Carroll Football Preparing to Lean on Roche and Passing Game - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Football Preparing to Lean on Roche and Passing Game

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Last year Dustin Rinker led all of the NAIA in rushing yards, and averaged 25 carries per game, but with no clear cut successor at running back, those carries may be turning into passing plays for senior quarterback Mac Roche.

"We've got to look at our strengths and just move the ball the best we can," said Roche. "With Rinker you could hand it off 40 times per game, and if that's how you're going to get first downs, that's how you're going to get first downs. But if we have to throw it 50 times per game we'll do it."

"We look back at the Tyler Emmert days, and the J.D. Emmert days," said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "Those guys put the ball up anywhere from 20 to 35 to 40 times per game, and we're going to probably do that this year."

Those kind of passing numbers are sure to make plenty of players happy, particularly the guys Roche will be throwing to. After all, a happy receiver is one that catches a lot of passes.

"That's always good to hear that we always get to pass the ball," said Saints senior receiver Dylan Simac. "With Mac throwing the ball we always know he's going to give it to us in the right spot."

"I want to throw the ball every single play," said Roche. "And as a quarterback you should want that. And I think we have a good opportunity here to get a lot of reps throwing the football, and prove that we can do that a lot."

While Roche will have more on his shoulders, as long as the ball keeps moving, coach Van Diest will be happy.

"The big thing is first downs," said Van Diest. "Moving the chains and getting first downs. We throw a lot of short routes at times, but we've got to look at what we've got to do with field position. But if we have to throw the ball on first down I think we can do that.."

For a team that's been run first for so long, coaches and players seem to be accepting the passing transition. And with a quarterback that had 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions last year, they seem to be in good hands.

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