The season didn’t start the way that Carroll Academy football Coach Bo Milton had hoped. But the Rebels closed out the season opener with Kirk Academy the way that Milton thought they would.
The Rebels fell behind early but then scored 37 unanswered points to take a 37-7 win over rival Kirk on Friday.
Overall, Milton said he was pleased with what he saw from his team on Friday night, even though the Rebels fumbled on their second play on offense, giving Kirk the ball at the Carroll 20. Kirk then went 20 yards in three plays and scored on a 9-yard run with 8:18 left in the first.
“I think once we got over some jitters, I thought we dominated the game for the rest of the night,” Milton said. “I thought our defense played well the whole game. I thought after the fumble, we settled down and got back into our routine of running buck sweeps and running our offense. I thought we were really physical, and I thought it was a really good game on both sides for us.”
After falling behind, the Rebels responded with a 12-play, 73-yard drive as Morgan Mims scored on a 1-yard run. Mims ran in the two-point conversion and CA led 8-7.
Kirk then fumbled on the ensuing possession and Carroll scored on a 5-yard run by Braxton York. Hunter Bracken ran in the two-point conversion and Carroll led 16-7.
The Rebels then scored with 57 seconds left in the first half as Bracken scored on a 1-yard run to cap off an eight-play, 65-yard drive. The PAT failed and Carroll led 22-7. The Rebels were able to force a punt with seconds remaining in the second quarter, and Mims returned it 70 yards for a touchdown and Carroll led 30-7 at the half.
“I thought our kids played really hard,” Milton said. “We had some penalties and a couple of late hits and that happens when you are playing hard. We have nine kids playing both ways. We had a couple of weather delays and didn’t finish until 11 and I thought our kids handled that well. I was pleased with the effort and intensity of our team.”
The Rebels got the ball to open the second half and put together an 11-play drive but eventually turned the ball over on downs.
The Rebels got the ball right back on an interception by Hogan Costilow. The Rebels then went 62 yards in six plays as Mims scored on a 25-yard run. Mims booted the PAT for the final margin.
Carroll had 355 yards of total offense with 342 rushing and 13 passing. Bracken had 163 yards rushing on 18 carries while Mims rushed for 83 yards on 10 carries. York had 79 yards on 10 carries.
“I thought we played where my expectations are, which are through the roof,” Milton said. “I think that finally came through. They are finally starting to understand. I saw some good things. We had 342 yards rushing and that’s always a good thing.”
The Rebels will hit the road this week as they travel to Hillcrest Christian on Friday.
Hillcrest is 0-2 with a 14-12 loss to Amite School Center and a 41-14 loss to Glenbrook. The Cougars are coached by former Ole Miss standout and NFL player Shay Hodge.
“I know they are down, but they have some athletes,” Milton said. “You can tell they are trying to do the right things and get over the hump, I just hope it’s after we play them.”