True, the Bishop Ludden football team still has to clear a few more hurdles in Class C West, and nothing is certain in this game.
Still, the Gaelic Knights' 48-7 romp over Tully Friday night, right on the Black Knights' home field, seems to indicate that the gap between Ludden and other league teams is quite large.
Tully had shown every indication of giving the Gaelic Knights a real battle. On its way to a 2-0 start, the Black Knights had piled up 96 total points, a far cry from 2008, when it went 1-8.
But none of these gaudy numbers meant too much, even in front of a charged-up home crowd. Ludden, alert to any possible threat to its recent league supremacy, arrived and did a methodical dismantling of Tully's plans.
It started, naturally, with quarterback John Rooney, who moved his team to Tully's 25-yard line before taking the ball himself and, finding a gap, ran to the end zone for a quick 7-0 advantage.
Rooney damaged the Black Knights through the air in the second quarter, starting out with a 13-yard TD pass to tight end Chris Davis, who also went six-for-seven kicking extra points.
But the biggest play came next. Pinned back at his own 10-yard line, Rooney decided to go deep - and he found E.J. Beauford, who finished off a 90-yard touchdown play.
Tully didn't surrender yet, as Mike Courtwright's three-yard TD run kept his team within sight, 21-7, at halftime. But Ludden's defense would not allow anything more, and the ground game would take over in the second half.
Omar Osbourne, relatively quiet in the first half, earned his fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season - first a 15-yard run, then a 70-yard sprint. Rooney also scored on a three-yard run, and Marshall Merritt went 30 yards for the night's final TD.
Ludden (3-0), no. 7 in the first state Class C rankings of the season, now returns home to face Jordan-Elbridge on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Eagles, who fell to LaFayette/Fabius-Pompey 20-14 on Saturday, are still in search of its first win of 2009.