John Carroll Catholic defense pitches second straight shutout in win over Okeechobee

Bryan Cooney Treasure Coast NewspapersPublished 11:14 PM EDT Sep 18, 2020The heartbeat of the John Carroll Cat

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The heartbeat of the John Carroll Catholic football team brought its best on a night in which its offense missed out on opportunities to put Okeechobee away.

The front seven shut down the run-heavy attack of the Brahmans and the Ram defense generated five takeaways in a 23-0 victory Friday.

Senior linebacker Aidan Bowman recovered two fumbles, and the Rams also took advantage of star punter Marcos Gamboa booming a punt that resulted in a muff and fumble recovery.

While the Ram offense put up 20 points in the first half off two perfect touchdown throws from standout senior quarterback Jay Allen, multiple missed opportunities went by the board. However, John Carroll head coach Mickey Groody couldn’t complain much about moving to 2-0 on the year.

"We came out great, kind of clicked on all cylinders there, defense did a fantastic job all night, obviously it's always great when they can get a shutout, so we did really well," Groody said. 

Takeaways from Friday's game

Brahmans fail to build on momentum from opener. Okeechobee’s impressive Week 1 win over rival Moore Haven was an emotional boost for a relatively young roster, but the Brahmans' offense never got on track Friday. John Carroll’s run defense negated any chunk plays and forced Okeechobee to try to put the ball in the air, which is far from its strength.

Allen lives up to the billing. Brahman head coach Ty Smith knew coming into the matchup that containing reigning Allen, the reigning TCPalm Male Athlete of the Year, was objective No. 1, but Allen still found a way to scramble and make plays. On top of his two touchdown throws, one coming on the run after buying time in the pocket, he had two potential scores dropped in the end zone.

Okeechobee finds positives in second half. Outside of Allen’s two touchdown throws, the Brahman run defense held up well all evening and gave its offense some hope to mount a comeback attempt. Heading into next week’s contest against a balanced South Fork offense, Smith hopes his team can move forward. “It’s one of those situations to where we have to continuously talk to them about moving to the next game, moving on to the next game. We had some seniors play tonight, but we’re working with juniors and sophomores and freshman that are very talented, so we’re looking forward to the future.”

Back-to-back shutouts have Rams riding high. In its two games against Port. St. Lucie and Okeechobee, John Carroll’s defense has simply been relentless in containing the opposition’s running attack. Next week, Jensen Beach will be another offense that likes to pound the ball inside and test the depth of the Rams.
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