Saturday, November 23, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Bison outrun Eagles for win

Special to The Leader

It was wet, cold, and windy at Fred C. Hardke Field as Carlisle hosted Conway Christian in the second round of the class 2A state football playoffs. The Bison were the favored team and did not disappoint as senior running backs DeRon Ricks and Bo Weddle again led the charge and Carlisle came away with the 48-26 victory.

The Bison extended its record to 11-1 and move on to the third round of the playoffs against Rison, while Conway Christian’s season ended with a record of 6-6.

Ricks had 243 yards, three touchdowns, and one two-point conversion, giving him a total of 1,590 rushing yards for the season. Weddle rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the second Bison back to go over the 1,000-yard mark with 1,104 yards. Justice Bryant added 52 yards, one touchdown, two two-point conversions, and an interception. Thomas McCallie rushed for 58 yards and one touchdown.

Carlisle finished with 507 total yards, all rushing, while the Eagles had 275 combined rushing and passing yards.

“It was one of those nasty nights when you know you couldn’t do everything right because of the conditions, but our guys physically played hard and did what we had to do to keep playing,” said Carlisle head coach Brandon Barbaree.

“We get to play again. I thought our offensive line moved bodies well for how many they had up on the line, and I thought DeRon Ricks and Bo Weddle ran the heck out of the football. It was a good team win.”

The Bison got on the board first with a 51-yard opening drive that consumed over seven minutes of the first quarter clock. Weddle and Ricks, along with Bryant and McCallie, moved the ball down the field with Ricks finishing the drive from the 1-yard line. The extra point try was no good, leaving the score 6-0.

The same backs marched down the field again on Carlisle’s next possession, but it was Weddle with the touchdown from 7-yards out. Ricks added the two-point conversion for the 14-0 lead. Conway Christian’s next possession ended when Bryant intercepted quarterback Chandler Ferrand.

A block in the back penalty brought the return back to midfield. The Eagles quickly turned the tables when Chase Kehler stripped the ball from a Bison running back and returned it all the way to the end zone. The extra point try was unsuccessful, but Conway Christian was on the board, trailing 14-6.

Carlisle answered back with an 85-yard scoring drive, this time with Bryant taking the ball in on a 31-yard touchdown scamper. Bryant also added the two-point conversion, making the lead 22-6 with 1:27 to go in the half.

It took the Eagles only one minute to answer back, with first-down runs by Andrew Steely and Ferrand, before Ferrand connected with Casey Roark in the end zone. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score at the half was 22-12 in favor of the home team.

The Bison’s second half scoring was all Ricks on the first two possessions, as he took the first play from scrimmage to the end zone on each, with touchdown runs of 64 and 69 yards. Bryant added the two-point conversion on the first, and the next attempt was no good.

The Eagles scored between the two drives however, with Ferrand finding Jon Mark Weed in the end zone for the score. The two-point conversion was good on that drive, and the score was 36-20 with 7:03 to go in the third quarter.

After a long kickoff by Carlisle and a short punt by Conway Christian, the Bison found themselves with very good field position on the Eagle 28-yard line. Weddle found the end zone from 15-yards out and Carlisle pulled ahead 42-20. The two-point conversion was no good.

Conway Christian answered back with a 76-yard scoring drive. Seth Smith broke free to the Carlisle 11-yard line and Ferrand ran the ball in from the 1-yard line. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving a 42-26 lead for the Bison.

Carlisle added one touchdown in the fourth quarter, following a time-consuming drive culminating with an 8-yard touchdown by McCallie. The two-point conversion was no good, setting the final score of 48-26.

Jordan Sheets recovered an Eagle fumble as Conway Christian tried to answer to help preserve the Bison victory.