Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Bison lose key back with Seminoles next

Leader sportswriter

Although Carlisle has yet to play a full 48-minute game this season, the Bison were able to dominate Mountain Pine 50-0 for three and one-third quarters last week and will travel to class 3A Osceola on Friday for the final non-conference game of the season.

Unlike Mountain Pine, which is going through a rebuilding year, Osceola (1-1) will be a formidable opponent for Carlisle (1-0). All-conference senior running back Korliss Marshall ran for 1,421 yards and 22 touchdowns a year ago, but isn’t the only one in the Seminoles’ backfield that can give opposing defenses a headache.

Fellow senior Jamal Jackson, who is also the team’s defensive leader, ran five times for 97 yards and two scores in last week’s 18-0 weather-shortened win over Gosnell. Carlisle has a stable of backs as well, but will be without junior standout Bo Weddle for the remainder of the season after he suffered a torn ACL on the Bison’s first possession against Mountain Pine.

“I found it out (Monday),” said Carlisle coach Scott Waymire about Weddle’s injury. “He came and spoke with me after practice and let me know the results. The good thing is he’s a junior. He’ll have surgery in the next couple of weeks, and I know he’s going to come back and have a great 2013 season. He’s a super kid in everything he does, and he does everything right.

“So we hate this, but you know that’s part of the game. You can’t replace a guy like Bo Weddle if he’s not in the lineup because of his attitude and his character. What you see on Friday nights from him you see Monday thru Thursday. You just can’t replace that stuff but we have guys that will have to fill in.”

Junior running back Deron Ricks has already been expected to have a big increase in carries this year after rushing for nearly 700 yards as a sophomore. But with Weddle out, even more will be expected of the big bruiser.

Fullback Josh Mathis could see a significant increase in carries as well to help assist Ricks in the backfield.

It’s no secret that Carlisle likes to run the ball, but other than all-state left tackle Clayton Fields; the Bison front will be undersized compared to the Seminoles’ defense.

“They’re athletic and big which are two dangerous combinations,” Waymire said of Osceola. “They got a big fullback/linebacker that’s about 6’1, 220 in Jamal Jackson. He’s a heck of a player and they’re big up front.

“They probably average 265 (pounds) across. So we definitely have our hands full on everything that we’re going to do. We just have to come out and play.”

Weddle, who also led the Bison defense in tackles last season at linebacker, will leave a big void at the position. Mathis and Ricks, both linebackers, are expected to step up in an attempt to fill that void along with others.

The injury Weddle sustained was the topic of discussion after last week’s game, but the Bison’s success in the passing game has also been noted.

Last week senior quarterback Chris Hart threw for 125 yards and four touchdowns against the Red Devils. Two went to junior wideout Austin Reed and two went to junior Justice Bryant.

Hart proved to be a prolific passer last year after throwing for more than 500 yards and 11 touchdowns (one interception) in limited time at the position.

Osceola’s senior Maurian Carr has finally earned his shot as the Seminoles’ starter after playing back-up the previous two seasons.

Carr’s athleticism will give the Bison defense another thing to prepare for in addition to the play-making abilities of Marshall and Jackson.

Weddle’s production on the field will no doubt be missed for the remainder of the season, but Friday night’s game at Osceola promises to be good game between two solid teams.