Saturday, September 04, 2010

SPORTS>>Carlisle runs over Riverview in opener

Leader sportswriter

Riverview kept it close for a half until Carlisle’s grinding running game wore the Raiders down in the second half, and the Bison cruised to a 28-6 victory on Friday at Raider Stadium in Searcy.

Both sides had their share of the expected, early-season mishaps, including 60-plus penalty yards each way, but Carlisle’s four interceptions of Riverview junior quarterback Josh Roach proved to be the ultimate momentum killer against the Raiders.

“Their size seems to do it to us every year,” Riverview coach Stuart Hill said. “They’re double the size of us up front, and no matter how many people we ship in and out up front, it just wears on you.”

Carlisle used the passing game sporadically, but the Bison offense capped a dominant night by scoring their final touchdown with a 26-yard completion from quarterback Zach King to D.J. Miller that made it 28-0 with 2:44 left to play.

The Raiders never quit fighting, and finally found the end zone in the final minute when Roach scrambled four yards for the score. The drive started with three solid runs by backup fullback Zach Grimes, who moved the ball from the Carlisle 48 to the 23 before Roach broke free on a 19-yard keeper that set the Raiders up with first and goal at the 4.

“We make just a few more plays offensively, and it’s a different game,” Hill said. “We’re real close to making those plays. You know, a few little passes here just kept us out of it.

“Up front, we had trouble with their D-line, anyone’s going to have trouble with their D-line, I mean, they’re a top-five team because of their line.”

Carlisle took control mid-way through the third quarter on a drive aided by heavy penalties against Riverview.

Senior linebacker Chayse Parson was flagged when his hit on Carlisle ball carrier Braxton Petrus came just after the whistle. That moved the ball forward 15 yards, and another penalty against the Raiders, this time for unsportsmanlike conduct, moved it ahead half the distance to the goal line to give the Bison a first down at the Riverview 10-yard-line.

Carlisle converted on the next play when Caleb Carpenter ran it up the middle for the touchdown with 4:27 left in the third quarter to give the Bison a 16-0 lead following Blake Perkins’ successful conversion run.

Ben Walker gave the Bison a three-score cushion with 8:12 left to play on a 52-yard touchdown run.

Riverview’s defense sniffed out the tricky Wing-T runs for the most part in the first half, but better execution by Carlisle in the second half combined with winded Riverview defenders allowed the Bison to rack up the yards and score on three of their five possessions.

“Defensively, I think we are better,” Hill said. “Last year, we played as good a game defensively as we could, and we held them to 30-something.

“Tonight, the offense put us in bad positions, and we were close to shutting them down. I mean, we were that close.”

Ben Walker improved field position with a 28-yard run to the Carlisle 40, followed by a nine-yard run by D.J. Miller. Caleb Carpenter then went off tackle for a 29-yard run that pushed the ball to the Riverview 22, and Carpenter ran in for the score two plays later from 20 yards out.

Roach completed 11 of 23 passes for 114 yards and four interceptions, and rushed 12 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders had 218 yards of total offense.

Walker carried 10 times for 97 yards and a touchdown while Carpenter had five rushes for 88 yards and two scores. The Bison finished with 374 total yards, 303 of which were on the ground.