Friday, August 24, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Carlisle plows over Bald Knob in benefit

Leader sports editor

The game started a little later than expected at the Carlisle-Bald Knob preseason matchup on Tuesday, but the Bison wasted little time getting things rolling once it did. Carlisle junior fullback Bo Weddle went 60 yards untouched for a touchdown on the first play, and that set the tone for the rest of the contest.

Carlisle got the ball in the end zone six times while Bald Knob was held without a score and scarcely converted a first down. It was a major improvement from last Friday night, when Carlisle head coach Scott Waymire was displeased with how his team performed.

“We played well tonight,” Waymire said. “We threw the ball and caught the ball. I was really pleased with how hard our backs ran the ball. We have to get a little better with pass protection. We missed some blocking at times but I’m glad we held onto the football. Last week I think we turned it over five times and we didn’t do that at all tonight. So overall I’m pleased.”

The two teams started the scrimmage session by trading 12-play drives. Carlisle got the ball back at the 40 after Weddle’s long touchdown run. Two Deron Ricks carries went for 9 yards, setting up third and one. But things went backward from there. An illegal procedure penalty, followed by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the same play, made it third down and 21. Josh Mathis ran for 1 yard on third down and an incomplete pass on fourth down put the Bison back at their own 40 for another set of downs.

Chris Hart hit Braden Reed for a big gain on third down, but an illegal block penalty called the play back. It made little difference. On the next play, Ricks ran 51 yards for another Bison touchdown.

Carlisle came out passing again on the eighth play of the drive. Hart completed four consecutive passes, the last one good for 32 yards and a touchdown to junior Justice Bryant on the last play of the possession.

Bald Knob could not get a first down until the 10th play of its possession. A 10-yard pass on fourth and 2 was followed by a 14-yard completion on the next play that got to the Carlisle 21-yard line. But the Bulldogs only had one play left and gained just one yard after quarterback Trevor Hyde was forced to scramble after pressure from Clayton Fields.

Carlisle’s second-team offense scored once when the backups traded eight-play possessions. On the fourth play, Tyler Young went 27 yards for the score.

After the designated plays format ended, the two teams put 12 minutes on the clock and played one long quarter of timed football. Each team got three possessions with Carlisle scoring twice while holding Bald Knob scoreless.

The Bison started their first drive on their own 30-yard line after forcing a Bulldog punt. It took just four plays to go the distance.

Mathis picked up 19 yards on two carries before Weddle had another 12-yard gain. On the fifth play, junior Deron Ricks broke two tackles and ran 39 yards for another touchdown.

Bald Knob got a little offense going on its next possession. The Bulldogs picked up 8 yards on first down and 9 on second down for their third first-down of the game. After an incomplete pass, Fields got heavy pressure on the quarterback, who turned and ran into Weddle who had also broken into the offensive backfield.

“I was pleased defensively,” Waymire said. “I thought we lined up right. I thought we did a good job of recognizing on defense. Bald Knob has a wide-open attack and they’ve put up a lot of yards recently.”

After another incomplete pass, Bald Knob punted to the Carlisle 18-yard line.

This time it took six plays and it was Ricks again who capped the drive with a 29-yard burst up the middle. Ricks finished with five carries for 128 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bison will open the regular season next Friday on the road at McCrory.