Saturday, November 10, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Bison get another date with Warriors

Leader sportswriter

A fast start for Carlisle allowed the Bison to claim a 39-14 victory over Mount Ida in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs at Fred C. Hardke Field on Friday.

The Bison (9-1) controlled all aspects of the game in the first half and built a 33-0 lead at the break before junior Deron Ricks set Carlisle up with a short field to start the second half when he recovered a Lions fumble at their 36-yard line. Senior quarterback Chris Hart activated the sportsmanship/timing rule three plays later with a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Bison a 39-0 lead at the 8:15 mark of the third quarter, his third score in as many carries.

The only hiccup for Carlisle in the game was at center, as starting junior Christian Cotton was held out of the game with a nagging shoulder injury. Senior Jimmy Kolke, a starting tackle, stepped in Cotton’s place and had trouble snapping to Hart early on. That led to four fumbles during the Bison’s first three possessions, all of which were covered by Hart.

“We had some problems with the exchange with the center and quarterback,” Carlisle coach Scott Waymire said. “But we made some plays on third and long, did a good job throwing and catching. The running backs ran hard. They had a turnover there that went against them. We got out of there with a win, and got out healthy.”

The Bison advance to the second round of the 2A playoffs, where they will travel to Lepanto next week to face East Poinsett County, a 52-14 winner over Norphlet on Friday. The game will mark the third consecutive year the two teams have seen each other in postseason play.

The Lions (6-5) lost their first possession to a fumble that was recovered by Carlisle senior lineman Clayton Fields at the Mount Ida 42-yard line. That led to a nine-play drive for the Bison, capped by a four-yard touchdown run by Ricks with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter to make it 12-0. Ricks rushed 10 times for 62 yards and a touchdown, as well as leading the Bison in tackles from his linebacker position, along with his kicking duties for Carlisle.

“He did a tremendous job of putting us in field position (with his) kicking,” Waymire said. “He’s a heck of a ballplayer, and people respect him. People see him on film and what he does, and they know they’ve got to stop No. 22.

“A lot of times, that opens things up for us. It opened Justice up with a counter off what we do with him, and it opened up our passing game.”

Hart bailed out the Bison on key third-and-long situations with the passing game, including a 27-yard toss to junior Austin Reed on third and 21 at the Carlisle 18 to start the second quarter. Two plays later, Hart found Justice Bryant open for a 35-yard pass play that took the ball down to the Mount Ida 14-yard line. Junior Braden Reed was the recipient on the next pass, a 12-yarder in double coverage that gave the Bison a first and goal at the Lions’ 1-yard line before Hart went over the top for his first of three touchdown rushes.

“Chris Hart and our receivers have done a great job this year throwing the football,” Waymire said. “We feel very confident throwing the football. Chris, he’s a senior quarterback who has done a great job for us. Honestly, our receiving corps is the best since I’ve been here in seven years. Both the Reed boys did a great job running routes, and Justice Bryant has done a tremendous job catching the football for us this year.”

Mount Ida cleaned up the score late against Carlisle’s junior-varsity defense with a 28-yard touchdown run by senior running back Josh Hall with 5:14 left to play in the third quarter, and a 3-yard touchdown run by Kevin Weston with 5:13 remaining.

Hart was 7 for 10 passing for 118 yards, and carried 10 times for 47 yards and three touchdowns. Bryant had four carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, while Austin Reed had three receptions for 52 yards. The Bison had 337 yards total offense.

For the Lions, Hall led the way with 19 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown, as Mount Ida finished with 246 total yards.