Carroll Academy Football Coach Bo Milton knew it was going to be a physical football game with Indianola Academy this week.
Milton was right, and that suited the veteran coach just fine.
The Rebels used a solid rushing attack and a stingy defense to take a 21-14 win over the Colonels on Friday night.
With the win, Carroll improves to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in District 2-3A play. The Rebels host Winona Christian this week with a chance to secure the district championship with a win.
In the end, the game was exactly what Milton thought it was going to be.
“It was a war,” Milton said. “It was a good, old-fashioned high school slobber knocker. It was like a heavy-weight fight where both guys just stood in the middle of the ring throwing haymakers. Both teams just kept on punching. Fortunately, we came out on top.”
The Colonels got the ball to start the game and promptly went 65 yards in six plays. After a 50-yard pass play, the Colonels finally scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to take an early 7-0 lead.
The game was a defensive battle for the remainder of the first quarter with five straight three-and-outs by the offenses.
The Rebels finally got in the end zone early in the second quarter, going 39 yards in six plays, as Hunter Brackin scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. Hunter Grantham booted the PAT to tie the game up at 7-7.
The Rebels got a break on defense when Mathis Beck recovered an Indianola fumble at the Colonels’ 14. Two plays later, Brennan Blaylock scored on a 15-yard run. Grantham’s PAT failed, and Carroll took a 13-7 lead.
On the ensuing kick, the Colonels busted free, but Braxton York ran down the Indianola carrier at the one-yard line. The Rebels then held Indianola out of the end zone to preserve the lead that stood until halftime.
“That was probably the play of the game on the kickoff,” Milton said. “They broke [away at] kickoff, and Braxton York ran him down on a hustle play. Then we stuffed them on defense and turned them over on downs. That was just great defense by our kids, and I was super proud of that.”
The Rebels got another break late in the third quarter when the Colonels had a bad snap on a punt, giving Carroll the ball at their own 41. Six plays later, Blaylock scored on a 3-yard run and Brackin ran in the two-point conversion to give Carroll a 21-7 lead.
“I was proud of the way we played, but it was sloppy at times,” Milton said. “There are lots of penalties and turnovers and field conditions were sloppy. Our offense was inconsistent, but we still ran for 250 yards. I thought Hunter Brackin finally looked like himself, and Brennan had a good game. We moved the ball well at times but not consistently. It was a four-quarter game and it was just mentally exhausting.”
The Colonels added a fourth-quarter touchdown and had the ball at the end of the game but an interception by Noah Beck in the end zone preserved the win for the Rebels.
The Rebels had 226 yards rushing and negative 15 passing for 211 total yards.
Brackin led the offense with 87 yards rushing on 18 carries while Blaylock had 70 yards on 13 carries. Mathis Beck had 44 yards rushing on nine carries while Maddox Carpenter had 28 yards rushing on five carries.
On defense, Cooper Beck had six tackles with three for a loss while Maddox Carpenter had six stops. Hunter Brower had four tackles with two for a loss while Noah Beck had four tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery