Even with a 14-0 lead at the half, Carroll Academy football coach Bo Milton wasn’t exactly pleased with his squad.
But the Rebels came out in the second half and pulled away to take a 44-0 win over Hillcrest Christian. With the win, the Rebels improved to 2-0 on the season.
Milton said it was the kind of first half where it could have gone wrong for the Rebels.
“It wasn’t a pretty first half for us at all,” Milton said. “We were kind of lethargic. We had a little let down from a big win last week. But give Hillcrest credit, they played hard and were more athletic than you saw on film. They loaded the box on us and didn’t allow us to run the ball. We shot ourselves in the foot and if it could go wrong, it went wrong.”
The Rebels got the ball to start the game and promptly drove 76 yards in nine plays as Hunter Bracken scored on a 3-yard run with 7:30 left to play in the first quarter. The PAT failed and the Rebels led 6-0.
After each team traded possessions after turning the ball over on downs, Carrol got an interception from Morgan Mims. The Rebels then drove 38 yards in six plays and scored on a 2-yard run by Braxton York. Mims ran the two-point conversion and the Rebels led 14-0 at the half.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” Milton said. “I think we gave up two first downs the whole night and they might have crossed midfield once. I thought we did a good job of gang tackling. We had a forced fumble and an interception by Morgan. We continued to do what we do and that’s gang tackle and not give up the big play.”
In the second half, the Rebels kicked off and recovered an onside kick. From there the Rebels needed just three plays to find the end zone. After Mims ripped off a 45-yard run, the senior scored on a 6-yard run. The two-point conversion was good and Carroll led 22-0.
After a quick three and out by Hillcrest, the Rebels got right back to work as they went 78 yards with Mims ripping off a 75-yard run. John Marc O’Cain scored from 1 yards out and the Rebels added a two-point conversion and led 30-0.
After another Hillcrest punt, the Rebels moved 78 yards in seven plays and Mims scored on a 20-yard run. O’Cain scored on the two-point conversion and Carroll led 38-0.
The Rebels got one last score when the Hillcrest punter bobbled a bad snap, giving the Rebels the ball at their own 3. Three plays later, Corbin Walker scored on a 9-yard run with 4:37 left to play to make the score 44-0.
“We changed a few things in the second half,” Milton said. “We put Morgan at tailback and got him the ball. He’s a bigger guy and we gashed them pretty good. He ended up with more than 200 yards rushing and put the game away for us.”
The Rebels had 396 yards on the night with 379 yards rushing.
Mims had 220 yards rushing on 12 carries while Brackeen had 74 yards on 12 carries. York had 54 yards on 10 carries while John Mark O’Cain had 31 yards on five carries. Mims was just 2-of-5 passing for 17 yards.
The Rebels will begin district play Friday night as they travel to Benton.
The Raiders are 2-1 on the season after beating Porter’s Chapel 28-0 and River Oaks 19-14. They lost 33-0 to Newton County Academy last week.
“Benton is much improved from last year,” Milton said. “They only won one game last year and didn’t win one the year before. I give them credit. They didn’t drop down and have won two games this year. They are having some success. I hope we play a little bit better in the first half as we are getting into that second season pretty early.”
Last year, Carroll beat Benton 38-0 to open the season.