Many teams would be satisfied with a 20-point victory over a ranked opponent.
But coach John Reed has set the bar very high at Caravel.
“We always say be happy, but don’t be satisfied,” Reed said. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”
When the Buccaneers punched the clock to go home Friday night, a 41-21 victory over St. Elizabeth was in the books.
Caravel (4-0), ranked second in Division II, jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. But the fifth-ranked Vikings (2-2) fought valiantly and became the first Caravel opponent to avoid the running clock that goes into effect once a 35-point margin is reached.
“This is the first game we’ve had to play four quarters,” Reed said. “We’ve got a lot to work on. We made a lot of mental mistakes, and we’ll get to work on those Monday.”
A 42-yard punt return by Aaron Hudson set up the Buccaneers’ first score, a 22-yard pass from Derrick Groomes to Hudson on fourth-and-13.
Caravel forced another punt, and Darnell Savage turned a simple counter play into a 59-yard touchdown. Ryan Barczak recovered a fumble at the St. E 11 on the ensuing kickoff, and Jacob Shriner cashed in two plays later with a 3-yard run to make it 21-0 with 8 seconds still remaining in the first quarter.
The Vikings got on the board on their next possession, with Christian Gwynn completing passes of 16 yards to James Rendle and 18 yards to Andre Patton before passing 19 yards to Adam Szczerba to make it 21-7.
The Buccaneers came right back, as Pierce Ripanti broke several tackles while chugging down the left sideline on the way to a 53-yard touchdown run.
St. E answered, as Patton took a short pass and jetted across the field for a 41-yard gain before catching a 5-yard touchdown pass from Gwynn to pull the Vikings within 28-14 at the half.
Caravel pushed it back to a three-touchdown lead late in the third quarter on Groomes’ 1-yard run, set up by a 42-yard burst from Jonathan Hickman. St. E pulled back within 35-21 on Johanssen Padilla’s 4-yard run with 7:10 to go, but could get no closer.
Ripanti bulldozed for 120 yards on 13 carries, and Savage ended the scoring with a 39-yard touchdown run to add 107 yards on only three touches. The Buccaneers held the Vikings to 68 yards rushing, but did allow Gwynn to complete 16 of 27 passes for 239 yards.
“We kept them in front of us pretty much,” Caravel linebacker Matt Boylan said. “We knocked down the run, but we need to work on our pass defense. If we step that up, we’ll be OK.”