Philadelphia High School Football

A Look at Archbishop Carroll's Great
Start in Catholic Blue Play, 1999-2002

  This page provides stories/lists/details for Archbishop Carroll's great start -- four finals,
three championships -- in the first four seasons of Catholic League Blue Division action.
The Patriots were coached by Dan Bielli.

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Future NFLer Maurice Stovall was Carroll's franchise player in 2000 and 2001

Coach Dan Bielli

1999 W-L Carr. Opp
  Reg. Season      
Kennedy-Kenrick W 33 7
Wood W 42 21
Dougherty W 21 2
Conwell-Egan W 40 6
West Catholic W 37 13
McDevitt W 3 0
Neumann W 28 15
Dougherty W 28 7
McDevitt L 10 14
  8-1 242 85
2000 W-L Carr. Opp
  Reg. Season      
Kennedy-Kenrick W 38 0
Wood W 77 0
Dougherty W 42 0
Conwell-Egan W 49 0
West Catholic W 74 7
McDevitt W 27 0
Neumann W 34 6
Neumann W 49 0
McDevitt W 42 10
  9-0 432 23
2001 W-L Carr. Opp
  Reg. Season      
West Catholic W 35 0
Neumann W 28 0
Dougherty W 41 6
Wood W 47 8
Conwell-Egan W 40 0
McDevitt W 28 6
Kennedy-Kenrick W 42 0
Neumann W 34 13
Wood W 28 7
  9-0 323 40
2002 W-L Carr. Opp
  Reg. Season      
West Catholic L 21 28
Neumann W 24 13
Dougherty W 45 6
Wood W 21 7
Conwell-Egan W 28 21
McDevitt W 21 14
Kennedy-Kenrick W 26 12
Conwell-Egan W 21 14
West Catholic W 22 7
  8-1 229 122
  Total   1226 270
  Average   34.1 7.5
Rushing Opponent Year Yards
Brian Mattaway Dougherty 2000 185
Ryan Stewart McDevitt 2002 175
Brian Mattaway Wood 1999 156
Charlie Hurley K-K 2000 148
Ryan Stewart Neumann 2002 143
James Roderick C-E 2002 140
Mike Larkin Neumann 2000 134
James Roderick Neumann 2001 134
Charlie Hurley Neumann 1999 125
Charlie Hurley Dougherty 2000 124
Passing Opponent Year Yards
Pat Brochet Wood 2001 192
Pat Brochet Neumann 2001 160
Kevin Waterman McDevitt 1999 142
Pat Brochet K-K 2001 142
Kevin Waterman Wood 1999 130
Pat Brochet C-E 2001 130
Pat Brochet McDevitt 2001 126
Derek Zambino McDevitt 2000 125
Kevin Waterman West 1999 122
Pat Brochet Neumann 2001 117
Receiving Opponent Year Yards
Maurice Stovall Wood 2001 115
Matt Pascucci Wood 1999 102
Maurice Stovall C-E 2001 89
Chaz Scott McDevitt 2001 84
Maurice Stovall Neumann 2001 81
Chaz Scott Neumann 2001 79
Mike Larkin McDevitt 2000 68
Mike Larkin Wood 2000 62
Chaz Scott West 2002 59
John Trainor West 1999 58
Tribute Page
Carroll's Great Start
In Catholic Blue Play

The Catholic League started its Enrollment Era in 1999. Over the first four seasons, Carroll racked up a 34-2 record in Blue Division play and went 3-1 in championship games. The Patriots won their first of three consecutive titles in 2000. Here is that story . . .

