Saturday, November 03, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Carlisle grinds out win over England

Leader sports editor

Carlisle was never able to slam the door shut on England Friday night, but the Bison were able to steadily pull away from the Lions for a 30-14 victory in the regular-season finale at Fred C. Hardke Field. The win, combined with Des Arc’s huge upset of Hazen, gives the Bison their third consecutive conference championship with a 6-1 league record. Hazen still gets the No. 1 seed from the 2A-6 conference due to its 16-14 win over Carlisle four weeks ago.

Carlisle dominated time of possession, especially in the first half. The Bison held the ball for all but 58 seconds in the first quarter. Their first drive went 67 yards in 14 plays including one fourth-down conversion. Fullback Josh Mathis got the last 5 yards with his first carry. The two-point conversion made it 8-0 with 4:35 left to play.

England’s drive lasted 58 seconds and went three and out. Carlisle took over at its own 24 and put together another good drive that ended in controversy.

Halfback and leading rusher Deron Ricks’ first carry came on the 11th play of the drive and went 8 yards for a touchdown on third and goal from the 8. But Ricks was called for illegal procedure for leaping over an England defender and the touchdown was waved off. Quarterback Chris Hart threw incomplete on third and 13 and Ricks kicked a 30-yard field goal on fourth down to make it 11-0 with 9:47 left in the first half.

England went nowhere on its next drive and used just 2:21 of the clock and Carlisle marched down the field again. The Bison made it to the Lions’ 10-yard line, but defensive back Josh Fudge picked off a Hart pass in the end zone and returned it 65 yards before Hart chased him down at the Carlisle 35-yard line.

This time the Lions were able to punch it in, scoring on a 10-yard run by Curtis Rogers with 59 seconds left in the half.

The two-point try failed and it remained 11-6 at the break.

England got the ball to start the second half but turned it over on downs at the Carlisle 48-yard line.

The Bison went 52 yards in nine plays to score and take a 17-6 lead. Mathis scored again from the 2-yard line but was stopped on the two-point attempt.

England ran just two plays before fumbling on its next drive. Junior linebacker Jacob Jones covered it for Carlisle at the England 38-yard line.

Nothing came easy for Carlisle. It took 10 plays to go 38 yards, but the Bison kept plugging and eventually scored on a 7-yard run by Ricks. The two-point conversion again failed, leaving it 23-6 with 9:42 left in the game.

England put together its best drive of the game on the ensuing possession, going 53 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Tyrik Harris hit Derrell Drayer for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The same duo hooked up for the two-point conversion to make it 23-14 with 7:13 left in the game.

Carlisle put the game away with its next time-consuming drive. The Bison went 53 yards in 11 plays, including two fourth-down conversions. Ricks leaped over the pile from the 1-yard line with 59 seconds left in the game for the final touchdown.

Carlisle (8-1, 6-1) finished with 323 total yards while England (7-3, 5-2) had just 120.

Carlisle will host a first-round playoff game next Friday at Hardke Field.