Carroll Academy football Coach Bo Milton left the Tri-County jamboree on Thursday with mixed feelings.
On one hand, the Rebels played sound defense against Newton County Academy and Central Hinds. But then there was the thing that Milton hates more than anything, and that was turnovers. The Rebels tied Newton 0-0 and then beat Central Hinds 8-7.
Milton was aggravated by the penalties and turnovers that killed drives by the offense.
“What bothered me most was the turnovers,” Milton said. “We had three lost fumbles and an interception. We preach all the time about possession of the football and protecting the ball. That bothered me more than anything. And we had a touchdown called back on holding when there was no need for holding. Most of the things we did were correctable.”
Carroll’s lone score came when Morgan Mims hit Logan Taylor on a 35-yard touchdown pass against Central Hinds.
“We finally got down the field and scored,” Milton said. “We moved the ball but had a bad holding penalty and threw an interception. When you turn the ball over, it’s a mental thing. We have to be mentally tougher and eliminate those turnovers.”
Against Newton, the Rebels were able to shut down the NCA offense.
“Again, we moved the ball well but shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers,” Milton said. “I was pretty aggravated that we had a chance to put two TDs on the board and finish a drive and didn’t. Turnovers and not finishing drives are pet peeves of mine. I was really frustrated with that because we played really good defense. But it’s a jamboree and the reason you play those are to get all of those jitters and bugs out.”
The Rebels will finally get the regular season kicked off as they host rival Kirk Academy on Friday night.
Last year, the Rebels played one of their best games of the season as they beat the Raiders 33-7. The Raiders went on to lose seven more straight games and finish at 1-9 on the season.
“Kirk is an improved football team from last year,” Milton said. “Coach Chandler is doing a good job with them. They have some speed and some size and seem to be aggressive on defense. We have to be prepared to play four quarters of football.”
Last year, Milton said the Rebels played one of their best games of the season.
“They run a 3-4 on defense and bring those linebackers,” Milton said. “We have to be able to pick up those stunts. If we can get to the edge and get in the secondary, we can make some plays. We have beat them the last two years and last year we played our best game for four quarters.”