By Ted Silary

  Jeff Vanak won't lose sleep over the B he recently received.
  After all, one of his few non-A's ever came in AP literature.
  "It's a really hard course," Vanak said. "Plus, I'm not the greatest writer."
  Who is? Whoever penned the script for Archbishop Carroll High's 2000 football season.
  Saturday night at frigid Northeast High, the 6-2, 235-pound Vanak blocked well at tight end and involved himself in three sacks (one full, two half) at defensive end as Carroll thumped Bishop McDevitt, 42-10.
  The yield was the Catholic Blue championship and the first perfect season (13-0) in the school's 33-year history.
  En route, coach Dan Bielli's Patriots rolled up 584 points (44.9 average) to annihilate the city-leagues season record (457); set modern marks for most points in a game and biggest victory margin while stomping Archbishop Wood, 77-0; never won by fewer than 24 points; allowed just 42 points (3.2 average); and posted eight shutouts (six in a row).
  One problem: They didn't do so in Big Boy Land, the league's Red Division.
  "I think we all knew it could come to this," Vanak said, referring to lingering questions about Carroll's greatness. "I never wanted the Catholic League to go to the big-small setup. We lost our good rivalries against O'Hara and St. Joe's Prep. I liked playing those teams.
  "I think the outcome of our season would have been the same, at 13-0, but we'll never know. Finding out just wasn't meant to be.
  "No matter who wins the small division. . .Just not the same. Just the difference in the crowds was enormous (maybe 2,000 compared with 8,000). They had people standing all around the field. At ours, I think you could have found a seat."
  Next year, Vanak might be occupying classroom seats at Harvard. He ranks fourth in his class and has scored 1,310 on the SAT.  Already, he attends Villanova.
  Vanak reports at 8:30 each morning, where he takes 50-minute classes in government and psychology before it's back to Carroll for the rest of the day.
  "I'm prouder of my academic accomplishments than my football accomplishments," said Vanak, who will soon become a two-time first team Daily News All-City honoree. "My parents [Tom, Joanne] really push education and I've worked at it.
  "I'll only be playing football for four more years at the most. Doing well in school will help me for the rest of my life.
  "At Villanova, no one is told that you're a high school kid. Not even the professor. They leave it up to you whether you want to tell anyone. I've basically kept my mouth shut. At some point, just because you do talk to people in your class, it eventually gets out. It's been a good experience for me."
  He laughed. "It's free, too. Can't beat that."
  Vanak was offered a scholarship by Delaware before the season. He is still considering the Blue Hens along with Harvard (official visit next week) and Villanova, among others.
  Vanak finished with 501/2 career sacks. He hit five-oh with 5 minutes, 35 seconds remaining when he dropped Dave Melcher for a 4-yard loss.
  "I'll always have that accomplishment in my back pocket," he said. "That's a nice number. Not many kids get anywhere close. Getting it in the same game where we won the championship makes it more special. "
  Vanak, whose brother, John, a junior, started at guard, said he sensed impending greatness when the current seniors were freshmen. He knew it last year as the Patriots rolled to an 11-0 start with a high number of juniors.
  The '99 season ended with losses to Malvern Prep and McDevitt. Saturday night, the Lancers jumped to a 10-0 lead as Melcher ran 60 yards for a touchdown and Sean Hughes thumped a 36-yard field goal.
  "We did think a little about how Prep [entering at 12-0] had lost to O'Hara [in the Red title game]," Vanak said. "At least I did. We talked to each other. Stayed focused. Didn't panic. We got good emotion going while we were going for a score on our very next drive. We all fed off that."
  Carroll received touchdowns from Brian Mattaway (two), Maurice Stovall, Mike Larkin, Jeff Kobilka and Charlie Hurley. Those by Mattaway and Kobilka came on interception returns, Nos. 6 and 7 of the season for the team. (Carroll had four other return TDs).
  "There might be somebody as good as them in the Catholic League, but there's nobody better," McDevitt coach Pat Manzi said. "They can run inside, run outside, pass. But as good as the offense is, the defense sets the tempo."
  All season, as the teams remained perfect, CL fans called for a special Prep-Carroll showdown.
  Would the Patriots like to challenge O'Hara?
  "I'm thrilled to death with 13-0," Bielli said. "We'll put the stuff away."
  After being prodded, he added: "I know the game's not going to take place. I know the people downtown [archdiocese] aren't going to sanction it. . . But if I do get a call from downtown, and if these kids want to practice another week, we'll be out there [today], ready to go."

This story was written after Dan led the Patriots to second consecutive title . . .

