Saturday, October 24, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Brinkley runs through Carlisle defense

Leader sportswriter

Carlisle’s homecoming was spoiled by Brinkley last night at Fred C. Hardke Field, as the Tigers dominated the 2A-6 Conference matchup, beating the Bison by the final score of 34-8.

The Bison fell into a 22-0 hole at halftime. Carlisle (3-5, 3-3) scored its only touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, but Brinkley (4-3, 3-3) also found the end zone on its first drive of the third quarter, and scored again early in the fourth to put the game out of Carlisle’s reach.

“We dug ourselves in a hole early,” said Carlisle coach Jack Keith. “We just didn’t play disciplined enough. They’ve got some big, physical, athletic backs, and we just didn’t do a good enough job tackling.”

Brinkley’s first score came on the third play of the game. After runs of 4 and 3 yards by 6-foot-2, 218-pound running back Daquan Greene, running back Johnny Aldridge took the third handoff and ran off the right tackle 89 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The PAT was no good, making it 6-0 Brinkley.

Carlisle turned it over on downs on its first offensive series, and Brinkley answered with another score. The Tigers converted a third and 25 play to keep the drive alive, and found the end zone again on the drive’s 10th play.

Aldridge scored again, this time from 8 yards out. Quarterback Accoreia Couch ran in the two-point conversion to give Brinkley a 14-0 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter.

Brinkley then covered one of two squib kicks that bounced off a Bison player, but the Tigers’ ensuing drive ended with an interception by Carlisle’s Ty Golleher in the end zone. Golleher returned the pick to the Bison 25, where the Bison offense took over.

On the first play of that drive, Golleher took a misdirection run that fooled both the Tiger defense and the officials 75 yards for a touchdown. The play was negated, though, because one of the line officials blew the play dead because he thought fullback Tyler Sanders was the one with the ball.

Sanders was tackled in the backfield by the Brinkley defense, and as that happened, Golleher broke loose down the field and scored with ease. However, because the line official prematurely blew the play dead, the ball was brought back to the 25, where the Bison had to replay the down.

Carlisle’s offense couldn’t overcome the officiating mistake, as it went three-and-out after that play.

“The line judge on the other side called it dead because he thought the fullback had it,” Keith said. “So they blew it dead. An inadvertent whistle we should have the option to take the ball wherever the ball is or replay the down. They called him down, so we had to replay it from back there.

“It’s a bad call. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve still got to be able to overcome it and make plays after it.”

Brinkley added its final score of the first half with 41 seconds remaining till halftime. That score came on a 34-yard run by Couch and Aldridge scored the two-point conversion to make it 22-0 at the break.

The Bison opened the second half with their scoring drive. On the third play of the half, Golleher broke off the left tackle 44 yards for Carlisle’s only touchdown of the night. Sanders ran in the two-point try to make it 22-8 with 11:02 left in the third quarter.

Brinkley’s offense responded with an 8-play drive that ended with a 44-yard touchdown run by Greene, and the Tigers scored their final touchdown of the night on defense.

Shun Ward returned a Carlisle fumble 30-plus yards for a touchdown with 9:56 to play. Ward’s touchdown set the final score.

Brinkley finished the conference game with 411 yards of offense. The Tigers had two 100-yard rushers. Aldridge led the way with 23 carries for 158 yards and two scores. Greene had 17 carries for 116 yards and one touchdown.

Carlisle finished with 128 yards of offense. Golleher had seven carries for 43 yards and one touchdown. Sanders had 15 carries for 47 yards.

Despite the loss, Carlisle’s playoff hopes are still alive. If things go as predicted next week and the Bison beat Clarendon (1-7, 1-5) and Brinkley beats Augusta (3-5, 3-4) that will likely give the Bison the fifth and final playoff seed from the 2A-6.

Clarendon got its first win of the season over winless Marvell 30-14 last night. Next week’s kickoff at Clarendon will start at 7 p.m.