Russell Minor-Shaw has come a long way since his days as a wing-T fullback playing youth football.
Saturday night at Villanova, the Archbishop Carroll senior quarterback paired his rocket right arm with his “old school” elusiveness and helped the Patriots beat West Catholic, 29-14, in Catholic League Blue division action. The win is Carroll’s first against the Burrs since 2002.
“Russ is our engine,” said second-year coach Kyle Detweiler. “He keeps us going, and I can’t say enough. The kid is going to be a late-bloomer because he was a wing-T fullback when I got him. He is still just a second-year quarterback and a guy who can make something out of nothing.”
That’s exactly what the 6-foot, 225-pounder did almost halfway through the third quarter with the Patriots (2-2, 1-0) nursing an 8-6 advantage.
On a fourth-and-10 near midfield, Minor-Shaw dropped back, surveyed the field, rolled slightly right, and suddenly spun back left, avoiding West Catholic defenders who were in pursuit.
The elusive move bought room to deliver a long pass to junior Billy Coppock, who was alone near the 20-yard line. The 64-yard touchdown gave the Patriots momentum they never relinquished.
“This is a huge win for us because we haven’t beaten West Catholic since 2002,” Minor-Shaw said. “We’re really excited going 1-0 in league play.”
Minor-Shaw threw two touchdown passes and finished with 165 yards passing.
The most difficult transition to quarterback, he said, has been staying in the pocket and running less. He did, however, also add 85 rushing yards on 12 carries.
“We’re just so happy with the way he’s progressed,” Detweiler said. “Last year he set the single-season record for touchdown passes (18) in a season at Carroll and this year he’s looking to get better and improve upon that.”
His early 10-yard scoring pass to Darryl Simpson Jr. gave the Patriots a lead.
The play preceded a blocked punt by Carroll recovered deep in West Catholic territory. Junior Nick Lamey also added an interception in the end zone, ending a West Catholic opportunity.
The Burrs (2-2, 0-1) were led by senior quarterback Zaire Hart-Hawkins who finished with 263 yards and a score on 17-of-40 passing.
Seniors Troy Athill (6 catches, 58 yards and a score) and Justino Griggs (3 catches, 77 yards) led the West Catholic receiving attack.
Both teams were plagued by penalties. Carroll finished with 14 penalties. The Burrs finished with 10.
Carroll 8 0 15 6 29
West Catholic 0 6 0 8 14
AC: Darryl Simpson Jr. 10 catch from Russell Minor-Shaw. (Tyler Alston pass from Minor-Shaw)
WC: K’saan Green 6 run. (Pass failed)
AC: Bill Coppock 64 pass from Minor-Shaw. (Minor-Shaw run)
AC: Alston 1 run. (Garrett Ewing kick)
AC: Jahlil Warren 1 run. (Kick failed)