By Ted Silary
  ARCHBISHOP CARROLL High's 1999 football season was history and James Roderick, like every member of the
freshman team, was filling out a questionnaire.
  Out of general curiosity, and always looking for ways to improve his team, varsity coach Dan Bielli asked his
up-and-comers what positions they'd like to play, given the opportunity.
  Roderick, already a rock, physically, and a budding two-way lineman, circled fullback.
  "I always liked the idea of trying to run," he said. "I knew I was big for a running back, but . . .
  "I wanted the chance. I figured, 'If I'm good at it, go for it. If I'm not, they'll get someone who is. ' No problem. I'd
go back to being a lineman."
  The occasion yesterday at Northeast High, in front of maybe 1,000, was the once-postponed Catholic Blue title game.
Even in an areawide search - let alone a Carrollwide search - for fullbacks able to truck/drag defenders seemingly at
will, it's doubtful Bielli could have found someone better than Roderick.
  At 6-1, 260 pounds, the lad is a serious load, folks.
  In this one, the junior rumbled 25 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots wilted Archbishop
Wood, 28-7, to capture their second consecutive crown.
  "This was one of my better games. Great time to have it," said the affable Roderick.
  Bielli recalled not doing a double-take when Roderick indicated his desire to be a rusher.
  "Actually, I was all for it," Bielli said. "Our offense [coordinated by Fran Murphy] is kind of complicated and I did
tell Murph he'd have to show a lot of patience because James was going to be brand-new to everything. But I said,
'This kid has a real possibility to blossom.'
  "Thank goodness we stuck with him and showed patience."
  Roderick was the JV fullback last season and the varsity backup through the first three games of this one. He posted
100-yard efforts in his final three games, and next year it might take an elephant gun to bring him down.
  So, back in '99, did Roderick truly believe he'd be given a shot at running?
  "Mr. Bielli is the gym teacher," he said. "He came up to me one day in the gym and said, 'I see you want to be a
running back. We're going to give you a chance.' "
  Did Roderick believe that?
  "I believe everything that man says," he noted, smiling broadly.
  Roderick was not the Patriots' first headliner yesterday.
  That honor went to Mike Malandra, who returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
  Carroll had nailed Wood to the tune of 124-8 in the teams' last two meetings (77-0 last year, 47-8 this year), but
those who expected the Vikings to go away whimpering after that early shock were mistaken.
  Quarterback John Spinosa, unavailable for this season's first meeting, scrambled 4 yards for a TD midway through
the first quarter and Tom Laurich's PAT made it 7-6.
  Carroll stiffened thereafter. Jared O'Shea, Sean Ryan and Maurice Stovall (his 11th of the season) made
interceptions and Paul Rambo recovered a fumble. Roderick, doubling at down lineman, made five tackles.
  "It's not easy to go both ways at those positions," he said. "I just work hard on conditioning.
  "I love playing running back. You just go forward instead of side to side. I know there are things I still have to work
on, like staying lower. "
  The 6-5, 205-pound Stovall, who is lining up visits to Georgia Tech, Virginia, Notre Dame and Michigan, had a
leaping, 41-yard catch in a scoring drive and a 7-yard TD catch. He also vaulted over the goal line on a conversion run.
  "We knew Wood was going to come strong on us because of how bad we beat them in the last two games," Stovall said.
"We kept our poise and made some corrections on defense and did the job."
  Carroll stormed to a 13-0 mark last season and went 12-1 this time, with the only loss, 3-0, coming in Game No. 3 to
Monsignor Bonner, the Red runner-up.
  Many pooh-pooh Carroll's accomplishments because the small-enrollment Blue is considered (vastly?) inferior to the
large-enrollment Red.
  When Bielli was asked how his title teams would have fared in an all-one-league format, he did not hesitate.
  "Last year we would have won it. We were better man-for-man," he said.
  "This year I don't think we were the best team man-for-man. But with Mo [Stovall], who's such a big variable, I think
we could have beaten any of those teams. St. Joe's, Bonner, Judge, O'Hara. They're all terrific. But because of Mo and
the way these guys play, I think we would have had a shot."
  Title tidbits
  Carroll's fan contingent likely did not top 200 . . . Wood down lineman Keary Packer made nine tackles . . . Carroll's
defense: ends John Vanak and Vince Lynam, tackles James Roderick and Pat Kelly, linebackers Paul Rambo, Mike
Cutone and Mitch Yanak, cornerbacks Mike Malandra and Sean Ryan, safeties Maurice Stovall and Jared O'Shea.

This story was written in 2002 after the Patriots extended their title streak
to three . . .

