By Jordan Miller
CARROLLTON – Why not get straight to the point? The Carrollton Warriors did just that Friday night, taking an early 12-0 lead as they went on to beat Coventry 12-7 for their first win of the season.
Carrollton’s defense forced Coventry to punt on their opening drive of the game, but a mishandled snap from Coventry’s punter allowed Carrollton’s Bryce Carte to recover the loose ball and set up the Warriors’ offense at the Comets’ 13-yard-line.
A pair of runs from Carrollton junior Ryan Walker landed Carrollton in the end zone; a three-yard run and a scoring run of 10 yards. The point after attempt was no good and the Warriors led 6-0 with 6:48 left in the opening quarter.
Walker finished the game with 43 yards on 16 carries.
Carrollton forced a punt and took over at their own 34-yard-line with 2:12 left in the first quarter.
Needing to go 66 yards to score, Carrollton pounded the ball up the gut on every play, except one pass play.
Facing a second-and-10 from their own 45-yard-line, Carrollton quarterback Teagin Mohn rolled out to his left, throwing a strike to Braden Wells on the sideline for a gain of 10 yards and a fresh set of downs.
Carrollton senior Brandon Daniels recorded a pair of runs on the drive, one for 17 yards and another for 16.
Daniels, who is primarily a defensive player, got his chance to play offense against Coventry, finishing with 76 yards on 14 carries.
“He’s a man-child, he’s fifth in state in wrestling. That says enough,” said Coach Mauro on the performance from Brandon Daniels. “He imposes his will.”
On defense, Daniels recorded 6.5 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss.
“More than anything he’s being a leader,” Carrollton Defensive Coordinator Storm Hill said about the two-way performance of Brandon Daniels. “He’s not taking any plays off, he’s holding kids accountable. He’s the mantra for our team right now. Every play is 100%.”
His pair of runs, totaling 33 yards, set up a first-and-goal from the eight-yard-line for Carrollton to start the second quarter.
“I’m not going to let my team down,” Daniels said following the game. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get that W, just go hard.”
Mohn capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The point after was no good and the Warriors extended their lead to 12-0 with 10:30 remaining in the second quarter.
Carrollton forced another Coventry punt in the second quarter, but muffed it on the receiving end, allowing Coventry to recover the ball and continue the drive in Carrollton territory.
The Comets went on to score from one-yard out with 4:36 remaining in the first quarter. After halftime adjustments, that ended up being the only touchdown the Warriors allowed.
“We addressed it at halftime (giving up the second quarter touchdown) and the kids came out flying around and pursued the football the whole game with the exception of that one series,” Carrollton defensive coordinator Storm Hill said.
Carrollton’s defense only allowed 47 yards on 49 plays. They gave up 16 rushing yards and 31 through the air.
“The biggest thing is staying focused,” said Daniels on the team’s defensive effort. “We have to keep the team together as one. Just keep us rolling and keep the momentum going.”
Senior Connor King brought Coventry’s quarterback down three times in the win.
“I’m just really proud of the guys, the coaches did a great job preparing our kids this week,” he said. “It’s hard coming off a physical loss (against St. Clairsville) like we did but I’m real proud of our guys, the way they stepped up to defend our home turf.”
The Warriors (1-1) are set to host a winless Cambridge Bobcats (0-2) team Sept. 7 at Community Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.