After a hard-fought loss to Tri-County last week, Carroll Academy football Coach Bo Milton thought the Rebels might have a letdown against Newton County Academy.
The Rebels were sluggish to begin with but pulled away in the second half to take a 36-7 win over the homesteading Generals on Friday night. With the win, the Revels improve to 4-1 on the season.
Milton thought his team came out slow but picked up the pace in the second half.
“I thought we were a little sluggish in the first half,” Milton said. “We had some hang over from the Tri-County game last week. It’s just hard to come back from a game like that but I thought we bounced back and played a lot better in the second half. It’s always a physical game with Newton, whether they are undefeated or winless. It’s going to be physical and it was no different this year.”
After forcing Carroll to punt on the first series of the game, the Generals took the ball and went 54 yards in eight plays as Hayden Wall scored on a 4-yard run. Hayden West kicked the PAT and the Generals led 7-0.
After swapping punts, the Rebels finally found the end zone to start the second quarter. The Rebels drove 51 yards in four plays as Morgan Mims scored on a 40-yard run.
The Rebels threatened once again in the first half but an interception by Wesley Williams ended the threat as Carroll led 8-7 at the half.
In the second half, the Rebels started to pull away. After forcing the Generals to punt on their first possession, Mims returned the punt 45 yards to the NCA 36. Hunter Bracken then scored on a 36-yard run on the first play of the half. Mims ran in the two-point conversion and Carroll led 16-7.
“Once we got Morgan going, everybody else followed suit,” Milton said. “I thought Hunter Bracken ran the ball hard. But once Morgan got going, he changed the game and I thought he was the difference in the game. He had more than 300 yards of total offense.”
After another NCA punt, the Rebels went 80 yards in 11 plays as Mims scored on a 13-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Mims hit Reese Fulton on the two-point conversion and Carroll led 24-7.
The Rebels tacked on two late touchdowns as Mims scored on a 69-yard run to make it 30-7.
Carroll senior Austin Smith finished off the scoring when he intercepted a Zander Meeks screen pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown with 3:01 left in the game. The try for two failed for the final margin of 36-7.
“I thought after the first drive, our defense played really well,” Milton said. “I thought we tackled very well and ran to the football. I thought we did a good job of stopping what they do. I was really pleased with the way the defense played.”
The Rebels had 356 yards rushing and 62 passing for 418 yards of total offense. The Rebels got another big game out of Mims who rushed for 262 yards on 21 carries. Mims was also 3-of-7 passing for 62 yards. Bracken had 73 yards on 14 carries and a TD.
Cooper Beck led the defense with four tackles while Austin Smith had three tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception return for a touchdown. Hogan Costilow also had four tackles while Reese Fulton had two tackles, including two for a loss.