It took five overtimes to shut the door on the Carrollton High School football team’s season with a 43-37 loss at Marist in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs on Friday night.
In the fifth overtime, No. 2 Marist (11-1) got the ball first and scored on the opening play, but could not convert the two-point conversion. It ended up not mattering, as the Trojans’ fourth-and-five pass fell incomplete on their offensive possession, ending the game and the 2012 Carrollton campaign.
“You just keep playing. You keep playing and hope you catch a break. We did a couple times. The time we got a field goal, we held them to a field goal. The time we made an extra point, they [did]. It was back and forth. You couldn’t ask for much more,” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said of the second-round thriller at Hughes-Spalding Stadium.
A blocked field goal as time expired during regulation forced overtime, as Trojan place-kicker Tyler Newsome wasn’t able to connect on his fourth of the game after putting attempts from 40, 26 and 25 yards through the uprights.
In overtime, it was score-for-score through the first four. Trey Chivers scored on a one-yard run on fourth down in the opening OT. In the second, Newsome connected on a 26-yard field goal and Chivers had a two-yard run in the third, with Wil Garrett hitting Chip Murrah for two. In the fourth OT, Garrett jumped in from one-yard out, but in the fifth the junior signal-caller’s fourth-down pass fell to the ground.
It was a tough loss against yet another quality program this year for Carrollton (8-4).
“We lost four games — but we lost to two No. 1s and a No. 2 and 6A school out of Alabama. Out of those four losses, three of them we were right in them to win it and just didn’t seal the deal. Couldn’t be more proud of them. There’s no way this group of young men does what they do without their hard work,” Teague said.
It was another special teams error that got Marist on the board first, as a blocked punt led to a short field and an early 7-0 lead. Newsome cut it to 7-3 on his first make of the night and Garrett had a one-yard run to go up 10-7. Late in the half, however, Marist was able to put together a 50-yard drive in just over a minute with the help of a pass interference call, and with a missed extra point, the War Eagles took a 13-10 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Carrollton defense. Caleb Johnson and De’Antoine Cammons had interceptions, Armani Phillips had a sack and the War Eagles didn’t score.
Newsome’s 25-yard field goal tied things up, but with nine seconds left and a chance to win, his third attempt of the night was blocked, forcing the overtimes.
The Trojans played without freshman standout wing back Jarvis Terrell and went to the air and spread early. Garrett thrived, going 23-of-38 for 255 yards. Chivers was the main target, catching eight passes for 95 yards. Andrew Turner also had eight catches for 76 yards and Murrah caught three passes for 32 yards.
“They’ve got a great coaching staff and worked really hard scheming up the Wing-T. It was just time to break [the spread] out and do something different. It worked. We were able to do what we could do. It gave them more trouble in space on us,” Teague said. “I thought all our receivers did a great job, quarterbacks did a great job, line of scrimmage protected pretty well, for the most part.”
Marist quarterback Myles Willis led the War Eagles with 76 rushing yards on 24 carries and a three touchdowns and went 7-of-12 for 76 yards through the air. Gray King added 68 yards and was the catalyst for the offense in overtime with a pair of touchdowns. Overall, the War Eagles gained 276 yards, while the Trojans picked up 388 on the night.
Even though the season ended in the second round, with everything this year’s Trojan team went through, Teague was proud of his seniors and their leadership.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to them. These guys have played in a big shadow for two years. That’s the beauty of this program, kids are willing to wait their turn. I’m talking about work hard and wait their turn, because it’s not easy being a Trojan. The work and amount of time they put in, a lot of these seniors are first-time starters,” Teague said. “They represented the Trojan Nation well when they got their chance.”