Monday, September 23, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Carlisle rolls up yardage, beats 'Noles

Leader sportswriter

Despite the wet conditions, class 2A’s No. 2 ranked Carlisle Bison ran all over class 3A Osceola en route to a dominant 36-12 nonconference win Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field.

The Bison (3-0) dominated the line of scrimmage through all four quarters, racking up 459 yards of total offense – all of which came on the ground. The Seminoles (1-2) managed just 164 yards of offense, 56 of which came through the air.

Even though the Bison offense was able to move the chains consistently, there were too many fumbles for head coach Brandon Barabree’s taste.

“Offensively, we did some great things,” said Barbaree, “execution-wise though, we put the ball on the ground. Even in the wet conditions, that’s what we try to stay away from. As far as the conditions, it is what it is. We can’t control it, so we’ve got to be better offensively and finish drives.”

Barbaree was pleased, however, with the play of his defense. The Bison-D had two big-time stops inside its own 10-yard line, the first of which came at the very beginning of the game.

Osceola’s Quintavious Hendrix took the opening kickoff all the way down to the Carlisle 7-yard line to set up first and goal for the Seminoles. The next two plays were run plays by speedy senior Ashton Nalls, who totaled just four yards on the two plays.

The next play was a pass, but quarterback Harold Weeden was dropped for a 10-yard loss and an incomplete pass the next play turned the ball over on downs.

The second defensive stand came late in the fourth quarter after the Seminoles moved the ball inside the Carlisle 5-yard line to set up first and goal. Weeden and Nalls split four-straight run plays to try and punch it in, but the Bison defensive line wouldn’t budge and forced another key turnover on downs.

“We finally stepped up defensively,” Barbaree said. “They take the opening kickoff down inside the 10. Our guys blew them back and we stopped them on downs – same thing with the second half. They (Osceola) could’ve had a momentum-changing drive, but we stopped them.

“So I was really proud of our guys up front, defensively. Keyshaun Allen, Dylan Brazeal, Tristan Kirkman, Colton Isbell. They played lights out tonight and I’m really proud of those guys and the rest of our defense.”

The Bison offense followed their game-opening defensive stand with a four-play drive that was capped off by a 45-yard touchdown run by senior running back DeRon Ricks with 8:14 to play in the first quarter.

Fellow senior standout Bo Weddle punched in the two-point conversion to give Carlisle an early 8-0 lead.

Neither team scored again until the 11:15 mark of the second quarter, when Nalls took a halfback draw 36 yards to the house to cut the deficit to two. The two-point try was no good, and on the ensuing kickoff, Weddle received the kick at the Carlisle 22 and dashed 78 yards for another Bison touchdown.

Senior Justice Bryant took the handoff in for the two-point conversion, which put Carlisle up 16-6. The Bison increased their lead two-series later on another 40-plus yard touchdown run by Ricks – this one from 43 yards.

The PAT was no good, but Carlisle led 22-6 with just under four minutes to play in the opening half. It took Osceola’s offense just two plays, however, to score after Ricks’ second touchdown of the night.

Nalls broke for a 49-yard touchdown run after Weeden started the drive with an incomplete pass. The PAT was no good, and at the break, Carlisle led 22-12. The second half couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for the Seminoles.

The opening kickoff, which appeared to be a surprise onside kick attempt, went just two yards, and the Bison offense took over at the Osceola 43. On the fifth play of the drive, Ricks scored his third rushing touchdown of the night on a 26-yard run with 9:30 to go in the third quarter, which put Carlisle up 28-12.

The Bison defense held strong for the remainder of the game, and the offense found the end zone one last time with 5:44 to play on a 20-yard burst up the middle by Weddle. Quarterback Austin Reed attempted his first and only pass of the game on the two-point try, and completed it to Ricks to set the final score.

Ricks led the Bison ground game with 206 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. Weddle also had triple-digit yards as she finished with 21 carries for 144 yards and one touchdown. Junior fullback Jacob Gordon came in late and added five carries for 82 yards.

Carlisle will open its 2A-6 Conference schedule on the road next week at Palestine-Wheatley. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.