Richard Dickens rushed for 202 yards on 24 carrries and scored one touchdown to lead Archbishop Carroll to a 23-8 season-opening, nonleague victory over visiting High Point yesterday.
Dickens spent most of last season on the sidelines with an injured thumb. Yesterday, he ran over, around and through High Point's defense, especially after being thrown for a safety in the second quarter that staked the Eagles to their only lead, 2-0.
A missed block prompted the safety, but Dickens took it personally.
"I've got to prove what I can do and this is my only season to do it," said Dickens, who also played linebacker. "I spent the whole winter thinking about this game, so the safety really got to me."
And it showed.
Jason Francella's 19-yard field goal on the final play of the half had cut High Point's lead to 3-2, but the second half opened with both teams ready to take control. Kick returner Sean Hill provided field position and the spark that Carroll needed.
Taking over on the Lions 48, Dickens rushed for 11 and then five yeards before Orin Solomon completed an 18-yard pass to split end Eric Hill for a first down at the Eagles 29. Dickens got the call on the next play and rushed behind the right side of the line before bouncing off three would-be tacklers, cutting back against the grain and running down the left sideline for a touchdown. Carroll extended its lead, 9-2.
Two plays later, Lions linebacker Steven Taylor picked up a High Point fumble and returned it 20 yards to the Eagles 20.
Dickens gained five yards on first down and then Solomon faked him into the line on the next play before dropping back and arcing a pass into the deep left corner of the end zone. Eric Hill dove and caught the ball on his fingertips for another touchdown. Solomon completed a two-point conversion pass to Hill, and Carroll led, 17-2.
More than seven minutes remained in the third quarter, but the Lions had scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes and High Point was struggling to stay in contentnion.
The Eagles took the kickoff and drove 56 yards to the Lions 8, but, four downs later, High Point's best chance to get back in the game was ended when defensive back Lawrence Moten batted away a pass in the end zone. High Point (0-1) 0 2 0 6 8 Carroll (1-0) 0 3 14 6 23
HP -- Safety (Dickens tackled in end zone)
C -- FG Francella 18
C -- Dickens 29 run (pass failed)
C -- E. Hill 16 pass from Solomon (E. Hill pass from Solomon)
C -- Johnson 1 run (kick failed)
HP -- Poole 25 run (pass failed).