Ninth-ranked Carroll had a simple game plan for its Metro Conference contest with much-improved O'Connell -- shut down tailback Henry Yoo, prevent the long pass and make the big play on offense.
The Lions accomplished all three and were rewarded with an impressive 35-6 triumph yesterday at Carroll.
The win gave Carroll a 5-1 overall mark and 3-0 conference record, keeping them tied for first place with McNamara, which beat Gonzaga, 35-7. O'Connell, enjoying its best season in years, fell to 4-2, 1-2.
"I think we're getting better each week. We were a bit sluggish on offense all day and our linebackers stunk in the first half," Carroll Coach Tim Breslin said. "Our linebackers had better drops and did a better job on pass coverage in the second half. We wanted to take away the long pass but I was surprised they didn't run more."
The Knights' running game netted only 13 yards (Yoo had 22 yards on eight carries) and the lone bright spot was a 53-yard field goal by Tom Smith midway in the third period. Smith, who has six field goals this season, also made a 25-yarder to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Carroll then ran off 20 points before intermission.
George McDaniels's 46-yard completion to Keith Ogden (four catches, 115 yards) was the big play during an 80-yard, eight-play drive capped by Silas Calhoun's nine-yard touchdown run with 3:04 to play in the first period.
Carroll held O'Connell on its next possession and forced a punt. Smith's high, soaring kick was caught by Gheo Smith, who shook off two would-be tacklers, picked up a convoy of blockers in front of his bench and raced up the sideline for an 85-yard score and a 12-3 lead.
Carroll made it 20-3 when McDaniels (seven of 13, 123 yards), unable to find a receiver, got out of a tangle of bodies and scrambled 53 yards for a touchdown. Robert Harris ran over for the two-point conversion and Carroll was in good shape.
Smith's long field goal made it 20-6, and after a Lions' interception, Robert Harris scored from the 1.
Reserve tailback Nigel Jacobs closed out the scoring with a 12-yard run in the final period.