Jalen Hernandez and Michael Leonard led the Carroll Golden Eagles to their first state football championship since 1978.
By Jeremy Deckard, CJOnline.com
Hernandez rushed for two first half touchdowns as Carroll dominated Miege 60-21 at Emporia’s Welch Stadium.
“We knew they were a good team and we had to come out and not be intimidated,” Hernandez said. “We needed to be all in and we played hard today.”
Hernandez finished with 54 yards and two touchdowns in his last high school game, while Leonard, a senior linebacker, scored two defensive touchdowns for Carroll.
Tory Smith capped a 98-yard second quarter drive with a 12-yard run to give the Golden Eagles a 27-point lead, a lead that they would not relinquish. The Stags pinned Carroll on its 2-yard line, but the Golden Eagles were able to drive for a huge score after converting a fourth-and-one on the 12-play, five-minute drive.
“That drive was huge,” Carroll coach Alan Shuckman said. “Our defense has been huge all season. I think we proved to people that we can play some football in Wichita, Kansas.”
As most state champions do, Carroll also won the turnover battle and capitalized on those turnovers. The Golden Eagle defense forced four first half turnovers — including Leonard’s pick six — and finished with 40 first half points as quarterback Zeke Palmer connected with Bryce Harvey and Smith on two touchdowns through the air with less than two minutes left.
For the full story, read the Topeka Capital-Journal