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Late mistakes costly in Warriors loss to Philo
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By Carol McIntire
A pair of miscues late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in a non-league football matchup between the Carrollton Warriors and Philo Electrics Friday night at Sam Hatfield Stadium in Duncan Falls.
The visiting Warriors tied the contest at 14-14 with 9:40 remaining in the fourth period in a contest that appeared to be shaping up as a repeat of the week one double overtime win thriller.
On its next possession, Philo marched down the field to the Carrollton 31-yard line where the drive stalled when a fourth-down play came up short.
Carrollton took over with 5:01 remaining in the game, the team’s eyes focused on the end zone 69 yards away. Three plays netted only one yard and punter Quentin Rosenberger lined up to kick the ball away. The snap sailed over his head to the 5-yard line, where the kicker alertly fell on the ball.
Philo took advantage of the miscue. One play later, quarterback Talon Preston romped into the end zone. Carrollton blocked Brayden Payton’s extra point kick with 3:20 on the clock.
Carrollton would have one last shot at a tie or a victory.
The two teams traded squib kickoffs the entire contest and neither team had any kickoff return yardage so it was no surprise when kicker Austin Tysinger’s kick sent the ball end-over-end to the Carrollton 32-yard line where Garrett Broadwater fell on it.
From there, Carrollton began its final drive.
The stingy Electric defense sacked quarterback Jacob Whitmore for a seven-yard loss on first down. Whitmore found wide receiver Josh Carman over the middle for a pass completion on second down, but a holding call brought the ball back to the 15-yard. Whitmore was flushed from the pocket and scrambled to the 43-yard line for a first down on the next play.
The clock ticked down to 2:04.
After two incomplete passes, Whitmore connected with Gunnar Burgett on third down to just shy of the 50-yard line. It was Carrollton’s fourth pass completion of the game.
On fourth and two, Whitmore went up the middle for six yards and a first down on the Philo 43.
The clock read 1:31.
Whitmore picked up eight yards on first down to set up a second-and-two play.
Thirty-five yards separated the Warriors from the end zone. They had 91 seconds to get there.
The Warrior coaching staff scrapped the ground game and went to the air.
A second down pass fell incomplete.
A third down pass fell incomplete.
Whitmore took the handoff on fourth down, handed the ball off to his running back, who turned around and flipped the ball back to Whitmore for the pass.
Philo senior defensive back Seth Henning intercepted the pass to end the threat and secure the win for Philo.
Carrollton Coach Jim Tsilimos explained the thought process of the final series following the game.
“There were two minutes left and we felt we needed to throw the ball,” Tsilimos said. “We made too many mistakes early. That first drive they (Philo) scored on, we had 30 yards in penalties and then our offense had penalties. We also had a fumble.”
Carrollton had six penalties for 54 yards in the game and Philo three penalties for 25 yards. Both teams had two turnovers.
The Electrics took the opening kickoff and methodically drove 67 yards in 14 plays for the first score of the game, a one yard run by Preston. Brayden Payton added the extra point with 4:07 remaining in the quarter.
Carrollton threatened late in the second quarter after a short Philo punt set the visitors up with a first down on the host’s 35-yard line. A pair of first downs moved the ball to the 7-yard line where a fourth and goal play came up short.
Carman set up Carrollton’s first touchdown with 8:20 left on the third quarter clock when he picked off a Preston pass on the Philo 44-yard line.
On first down, Dalton Sweeney picked up five yards on a run and then dragged several players to the 30-yard line for a first down on the next play.
After Sweeney was stopped for no gain on first down, Whitmore found Braylen Murphy open for a 30-yard catch and run to the end zone. Rosenberger added the extra point with 6:16 left on the third quarter clock.
Preston put the hosts up 14-7 three minutes later with a 14-yard run. Payton added the extra point.
“Our kids played hard,” Tsilimos said. “I told them that. We just need to clear up the mistakes.”
Carrollton ran for 148 yards on 39 attempts and Whitmore completed six of 16 passes for 79 yards for 227 total yards. Whitmore led the Carrollton rushing attack with 66 yards on 15 carries.
Philo tallied 150 total yards, 114 of those coming on the ground in 33 attempts. Preston completed four of 10 passes for 36 yards.
Carrollton picked up 13 first downs, compared to nine for Philo.
Alessio Mema led the Warrior defense with six tackles – four solo and two assists. Ryan Kiko recovered a fumble.
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