Atwell, Carricos making big impact for Owensboro Catholic

Sep. 11—Owensboro Catholic coach Jason Morris won't hesitate to say how good of a quarterback Brady Atwell is.

"Atwell is the real deal," Morris said Friday night, after Atwell had a major impact with his arm and legs in Owensboro Catholic's 33-28 victory over Owensboro High School on Friday at Rash Stadium. "Atwell is, in my opinion, the best quarterback in our state. I'm not saying that because of bias, I'm saying that from a guy who's coached quarterbacks over 20 years, played the position myself. He's 6-3, 230 pounds, can make every throw on the field and he runs a legit 4.7 40, with power.

"It blows my mind, especially the small D1 schools, have not offered him yet. I'm hoping they're seeing it, all we can do is him keep playing, and eventually it's going to happen for him."

What's happening for Catholic now is Atwell, Tutt Carrico, Vince Carrico, they all share the special attribute of being all over the football field on seemingly every play for Owensboro Catholic.

That trio and a strong surrounding cast are why Catholic has solidified itself as a top five team in Kentucky Class 2A. The Aces were ranked third in the first Kentucky High School Football Media Poll put together by The Courier Journal.

The Aces are 4-0 after beating Owensboro in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2011-2012 seasons.

Atwell got the focus Friday night because he scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard keeper where he spun, kept churning his feet, and got a major assist from Tutt Carrico to get across the goal line with 11.6 seconds left. Atwell and Vince Carrico are juniors. Tutt Carrico is a senior.

Before the touchdown, Atwell hit Noah Rhinerson on a crossing route for 19 yards on a fourth-and-14 play from the Catholic 34 to let Catholic keep the drive alive. Rhinerson made a monster catch on the play as well.

Atwell had scored earlier on a 6-yard touchdown run, he blasted through for a 40-yard touchdown run, he hit Tutt Carrico with a pass in the flat that what would be a 62-yard touchdown play after Carrico spun away from one tackler and stepped over another before breaking free.

In all, Atwell hit 20-of-32 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran 13 times for 101 yards and three more touchdowns. Tutt Carrico caught eight passes for 134 yards and the one touchdown.

As with most team leaders, Atwell spread the praise around to his teammates.

"It was sticking to our offense," Atwell said of his running opportunities. "I've got guys all over the field who can make plays. The offensive line, I was proud of the way they handled themselves, and protected me in the big moments. I'm blessed to be in this situation with all these guys around me to have my back."

As for the last two minutes, when Catholic was trailing 28-27 and trying to pull out the win?

"It's just the fire, the grit," Atwell said. "We're just trying to do our job, get in the end zone and win a game."

If you were looking for stopping power on the other side of the ball, Vince Carrico had 22 total tackles, eight solo, against OHS. Tutt Carrico had 12 tackles, four solo.

"You've just got to be a dog," Tutt said. "If you're walking on the backside of a play, you shouldn't be in. You've got to run to the ball every single time. A lot of the time I'm on the backside and I'm making tackles 10 yards downfield. If you don't run to the ball it's a 20-yard gain. That's just how we play.

"I think I just bring fire. Me and my brother, we feed off each other, other players feed off us, and the team feeds off the faith and community we've got behind us."

Catholic will host Henderson County on Friday. Henderson is usually one of the better Class 6A schools in western Kentucky, but it is 1-3 and trying to break a 3-game skid. Now the Colonels get to try and slow down Atwell and company.

"He is really good," OHS coach Jay Fallin said of Atwell. "He's got a great group of receivers. Tutt, Rhinerson (Waryn) Ebelhar, (Deuce) Sims, and combine that with the fact they have a variety of guys who do a great job of coming out of the backfield in Vince, (Elijah) Blair. It's just a really difficult thing to deal with when you've got an arm that can put it on any of them. Atwell is hard to get to, he just gets it out of his hand really fast."