SYKESVILLE, Md. — The South Carroll High School football team is on the road back to respectability in the standings and with their fellow students.
"It’s very special. The school is very involved," said Cavaliers running back and cornerback AJ Rodrigues. "I remember my freshman year our varsity team went 1-8. People were getting made fun of, stuff like that. But, this year everyone is loving us. We’re like the talk of the school."
S.C. is an undefeated 5-0. They have clinched their first winning record in a full fall season since 2015.
"Teams like this come along once in a while," said Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Kraus. "We are very fortunate that this group is very skilled, very talented, very disciplined and there is a unity that makes the difference between those tight games."
Led by 6-foot-3 junior quarterback Ryan Barnard the Cavaliers are averaging almost 30 points per game.
"Momentum keeps just going our way every time we win," he said. "Our offense just keeps getting better and better."
Barnard does more than throw. He kicks and punts, too.
"Rec., high school, I really hadn't considered being an actual kicker but this year I can see I actually have a leg. I’m slowly starting to get pride in the kicking," said Barnard.
"Early in the season we were getting recruiting calls for him as the quarterback. In the last week I’ve been getting calls for him as a kicker," added Kraus.
So, how far can he boot it?
"The longest in practice, I’ve made a 55 [yarder] but there was like ten extra yards in it. But, in a game I think it’s like 40 [yards]," he said.
As for the Cavs’ defense, it hasn’t given up more than seven points in a game since week one when they allowed only 13.
South Carroll looks to stay undefeated on Friday when they travel to Westminster to face winless Winters Mill. It looks like a mismatch on paper but they are not overlooking the Falcons.
"They have nothing to lose," said Barnard. "We’re not going to take them lightly. We’re not going to back down. I don’t think they’ll back down either. So, it’s going to be a good game."
Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m.