By Ted Silary
  You're the veteran quarterback of an 0-4 football team and your confidence, if not shattered, is shaken.
  You're Pat Brochet, of Archbishop Carroll High, and it's late September.
  "I was down," Brochet said. "But I didn't want to say anything about [contributing factors]. Being a captain, I kept
things inside. I listened to my dad and my coach and I believed them when they said, 'You'll come through in the end.'"
  The End, sports definition, is a championship game.
  At one point, whether Carroll would advance to this year's was up for white-hot debate. But it happened and Brochet
indeed came through.
  At about 9:30 Saturday night, the 5-10, 175-pound Brochet was standing tall at Roosevelt Field, in Norristown. He
was beaming, shaking hands, accepting slaps on his shoulder pads.
  Carroll defeated West Catholic, 22-7, to win its third consecutive Catholic League Blue Division title, raise its record
in the 4-year history of the Red-Blue competition to 34-2, and tie Archbishop Ryan at 26 for the most wins in CL
playoff history.
  Brochet passed 6-for-6 for 102 yards and twice picked up first downs with runs. He went 4-for-4 in a six-play,
87-yard drive that ended 1 minute, 2 seconds before halftime and put the Patriots ahead for good, at 10-7. The TD
came on a 32-yard flip to Chaz Scott.
  Those passes were Brochet's first of the game.
  "I was begging to throw," he said, smiling. "Not begging to anyone. Just on the inside. I felt I was going to have a hot
hand, that I could do what needed to be done.
  "When I was getting to Carroll, I saw Mr. Bielli [Dan, Carroll's coach] getting out of his truck. I went right over to
him. 'Don't worry, coach. We've got this one. ' "
  Thanks in large part to Maurice Stovall, who already is an impact receiver at Notre Dame, Brochet last season passed
for 1,647 yards and 16 TDs. His 2002 numbers - 686 yards, eight touchdowns - are modest.
  "I was mad last year when I didn't make All-Catholic [except for honorable mention]," he said. "This time, I didn't
have that great of a season, but I did make it, so that made me feel better.
  "Now, to go out like this as a senior, it's a great, great feeling. I can't even explain it."
  Said Bielli: "Pat was definitely down for a while. But he's a tough guy. He hung in there. I kept hitting him with
positive reinforcement. With the kinds of things anyone would like to hear when they're messing up and not playing to
their potential for whatever reason. "
  Carroll's James "Big Rig" Roderick (19 carries, 84 yards, two TDs) and Ryan Stewart (nine carries, 88 yards)
handled much of the rushing and Ryan McGoldrick opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal. Mike Cutone (10),
Will Bradley (nine) and Roderick (eight) led in tackles. Scott and Mitch Yanak had interceptions.
  Carroll's line included center Ryan Kelly, guards Mark Campetti and Andrew Lahage, tackles Justin Faust and John
Lachman and ends Pete Novak, Matt Reilly and Brad Baer.
  West's Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley, the all-time city season rushing leader (2,635 with Thanksgiving vs. Penn Wood
remaining), carried 24 times for 121 yards and a TD. He added 4 receiving yards and 46 return yards.
  Carroll's only Blue losses have come in the '99 title game (14-10 to Bishop McDevitt) and this year's opener (28-21
to West).
  In 2000 and '01, the Patriots often crushed the opposition. Only once this season did they win by more than 14 points.
  "Not to shortchange the guys on those first two championship teams, but this one's probably more satisfying," Bielli
said. "Because of the 0-4 start, for one thing, and because the Blue Division this year was much closer to what people
wanted it to be [tight competition]. This team showed great resiliency. Because we knew everyone was gunning for us,
the games were very stressful. But when they were over, the feeling was very satisfying."

These players were starters or key subs for Carroll's teams from 1999 through 2002. Please speak up
with adjustments/additions. Thank you. . .

Andrew Lahage G 2002
Brad Baer WR 2002
Brian Mattaway FB-LB 1999-2000
Bryan Maguire LB 2002
Carl Brooks DB 1999
Charlie Hurley RB-DB 1999-2000
Chaz Scott RB-WR-DB 2001-02
Chris Hall DL 2002
Curtis Costa RB 2001
Dave Puliti DB 2002
Dave Stroup E 2000
Derek Zambino QB 2000
Dom D'Alicandro C 2000-01
Drew Shaw ILB 2000
Drew Shaw RB-LB 1999
Evan Dittler TE 2001
James Roderick FB-DL 2001-02
Jared O'Shea DB 2001
Jeff Kobilka CB 2000
Jeff Olivo WR-DB 1999
Jeff Vanak TE-DE 1999-2000
Jesse Roberts LB 1999
Joe Cocco G-T 1999-2000
Joe Daly G 2000
Joe Hallinan T 2000
Joe Tocco T 2001
John Lachman T-DE 2002
John Trainor TE 1999
John Vanak G-DE 1999-2001
Justim Faust T 2002
Kevin Waterman QB 1999
Mario Troia T 2000
Mark Campetti G 2002
Matt Kelly G 2001
Matt Pascucci WR-DB 1999
Matt Reilly WR 2002
Matt Smith RB 2001-02
Maurice Stovall WR-DB 2000-01
Mike Cutone LB 2002
Mike Larkin RB 2000
Mike Malandra RB-DB 2000-01
Mike Navarro T 1999
Mitch Yanak LB 2001-02
Pat Brochet QB 2001-02
Pat Kelly DT 2001
Paul Costa LB 2001
Paul Rambo LB 2001-02
Pete Novak TE 2002
Ray Baysmore DB 1999
Rob Reed DB 1999
Ryan Kelly C 2002
Ryan McGoldrick DB 2002
Ryan Stewart RB-DB 2002
Sean DeLuca LB 2000
Sean Ryan DB 2001
Tom Sabatino C 1999
Vince Lynam T-DE 2000-01
Will Bradley LB 2002
Zach Torres T 2001

