran the ball and burned some clock, but the Crusaders rolled the dice on their playmakers. Sacred Heart coach Lonny Schraeder gave all of the credit to offensive coordinator Drew Dewease.

“You have to put the ball in your playmaker’s hands, and I credit Drew Dewease,” Schraeder said. “He’s my offensive coordinator, and he does a fantastic job. Like I said, we have to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers, and that’s what we did.”

On the ensuing possession for St. Patrick, it went against its offensive strategy to engineer a scoring drive. Instead of calling run plays, the Irish used five passing plays on their 12-play, 72-yard drive. Carson Bishop completed passes of 16, 11, 12, 7 and 8, with the latter for a touchdown to make it a 21-14 game.

Sacred Heart started its next drive with 1:44 left on the clock and already in St. Patrick territory, thanks to Joseph Bishop’s efforts on the kickoff return. Two plays later, the Irish came up with an interception with 47 seconds left in the game.

“We gave ourselves a chance,” St. Patrick coach Jim Bloomfield said. “We had a chance to win the game. We came back after getting down 21-7 to score and make it a one-score game. We have some things we can learn from.”

Known for its rushing attack, St. Patrick was met at the line of scrimmage by the Crusaders’ defensive line all game. Coming in to the game averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground, the Irish only had 57 rushing yards Friday night.

“I thought their defensive front really gave us problems,” Bloomfield said. “They took us away from what we really wanted to do, which is to run the triple option, veer, mid-line and that kind of thing.”

Instead of St. Patrick’s ground game being the story of the night, it was Sacred Heart’s Campbell Klein who stole the show. He rushed for 238 yards and scored twice on 22 carries. He rushed for 131 yards in the first half, then added 107 yards in the second before leaving with an injury midway through the fourth quarter.

“Our offensive line did a great job picking up blocks, and the holes were just there tonight.” Klein said.

After Carson Bishop put St. Patrick up 7-0 with a 1-yard quarterback sneak, Klein’s first score in the ballgame came minutes later in the second quarter. Klein took the second snap of the drive for a 10-yard gain, then added rushes of 6 and 17 yards before cracking open a 30-yard score to tie the contest at 7.

With the same score in the second half, Klein accounted for 71 yards on his team’s second possession, capping it off with a 14-yard gallop up the middle for the touchdown to make it 14-7.

Sacred Heart opens district play next Friday with a road game to Resurrection, while St. Patrick will host Bogue Chitto in its final non-district contest.