The play is called a rocket sweep, and BJ Murillo was the rocket man for the Bishop Diego football team in Saturday’s game against visiting Santa Paula.
Murillo turned on the afterburners on touchdown runs of 21 and 59 yards on the wingback sweep play, igniting the CIF-SS Northwest Division’s No. 2-ranked team to a 55-7 romp in a Tri-Valley League game at La Playa Stadium.
It marked the fourth game in which Bishop scored over 50 points, and it came on the heels of two emotional wins against San Diego power Santa Fe Christian and rival Carpinteria.
Not surprisingly, Bishop (7-0, 2-0) started the game a little flat. A fumble on its first possession set up Santa Paula for the first touchdown of the game. Santa Paula (1-7, 0-2) recovered the ball at the Bishop 27 and scored seven plays later on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Christian Garcia to tight end Corey Peck.
That served as a wake-up call. Bishop responded on its next possession and never let up. Abel Gonzalez started the 68-yard drive with a 19-yard run and Murillo finished it with his 21-yard touchdown on the rocket sweep.
Enzo Troiani was the revelation for Bishop in this game, kicking the first of seven PATs. Troiani recently joined the team to handle the place-kicking, an area where Bishop Diego had been inconsistent.
Murillo gave Bishop a 13-7 lead when he broke lose on another rocket sweep for a 59-yard score.
“Usually it’s just a motion fake, but they gave it to me,” Murillo said. “(Anthony) Carter, the quarterback, had some really good fakes, and I was gone.”
Jacob Salcedo also pulled off a couple of nice runs.
“Those guys are both very, very good athletes,” Crawford said of Murillo and Salcedo. The reality is they haven’t gotten a lot of carries just because of the way things have unfolded and some of the other guys we have. I can’t say that I’m surprised about the way they run; they’re both very fast. Santa Paula seemed like they were trying to take away certain things from us and that kind of opened up the sweep game for those guys.”
Bishop’s defense set up the next score as cornerback Troy Skinner pick off a pass. Carter then tore through the Santa Paula defense, cut to his left and left everybody behind on a quarterback draw for a 31-yard touchdown run. Troiani kicked his second PAT for a 20-7 lead.
Bishop took to the air for its next touchdown. Quarterback Gabe Molina spotted Thomas Lash in a one-on-one situation down the left sideline and threw a perfect ball to Lash for a 63-yard scoring play with 4:57 left in the second quarter.
“That was an adjustment he and Thomas made on the play,” said Crawford of Molina. “I thought Gabe threw the ball very well. He made a really nice throw and Abel Gonzalez made a real nice catch on the sidelines as well.”
After the Bishop’s Justin Brosnan and Josh Martel recorded a pair of sacks, Murillo returned a punt inside the Santa Paula five, but it was called back on a penalty. Bishop scored any way, with Gonzalez making a terrific catch on a 23-yard pass from Molina. That gave Bishop a 34-7 halftime lead.
The onslaught continued in the second half. On Bishop’s first possession of the third quarter, Aidan Williams powered through the line and into the open field for a 40-yard touchdown run. He would score again on a 13-yard run.
Carter made it 55-7 at the end of the third quarter on a 38-yard run.
Next up for Bishop is an important TVL game at Oak Park on Friday night. The Eagles on Friday gave top-ranked and undefeated Nordhoff a tough game.