By Jordan Miller
In spite of missing a few key starters, the Carrollton Warriors never trailed the Claymont Mustangs in a non-conference game Friday night and cruised to a 40-20 win.
Sophomore Chase Flanagan led the Warrior rushing attack. Flanagan, who filled in for the injured Brenton Miller, rushed for three touchdowns and 129 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Adam Shaw also rushed for over 100 yards on 15 carries.
Claymont quarterback Thomas Edwards took the field with the Mustang offense to start the game at their own 30-yard line. The Mustangs recovered three of their own fumbles on the first three plays of the game to set them back to a fourth-and-20 and were forced to punt.
Shaw took the field with the Warrior offense to start their drive at the Carrollton 39-yard line. Drake Anderson caught a 34-yard pass down the right side of the field to move the Warriors into Claymont territory at the 27-yard line. Shaw and Flanagan both used their legs to move the ball to the 9-yard line. Shaw connected with sophomore Parker Crim for a touchdown, but a personal foul penalty erased the score. Shaw was able to move the Warriors back to the 7-yard line but threw an interception to Claymont’s Hunter Miles a few plays later trying to get the ball into Anderson’s hands in the end zone.
Claymont started the drive at their own 20-yard line and six plays later were forced to punt.
The Warriors started at their own 17 and moved down the field into scoring positions with runs by Flanagan and Shaw. Cory Leonard caught a pass for a 9-yard gain to move the Warriors to the Claymont 31 and Shaw rushed for 11 yards before Flanagan carried the ball 20 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick was no good due to confusion because of an inadvertent whistle. The Warriors led 6-0 with 1:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Anderson intercepted an Edwards’ pass on the Carrollton 5-yard line, but the Warrior offense stalled and was forced to punt four plays later.
A short punt set up the Mustangs at the Carrollton 35-yard line. Edwards tried hitting wide receiver Justice Avery across the middle of the field but Jacob Knipp intercepted the pass and followed blocks by Shaw and Ryan Shepherd during the 76-yard touchdown return. The kick by Taylor Keefer was good. The Warriors led 13-0 with 6:51 remaining in the first half. The Mustangs received the kickoff and started at their own 17-yard line. Miles took the handoff from Edwards and ran to the left side before Knipp hit him forcing a fumble that Knipp would also recover. The Warriors took over at their own 19 with 6:31 remaining in the half.
Carrollton moved to the ball to the Claymont 1-yard line with the Warrior offensive line paving the way for Shaw and Flanagan to gain yards on the ground. Due to penalty markers flying, the Warriors were moved back to the 17 on a fourth-down. Shaw then connected with Crim for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The kick by Bryce Mohn was no good.
Following the kickoff, the Mustangs started at their own 20- yard line.
It took Edwards nine plays to drive the Mustangs down the field before he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Beach. Edwards connected with Avery for a 2-point conversion. The Mustangs now trailed 19-8 with 23 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Mustangs attempted an onside kick to start the second half but Carrollton’s Marcel Poracky recovered the ball at the Warrior 38-yard line. The Claymont defense forced a three-and-out, then the Warrior defense forced a Claymont thee-and-out.
The Warriors started their next offensive drive at their own 45. Leonard and Crim caught passes to move the Warriors down the field. Shaw kept the ball on a read option play and ran 37 yards to the Mustang 8-yard line. Flanagan took the handoff from Shaw and went 8-yards into the end zone. The extra point kick by Mohn was good. The Warriors now led 26-8 with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, Avery caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Edwards. The 2-point conversion failed and the Mustangs inched to within 12 points (26-14) with 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Within the opening minutes of the final quarter Knipp caught a pass from Shaw for 63 yards down the left sideline to stretch the Warrior lead. Mohn’s kick was no good. The Warriors led 32-14 with 11:08 left in the game.
Claymont answered when Avery caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Edwards with 7:40 remaining in the game.
A few minutes later, Flanagan scored his third touchdown of the night on a 19-yard run.
Crim scored his second touchdown of the game on a 9-yard run to secure the Warriors’ win.
When Head Coach Eric McCort was asked about Jacob Knipp’s performance against the Mustangs he said, “He is the epitome of the hard work will pay off, that kid has done everything the right way, from the weight room to the offseason, to the way he trains to way he does everything…you see all these things pay off for him and those are things as a coach you’re excited to see.”
“I thought our offensive coaching staff had a great game plan going into this week…hopefully we can keep that going into next week,” noted McCort.
McCort noted that Claymont made some great plays and some awesome catches.
The Warriors are slated to host the Marlington Dukes (2-1) Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.
TEAM STATISTICS: RUSHING: Claymont- 26-72, Carrollton- 38-253. PASSING: Claymont- 18-42 266, Carrollton- 9-14 188. FIRST DOWNS: Claymont- 16, Carrollton 15. TOTAL YARDS: Claymont- 338, Carrollton- 441. PENALTIES: Claymont- 6-36, Carrollton 12-115. FUMBLES/LOST: Claymont- 7-1, Carrollton – 0-0. DEFENSIVE SACKS: Claymont- 2-20, Carrollton – 0-0. TIME OF POSSESSION: Claymont – 21:41, Carrollton – 26:19.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: RUSHING: Claymont – Hunter Hershberger 13-45, Thomas Edwards 9-26, Justice Avery 1-8, Hunter Miles 3-(-)7. Carrollton – Chase Flanagan 19-129, Adam Shaw 15-105, Parker Crim 4-19. PASSING: Claymont – Thomas Edwards 18-42-3 266. Carrollton – Adam Shaw 9-14-2 188. RECEIVING: Claymont – Justice Avery 5-107, Hunter Miles 5-57, Lake Kuczirka 3-22, Bryce Beach 2-58, Brian Ruffini 2-17, Marcus Vermillion 1-5. Carrollton – Parker Crim 3-63, Jacob Knipp 2-65, Drake Anderson 2-42, Jose Diaz 1-9, Cory Leonard 1-9. QUARTERBACK SACKS: Claymont – Justice Avery 1, Lyle Clark 1. Carrollton – none.