With a conference title already secured, the Charlotte Catholic Cougars still had plenty of motivation for their home finale Friday night against Providence.
And the defense led the way, pitching its sixth shutout of the season and getting three touchdowns from senior quarterback John Walton (two throwing and one on the ground) as Catholic cruised to a 28-0 victory at Jim Oddo Field.
Providence actually moved the ball on its first drive, going to the Catholic 8-yard line, but Xander Gagnon forced a fumbled pitch that Catholic recovered for a turnover. After a scoreless first quarter, Walton found John Newman for a 41-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline early in the second quarter.
That duo would hook up again in the final minute of the half for a 4-yard score and Catholic led 14-0.
In the second half, Walton scored on an 8-yard run and Matt Notarangelo rounded out the scoring with a 3-yard run early in the fourth. The defense, which has allowed 50 points all season, forced three turnovers and held Providence to 109 total yards.
With the win, Catholic completes an undefeated regular season and will probably be part of a coin flip to determine the top two or three seeds in the 4A West playoffs.
Quote: “We’ve been working hard as a staff to make teams pay when they try to stop our run,” Catholic head coach Mike Brodowicz said. “If you put nine to 10 guys in the box you have to be able to throw, and John (Walton) did a real nice job of taking advantage of that.”
Records: Charlotte Catholic finishes the regular season a perfect 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the SoMeck 8 while Providence falls to 5-6 and 4-3.
Worth mentioning: On Providence’s first drive of the night, it had gained 78 yards in getting to the Catholic 8-yard line. For the rest of the game the Catholic defense allowed the Panthers just 31 yards total.
It’s tough when your best player is the punter, but Providence’s Austin Kent was tremendous. Kent averaged 52.7 yards on six punts, and his shortest punt was 44 yards.
Walton completed six of 10 passes on the night for 104 yards and two touchdowns, and Jaret Anderson led the running game with 116 yards on 17 carries
What's Next: Regular season complete for both. Catholic will receive a high seed in the 4A playoffs while Providence will wait to see if it gets into the 4AA field.