Clarence Freeman IV, echoed by his Bishop’s teammates, voices the notion, “We have a chance to score on each play,” inculcated by offensive coordinator Danny Mitchell. Not a series, not a drive — we’re gonna score, and it may be now.
And the Knights have this year, posting point totals in the 70s twice, and the 50s three times. If you try to run and pass with the big boys, chances are you’re going to yield a lot of points.
Says receiver Chase Ladrido, “It’s fun for us, and fun for the people watching us.” Bishop’s, with a healthy Ty Buchner at quarterback, terrorized Orange Glen, 73-32, in week seven after manhandling Mater Dei Catholic, 71-42, earlier in the season.
Ladrido and his buddy Austin Schroeder, who deploys at outside linebacker on the other side of the ball, embody the close-knit and talented Bishop’s team in their fun-loving camaraderie off the field.
The easy-going interaction between the two seniors, borne of squad after-game pizza and hot tubs hosted by the Schroeder family, is seamless. “We work as one,” says Austin, 6-foot-2-inches and 190 pounds, who is speaking of the defense but could be speaking on the Knights’ cohesiveness overall. “We fly to the football. Coach [Joel Allen] always says ‘fly to the football.’” There you have the other great tenet of Bishop’s football.
Freeman, for his part, identifies where the Allen-induced confidence comes from. “Honestly, we go really hard in practice. We hit the weight room hard. And we watch film — we’re really well-prepared,” lists the 5-foot-11-inch, 170-pound receiver in a PowerPoint presentation style that couldn’t be more succinct — or more convincing.
Meanwhile, Ladrido and Schroeder, who both graduate next May, compete against each other in FIFA, the soccer video game. “I’m better,” asserts Austin not modestly. About Chase, he reveals, “He randomly spits out song lyrics. Most of the time I don’t even know what the song is.”
Beneficiaries of Buchner’s generous passes, which amount to 2,032 yards — well over a mile in distance — through the first six games (all wins) include Clay Petry (with six touchdown receptions), Freeman (with five), Griffin Dooley (with four), as well as Ladrido and Amaan Banks (with two each).
On the ground, Buchner, the Notre Dame commit, is his own real estate mogul, with 12 TD runs, two games of 100 yards rushing, averaging over 100 yards a game in that department alone.
Ladrido: “We play [for touchdowns] until they [Mitchell and Allen] tell us to take our foot off the gas.”
Schroeder: “Our goal was to score 100 points against Orange Glen.” They only fell 27 shy.
The two seniors include the younger Knights in food and conversation at lunch. “We want even the freshmen to get a chance to play,” says Chase, naming Jaden Moore and Xavier Rodriguez, both receivers.
La Jolla High, which lost 18-7 in the opener, is the only opponent to keep Bishop’s under 53 points. “Ty was just released that morning to play,” says Mitchell, the OC. “That’s why we kept him under wraps and didn’t cut him loose a lot.”