Leopards dominate Warriors

By Carol McIntire
Editor

 

The Carrollton defense had no answer for Louisville’s blistering air attack Friday and fell 38-20 in a Northeastern Buckeye Conference matchup on the Leopard’s home turf.

The Leopards’ sophomore quarterback Colton Jones completed 28 of 40 pass attempts for 409 yards and three touchdowns. Jones replaced Jared Mathie as the leader of the offensive unit last week after Mathie suffered a foot injury. In his debut, he missed on only one pass attempt.

His favorite targets Friday were juniors Bryce Zuppe and Max Hartline. Zuppe pulled in 9 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Hartline caught 9 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Senior Logan Thomas caught 5 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Carrollton Coach Phil Mauro refused to make excuses for his defense following the loss.

It hurt us when Caleb Dalton went down on the sixth play of the game with a knee injury, but that is no excuse,” Mauro said of one of his top pass rushers. “We got pressure on Jones a couple times and had a great defensive stand just before halftime that kept them from putting points on the board.”

Following a Carrollton punt with less than two minutes left in the half and the Warriors trailing 10-6, Jones connected with Zuppe on a pass to the Warrior 3-yard line. Two incomplete passes and a holding penalty set up a third and goal from the 17-yard line. Following a time out with 15 seconds left on the clock, the Leopards set up for a field goal. Heather Baughman’s kick went wide right to preserve the 10-6 score at the half.

Senior quarterback Parker Crim scored Carrollton’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second period.

The Carrollton offense kept the Warriors in the game until late in the third quarter and even gave them the lead midway through the third period when Crim scored from nine yards out. The 2-point conversion failed, but the Warriors held a 12-10 lead.

Three touchdowns in the next three minutes changed the tide of the game and set the Leopards up for the win.

Jones plunged over the goal line from 1 yard out and Baughman added the extra point to give the Leopards a 17-12 lead.

Twenty-five seconds later, Crim scored on a 21-yard run. Chase Flanagan added the two-point conversion and Carrollton was back on top 20-17.

Jones found Hartline in the end zone for a 10-yard score just over two minutes later and Baughman added the extra point to give Louisville a 24-20 lead.

The Leopards added two scores in the fourth period, a 46-yard pass from Jones to Zuppe and an 11-yard run by Hartline.

Carrollton found success on the ground, led by Crim with 102 yards on 13 carries. Flanagan had 91 yards on 21 carries.

“Offensively, that was the best we’ve looked since week one,” Mauro said. “Our offensive line got a push and the mix of Parker and Chase found success running.”

Defensively, the Warriors were led by Teagin Mohn and Daniels. Mohn was credited with eight tackles, seven of them solo, and two assists. Daniels had seven tackles, six of them solo, two assists and one sack. Crim and Bryce Carte both had six and a half tackles.

Overall, Mauro was pleased with the play of his team.

“I’m proud of the way the guys kicked it up a notch,” he said.

Late in the fourth quarter, Brandon Daniels was ejected following an unnecessary roughness call on a tackle and Jose Diaz suffered a knee injury.

Mauro said Daniels will have to sit out next week’s game at Alliance. He was uncertain of the status of Dalton and Diaz for the Alliance game.

“We’re excited about getting Brandon Myers back this week,” said Mauro.“We have to gear up and regroup for another tough game against a really good Alliance team this Friday.”

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