Terrific tandem helps Thomas Jefferson top Trinity
Thomas Jefferson has accomplished many remarkable feats during the Bill Cherpak era, but rarely have two of his players so easily dominated a game.
Quarterback Joe Carroll and wideout Zach Schademan hooked up for five touchdown passes — all in the first half — as the Jaguars toyed with Trinity in a 40-7 win in Big Nine Conference action.
“And what people need to remember,” Cherpak said, “is that this is only the fourth game Joe has ever started. He's still going to get better, and he's got a heck of a good target in Schademan.”
The Jaguars (4-0, 3-0) have opted to go through the air this season, and Carroll's performance makes Cherpak's decision to go pass-heavy understandable. The senior completed 14 of 19 passes for 230 yards and six touchdowns against Trinity (2-2, 2-1).
“We have passed more this year,” Cherpak said. “Wouldn't you?”
Carroll completed his final six passes, and in the first half, he was looking for his favorite target.
Schademan had his way with Trinity's secondary.
He hauled in touchdown passes of 7, 9, 42, 13 and 32 yards before the second quarter's conclusion. He finished with six catches for 111 yards.
“When we watched the tape of their corners before the game,” Schademan said, “we really felt confident that we'd be able to throw against them.”
The first two touchdowns were almost identical, as Schademan caught slant passes to put the Jaguars up, 13-0.
The third touchdown strike saw Carroll loft a perfect pass down the left sideline for the 42-yard score. Schademan made acrobatic catches in the end zone for his final two touchdowns.
Perhaps the receiver's dominance was most detectable on Carroll's sixth touchdown pass.
With Schademan sprinting toward the right side of the field, Trinity's defense completely lost track of tight end Derek Toboz, who was uncovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Everything was just working tonight,” Carroll said. “Zach was just getting open all night. Honestly, everybody was getting open.”
Carroll and Schademan have emerged as among the WPIAL's most prolific players. Carroll has completed 41 of 63 passes for 817 yards and 18 touchdowns in four games. Schademan has caught 20 passes for 394 yards and 11 TDs.
“The coaches have done an unbelievable job of having me prepared,” Carroll said. “And I really did feel comfortable out there tonight.”
While the statistical performances from Carroll and Schademan were the story, the Jaguars' defense also was impressive.
Trinity quarterback Don McWreath didn't complete a pass until midway through the fourth quarter, when the Thomas Jefferson second-string defense had taken the field. TJ's starting defense allowed just one first down and produced three turnovers.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161, Ext. 1975.