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Oehlstrom is workhorse in 41-22 Warrior win
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Strong offensive output wipes out big plays by Coventry for first CHS win
By Carol McIntire
Junior Chase Oehlstrom was the workhorse in the backfield for Carrollton Friday, rushing for 231 yards on 28 carries and scoring three touchdowns as the Warriors picked up a 41-22 non-conference win over Coventry.
Statistics showed a lopsided victory for the visiting Warriors, their first of the young 2021 campaign, but big plays kept the Coventry Comets in the game.
“On defense we gave up some big plays that kept them in the game,” commented Carrollton Coach Jim Tsilimos following the win. “Take them away and it’s a different ball game.”
The first of those big plays came on Coventry’s first drive of the game, following a Carrollton touchdown.
The Warriors opened the game with a 10-play 57-yard drive, with Oehlstrom and senior quarterback Austin Colletti splitting the team’s 56 yards nearly even. Colletti capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was no good, but the Warriors enjoyed a 6-0 lead.
Coventry responded with a seven play 84-yard drive that included a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chase Rankin to Dean Lucas.
Oehlstrom scored his first touchdown of the game on the next drive, which began on the Warriors’ own 49-yard line. Three plays later, the offensive line opened up a hole for Oehlstrom to squeeze through and he scampered 34 yards to the end zone as the first quarter clock expired. Quentin Rosenberger added the extra point to moved the Warriors back in front 13-7.
A 39-yard scoring run by Watson on Coventry’s ensuing possession and the extra point added on by senior kicker Anthony Bokar allowed the Comets to hold a 14-13 edge with 9:50 left on the first half clock.
Junior Zack Martin set up Carrollton’s final score of the first half when he intercepted Rankin’s pass and returned it to the Coventry 13-yard line. On a third-and-two play from the 7-yard line, Oehlstrom drove into the middle of the line, turned his back to the goal and kept his legs churning, dragging a host of defenders with him into the end zone. The extra point kick sailed wide right, giving the Warriors a 19-14 lead at the half.
It seemed the Warriors would put the game out of Coventry’s reach early in the third period, when the Carrollton defense, led by senior Austin Haney, forced a punt deep in Comet territory that traveled only 14 yards before going out of bounds on the 38-yard line.
Oehlstrom’s number was called on the next six plays and he responded to set up a second-and-goal on the 8-yard line. Colletti moved the ball to the 2-yard-line and junior Ben Zinda, whose primary responsibility is on the offensive line, finished off the drive with the touchdown.
“Ben’s normally a blocker. We started using him in the backfield when we use that formation June 1, so we’ve been practicing that play,” Tsilimos explained, adding it was Zinda’s first touchdown.
Junior Nathan Baker set up the visitors’ next touchdown when he picked off a Rankin pass and returned it to the Carrollton 32-yard line. Four plays later, Oehlstrom found daylight around the left end, turned on the afterburner and raced 36 yards to the end zone. Colletti added the 2-point conversion on a keeper as the Warriors stretched the lead to 33-14 with just under one minute remaining in the third period.
The Comets refused to go quietly. They opened the fourth quarter with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Watson. The duo teamed up on another pass for the 2-point conversion to cut the margin to 33-22 with 8:30 remaining in the contest.
Henry put the game out of reach for the Warriors on Carrollton’s next possession when he followed his blockers through the middle of the line and raced 49 yards to the end zone. Colletti added the 2-point conversion on a keeper.
“We’ve got to get better on defense because down the road we’re going to face some really good quarterbacks,” Tsilimos stated, “but we won tonight and I’m happy.”
The Warriors led in most every statistical category: total yards 390-289; rushing yards, 316-165; first downs 21-14; and turnovers one fumble, compared to one fumble and two interceptions for Coventry.
Henry picked up 53 yards on the ground on four carries and Colletti added 21 yards on four carries. Baker pulled down two Colletti passes for 38 yards and Oehlstrom added 16 yards on three catches. Cameron Crider caught one pass for 11 yards.
Jayden Lacey led the defense with 8.5 tackles, five of them solo, seven assists along with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Oehlstrom’s rushing performance ties him for 8th in school history and Zinda’s 2.4 tackles for loss ties him for fourth most in school history. The record is three.
The rushing record is 330 yards.
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