Recaps of the Playoff Victories . . .

Carroll 28, Dougherty 7
   Brian Mattaway carried 26 times for 120 yards and two TDs and Marty Higgins kicked field goals of 32 and 42 yards. For Dougherty, Ben Dever ran for a TD and passed 13-for-29 for 163 yards and Sarina Oeub, made seven catches for 97 yards.

Carroll 49, Neumann 0
   In the biggest postseason blowout in Catholic League history, Maurice Stovall got things rolling with an 85-yard kickoff return. Charlie Hurley and Mike Larkin ran for two scores apiece while Derek Zambino scored once on a sneak and again on a 42-yard return of a blocked punt. With seven PAT, Marty Higgins claimed the city-leagues record for kicking points in a season (81).
Carroll 42, McDevitt 10
   The Patriots spotted McDevitt a 10-0 lead, then stormed to victory while raising their season scoring advantage to an amazing 584-42 (45-3 average rounded off score). Brian Mattaway scored twice -- run, interception -- while Maurice Stovall (pass from Derek Zambino), Mike Larkin, Charlie Hurley (runs) and Jeff Kobilka scored once apiece. Marty Higgins kicked six PAT to pad
his city-leagues records for season (73) and career (118). In all, he finished with five marks. Pat Kelly made 10 tackles and Jeff Vanak raised his career sack total to 50.5. For McDevitt, Dave Melcher (60-yard run) became only the third CL player to score a TD vs. Carroll, joining West's Abdul Sesay and Neumann's Owen McGuire. Sean Hughes added a field goal.

Carroll 34, Neumann 13
   The Patriots exploded for 27 points in the final 15:16. Pat Brochet passed 6-for-15 for 117 yards and one score apiece to Evan Dittler and Chaz Scott. Maurice Stovall scored on a 52-yard interception return while James Roderick added 134 yards and a TD on 15 rushes. Neumann's Mark Meighan scored on a 64-yard fumble return.
Carroll 28, Wood 7
    Mike Malandra opened the game by returning the kickoff 91 yards for a TD, then turned over the heavy-duty work to 260-pound junior James Roderick (25-148, two TDs). Maurice Stovall added a TD catch and his 11th interception of the season; Jared O'Shea and Sean Ryan also made
picks. Carroll (12-1) raised its two-year record to 25-1, with the only loss coming to Bonner, by 3-0. For Wood, burned by Carroll to the tune of 124-8 in the teams' previous two meetings (77-0 last year, 47-8 earlier in this season), down lineman Keary Packer made nine tackles.

Carroll 21, Conwell-Egan 14
   James Roderick made 11 tackles at down lineman and rushed 15 times for 140 yards and TDs of 54 and 7 yards. Ryan Stewart won it by returning a punt 40 yards for a score with 1:36 left. C-E failed to score on first-and-goal from the 1 just before halftime.
Carroll 22, West Catholic 7
Carroll won its third consecutive title and lifted its four-year record against Blue opposition to 34-2. Pat Brochet passed 6-for-6 for 102 yards and went 4-for-4 in a six-play, 87-yard drive that ended 1 minute, 2 seconds before halftime and put the Patriots ahead for good, at 10-7. The TD came on a 32-yard flip to Chaz Scott. James Roderick (19-84, two TDs) and Ryan Stewart (9-88) handled much of the rushing and Ryan McGoldrick opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal. Mike Cutone (10), Will Bradley (nine) and Roderick (eight) led in tackles. Scott and Mitch Yanak had interceptions. The Patriots started the season at 0-4, and the last of those setbacks was to West, by 28-21. West's Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley, the all-time city season rushing leader (2,635
to here; he finished with 2,813), carried 24 times for 121 yards and a TD.