After opening the season with five straight wins and running over opponents, Carroll Academy didn’t have to look far for a challenge.
The Rebels had trouble finding the end zone as Class AAAA Pillow scored on all four of its first-half possessions and took a 36-0 win before an overflow crowd.
With the loss, the Rebels fall to 5-1 on the season and will travel to unbeaten Tunica on Friday.
Carroll Coach Bo Milton knew his Rebels would have their hands full with Pillow, who came in with a 1-4 record but had losses to Indianola, Madison-Ridgeland, Bayou and Jackson Prep.
“We ran into a better team,” Milton said. “The matchup was a AAAA versus a AA. They are a lot better than their record shows. They have played some really good competition. We weren’t able to do some of the things we like to do. But I thought the effort was good for the whole game. I thought they played hard, no matter the score and that’s all you can ask.”
Pillow used the big play to jump out to an early lead as they scored on pass plays of 38, 15 and 42 yards to go up 22-0.
The Rebels put together their best drive of the half late in the second as they started at their own 20 and went 14 plays before turning the ball over on downs at the Pillow 27. Six plays later, Pillow scored on a 1-yard run and led 29-0 at the half.
“I thought we did some good things,” Milton said. “We had some first downs and moved the ball on them. We just didn’t convert. We weren’t very consistent on offense and that hurt us.”
Pillow added a five-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter for the final margin of 36-0.
“It was one of the biggest crowds we have had at Carroll,” Milton said. “It’s not a game we would schedule every year, but we thought this was a good year to play when we both had openings. It was a good atmosphere and something that can help us get prepared for games like that in the future. I thought our kids realized after the game that we played a good football team. There was no shame in it, and I thought they handled it well. I think we will be ready to bounce back this week.”
The Rebels had 186 yards of total offense as they rushed for 146 yards and threw for 40. Hunter Brackin had 54 yards on 11 carries while Jeb Beck had 48 yards on 16 carries. Morgan Mims had 44 yards on 11 carries and was 3-of-6 passing for 40 yards.
Crawford Holly had five tackles while Reese Fulton had four tackles.
The Rebels will try to bounce back this week as they will travel to Tunica and take on the Blue Devils.
Tunica is 5-0 on the season with wins over the Memphis Nighthawks (40-0), Macon Baptist Road (28-12), Oak Hill (30-14), Deer Creek (30-0) and Columbus Christian (46-3).
"They are probably the No. 1 team in Class A,” Milton said. “It should be a good matchup. We scrimmaged them early in the year and it doesn’t look like they do anything different. We will try to get back on track this week.”
After Tunica, Carroll will finish the regular season with three straight home division games against Marshall, Winona Christian and Central Holmes.