Carroll's playoff run doused by Gallatin
Saturday, November 16, 2013 4:00 AM
WARSAW, KY. - Carroll County's hopes of taking another step deeper into the KHSAA Class 2A football playoffs were doused on drizzly Friday night in Warsaw with a 49-26 loss to Gallatin County.
CONTACT SPORT: Carroll County’s Caleb Guenthner (72) and Raven Labrada (18) level Gallatin County’s Jonathan Yarnell (4) while blocking for Blake Newby (right) Friday night in Warsaw. This and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photo by David Hill)
After falling to Gallatin 48-13 back on Oct. 4, the Panthers' upset of Newport in the first round of the playoffs last week was an indication of how much Carroll had improved in the final month of the season.
But turnovers, Carroll's season-long enemy, denied any chance for redemption against the Wildcats. The Panthers fumbled three times and were picked off twice and Gallatin scored 21 points off those mistakes en route to the 23-point win.
"Turnovers," said Carroll head coach Mike Weedman. "Those were the difference tonight and I really don't know how to explain them. It was truly a tale of two halves tonight."
And a tale of two halves it was.
The first half played out much like two prizefighters standing toe-to-toe in the center of the ring as the two rivals traded punches early on. After the two teams swapped defensive stops in the first quarter, Gallatin struck first when Brennan Bishop's 1-yard run and Luis Flores's extra point made it 7-0 with 1:56 left.
The Panthers answered early in the second on a Keifer McIntyre two-yard run but Taylor Byrd's extra point was blocked, leaving Carroll trailing 7-6. That's when both teams put the ball in the hands of their go-to players for the rest of the half.
With highly-touted senior wide receiver Nate McCoy nursing a minor injury for much the second quarter, Gallatin put its offense in the hands of tailback Chris Brown. Brown sprinted for a 34-yard score and caught a 6-yard TD pass, helping the Wildcats maintain the lead. Brown finished the night with 183 yards rushing and three scores.
Carroll County (6-6) responded with senior quarterback John Michael Adams, whose two scores kept the Panthers trailing by just one heading into halftime when after a short 4-yard TD run with 4:31 left, Adams threw a 46-yard bullet to Blake Newby with just 10 seconds remaining allowing Carroll to carry the momentum into the lockerroom down just 21-20.
Adams' final game as a Panther ended with 206 yards passing and 76 yards rushing with three total touchdowns. Newby, a fellow senior, had 96 yards rushing, 98 yards receiving and a touchdown.
"Outstanding game tonight for John," said Weedman. "He has a lot of talents that not everybody is lucky to be blessed with and I think he showcased that tonight. And Blake played well tonight too. He is somebody that comes from a football family and has such a great personality."
The momentum that Carroll had coming into the second half was quickly doused, with turnovers being the primary factor. Although Gallatin (10-2) led just 28-20 after three quarters thanks to an Austin Chapman run, the Panthers squandered way too many opportunities as the half progressed. The Wildcats, aided by two Carroll fumbles and a Gallatin interception, reeled off 21-straight points in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Brown continued his dominance in the backfield for Gallatin with a 26-yard run just eight seconds into the fourth quarter, opening up the flood gates for two more Wildcat scoring runs by Bishop and Jonathan Yarnall. And while the haymaker had been dealt to Carroll, the Panthers stood tall when the bell sounded as Adams found Jacob Wise on a 23-yard pass with time expiring to end a heroic, never-give-up battle 49-26 in the season finale.
Gallatin County advances to next Friday's "Elite Eight" round where the Wildcats will host perennial powerhouse Newport Central Catholic, a 36-0 winner over two-seed Walton-Verona.
Despite the loss, the 2013 Carroll County team will go down as one of the school's best. While its record was just 6-6, the Panthers won four of their last five games including the school's first playoff victory in 10 years. The season also marks the end for 11 seniors, who became one of the most successful senior classes in Carroll history.
"Many teams in all sports would have folded their tents when they went through what we did early this season," added Weedman. "But this team persevered. We dealt with so many factors all season long and they just kept pushing. I'm so proud of this group.
"Talking to my seniors tonight in the huddle after the game ... I just said thank you," an emotional Weedman said. "Not all teams play together but this team played together. Those seniors and this group are the true definition of team."
Class 2A District Playoffs
Friday's Carroll Co. Statistics
at Warsaw, Ky.
GALLATIN CO. 49, CARROLL CO. 26
CARROLL CO. 0 20 0 0 - 26
GALLATIN CO. 7 14 7 14 - 49
GC - Brennan Bishop, 1-yard run, (Luis Flores kick), 1:56.
CC - Keifer McIntyre, 2-yard run (kick blocked), 10:20.
GC - Chris Brown, 34-yard run (Flores kick), 8:54.
CC - John Michael Adams, 6-yard run (Taylor Byrd kick), 4:33.
GC - Brown, 6-yard pass from Austin Chapman, (Flores kick), 1:19
CC - Blake Newby, 46-yard pass from Adams (Byrd kick), :10.
GC - Chapman, 11-yard run (Flores kick), 4:15.
GC - Brown, 26-yard run (Flores kick), 11:52.
GC - Bishop, 15-yard run (Flores kick), 9:25.
GC - Jonathan Yarnell, 5-yard run (Flores kick), 3:53.
CC - Jacob Wise, 26-yard pass from Adams (run failed), :07.
First Downs 14 15
Rushes-Yards 36-212 50-325
Comp-Att-Int 11-17-2 8-15-0
Pass Yards 206 106
Total Yards 418 431
Penalties-Yards 6-65 5-55
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0
RUSHING - Carroll Co., Blake Newby (13-96); John Michael Adams (14-76, 2 TD); Jacob Wise (5-30); Keifer McIntyre (4-10, TD); Gallatin Co., Chris Brown (22-183, 2 TD); Jonathan Yarnall (6-59, TD); Nate McCoy (10-43); Brennan Bishop (6-26, TD); Austin Chapman (5-10, TD); Brady Lawrence (1-4).
PASSING - Carroll Co., John Michael Adams (11-17-3-206, 2 TD); Gallatin Co.- Austin Chapman (8-15-0-106, TD).
RECEIVING - Carroll Co., Blake Newby (5-98, TD); Caleb McCarty (2-60); Jacob Wise (3-26, TD); Raven Labrada (2-46); Gallatin Co., Brady Lawrence (5-80); Brennan Bishop (1-20); Chris Brown (2-6, TD).
MISSED FIELD GOALS - None.