Schademan, Carroll: TJ record-makers
Thomas Jefferson's record-breaking football season continued last weekend.
Senior wideout Zach Schademan shattered a team record with five touchdown receptions — all in the first half — in the Jaguars' 40-7 conference win at Trinity.
And senior quarterback Joe Carroll eclipsed the mark for touchdown passes in one game with six scoring strikes.
“Joe has been great so far, as I expected he would be,” Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson's veteran head coach, said. “He has great receivers to throw to that make things much easier for him.
“Obviously, Zach Schademan has been the go-to guy, but Jake Mascaro, Colton Booher, Shane Lotis and Dalton Dietrich have all made significant contributions.”
Carroll had passed for five scores in two earlier games for the Jaguars, and leads the WPIAL with 18 touchdown passes.
“Everything was just working (against Trinity),” Carroll said. “Zach was just getting open all night.
“The coaches have done an unbelievable job of having me prepared. And I really did feel comfortable out there.”
Carroll has hit on 40 of 65 passes for 829 yards, an average of 207 yards per game.
“And what people need to remember is that this is only the fourth game Joe has ever started,” Cherpak said. “He's still going to get better, and he's got a heck of a good target in Schademan.”
Thomas Jefferson, 3-0 in the Big Nine Conference and 4-0 overall, hosts Albert Gallatin (0-4, 0-3) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Colonials, previously a Keystone Conference member, lost at West Mifflin last week, 46-6, and have been outscored, 141-12, in their three conference games.
Albert Gallatin, a junior-laden squad in 2012, has dropped 13 consecutive contests and 24 of its past 25 dating back to 2009.
“They aren't very good, but we need to prepare just as we do every week and play to our level,” Cherpak said.
A-G's leading rushers are juniors Brendan Dice and Collin Smith, who scored on a 72-yard kickoff return last week.
Dice and Smith run behind an offensive line that includes seniors Tanner Cavaliere (6-3, 260) and Tucker Tolbert (6-1, 240), and juniors Brandon Carey, Zach Sherwood and Donovan Miller.
For TJ, Schademan and Carroll, who also hit senior tight end Derek Toboz with an 8-yard scoring toss last week, rank among the WPIAL's best players.
Schademan owns 19 receptions for 351 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“When we watched the tape of (Trinity's) corners before the game, we really felt confident that we'd be able to throw against them,” Schademan said.
Incredibly, almost half of Carroll's 40 completions have gone for touchdowns.
“We have passed more this year,” Cherpak said. “Wouldn't you?”
Senior wideout Jake Mascaro also has 14 catches for 326 yards and six touchdowns for the Jaguars.
Thomas Jefferson is averaging a lofty 39.3 points per game this season, and allowing 10 ppg defensively. The Colonials have been outscored by a 43.5-9.5 average margin through four games.
“Our defensive backs are the strength of our defense,” Cherpak said. “They have not allowed anyone to throw the ball on us.
“We have had much improved play from our linebackers (too).”
The Jaguars' next four foes — Albert Gallatin (0-4), Laurel Highlands (0-4), Belle Vernon (1-3) and Uniontown (1-3) — have a composite record of 2-14.
The last time the local squad faced Laurel Highlands was in the first round of the 2009 WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
The Jaguars won, 51-7.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Josh Yohe contributed to this story.