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Bishop Verot wins spring football contest 21-0

By PETE SISK - | May 28, 2021

The Bishop Verot defense shut out Sarasota in a 21-0 win Friday night. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

A turbulent spring football practice season came to a joyous end Friday for the Bishop Verot Vikings.

The Vikings exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points on long runs by Andrew Kelton (70 and 31 yards) and Scotty Olian (83 yards) to down Sarasota 21-0 in the teams’ spring game.

John Mohring, who had coached the Vikings the past two seasons, recently took a job at Savannah (Ga.) Country Day, catching Bishop Verot by surprise.

Josh Vogelbach, who had been head coach before voluntarily handing the reins to Mohring, steered the Vikings to Friday’s win as interim coach.

Vogelbach had stepped back to take a coordinator’s role under Mohring.

Bishop Verot rising junior Andrew Kelton (7) scored twice during the Vikings' spring game against Sarasota Friday night. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

Bishop Verot, already dealing with the graduation losses of star runner/receiver Malik Curtis and quarterback Jake Azizi, among others, shook off the latest change as the Class 3A Vikings took down the Class 7A Sailors.

“I’m really, really proud of our kids,” Vogelbach said. “Talk about handling adversity. They did a fantastic job this week and came out and got a victory.”

The Vikings and Sailors battled through three quarters without a score, although Bishop Verot just missed on a few occasions. A fumble on the Sailors’ 2 ended a long opening drive, and three field goals were missed. Two of the three came from 47 and 49 yards, the latter partially blocked.

“We missed a lot of opportunities,” Vogelbach said. “It’s spring football. We were really sloppy. I’m just proud of our guys for making some plays when we had to.”

Kelton, who emerged as the workhorse of the Verot backfield, finally made a breakthrough in the fourth quarter. His 70-yard run, as were all three Vikings scores, were set up by defensive takeaways.

Bishop Verot rising senior Landen Bennett (14) heaves a pass downfield during the Vikings' 21-0 win over Sarasota Friday night. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

Ethan Bruehl halted a Sarasota drive with an interception on his own 23 with 9:02 to play. Two plays later, Kelton set sail through the Sailors’ defense for 70 and paydirt. Declan Camron added the first of three extra points.

Kelton totaled 207 yards rushing on 23 carries.

Bruce Thompson’s fumble recovery on his 11 with 2:00 left to play led to Olian’s 83-yard gallop with 1:42 to go.

Finally, Trevor Horlbeck scooped up a Sarasota fumble and returned it to the Sailors’ 31 with just 11.6 seconds remaining. Vogelbach planned on taking a knee and running out the clock, but Sarasota insisted on calling a time out.

In a “Well, if that’s the way you want it” moment, Vogelbach then called for another Kelton run. This one reached the end zone from 31 yards out as time expired.

Bishop Verot rising senior Bruce Thompson's (55) fumble recovery on the Vikings' own 11 led to Scotty Olian’s 83-yard touchdown run with 1:42 to go. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

Preston Hall also had a fourth-quarter interception for Bishop Verot.

Landen Bennett was the quarterback much of the night, with Nate Vittur coming in after Bennett was shaken up.

“Spring ball’s crazy, and this one’s a little more crazy, so I’m very proud of them for now,” Vogelbach said. “We’ve got a lot to work on, but the future’s bright.”

As for Vogelbach’s future?

“I don’t know,” Volgelbach said with a grin. “We’ll find out in the next couple of days.”

SARASOTA               0     0     0       0  —  0                                 

BISHOP VEROT           0     0     0     21 — 21                                      

Fourth quarter

BV: Andrew Kelton, 70-yard run (Declan Camron kick) 8:03

BV: Scotty Olian, 83-yard run (Camron kick) 1:42

BV: Kelton, 31-yard run (Camron kick) 0:00