Wildcats score 37-14 win on road against Carterville
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team came on in the second half to post a 37-14 win over host Carterville Friday night, Sept. 21.
A-J improved to 3-2 and Carterville fell to 1-4.
“It’s a good win any time you beat Carterville,” A-J coach Brett Detering said. “They are a good football team and well coached.”
Leading 15-14 in the first half, the Wildcats scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter on their way to the win.
“Big plays in the first half hurt us,” Detering said. “But going in at halftime, I felt pretty good. In the second half after we got the ball, we were able to move down field. We played much better in the second half.”
The Lions were forced to punt on their first possession of the second half.
A-J took over and running back Reid Morrison scored a touchdown on a 31-yard run after a 5-play drive.
Noah Treece’s extra point kick was blocked and A-J led 21-14 with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter.
After another Carterville punt, the A-J offense went to work again.
Fullback Damian Crisp scored on a 10-yard run to cap a 10-play drive.
Treece’s extra point kick closed out the scoring with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats were stopped on a fourth down and short yardage play deep in Lion territory on their next drive.
Carterville then moved to midfield before being halted on its final drive.
“We kind of challenged our defense” in the second half, Detering said. “They rose up and made some big plays for us and it was big for momentum.”
A-J had a lengthy drive to close out the game and moved deep into Lion territory. A-J quarterback Conner Jerolds then took a knee a couple of times to run out the clock.
The Wildcats moved down field on their opening drive that was built around a 36-yard run from Chrisp.
The drive ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down.
Both teams then traded punts and Lions’ running back Colin Laczynski scored on a 56-yard run after a 3-play drive.
Laczynski kicked the extra point and Carterville took a 7-0 lead with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter.
A-J’s Jerolds then capped a lengthy 13-play drive with a 1-yard TD run.
Treece’s extra point kick knotted the game 7-7 with 9:33 remaining in the first half.
Carterville quarterback Keaton Pestka then found an opening in the line and scrambled 80 yards for a TD after two plays.
Laczynski’s extra point kick gave Carterville a 14-7 lead with 8:46 remaining in the first half.
Both teams then traded punts before A-J fumbled for the first and only time in the game on its next drive.
After the Lions were forced to punt again, A-J’s offense began clicking again.
Jerolds connected with Garrett Fabec with a 5-yard TD pass after a 9-play drive.
The Lions were offside on the ensuing extra point kick and Chrisp then scored on the conversion run.
A-J led 15-14 with 8 seconds remaining in the first half.
“We made some adjustment at the half,” Detering said. “We played much better in the second half.”
The Wildcats rushed for 371 yards and Chrisp led the way with 180 yards on 20 carries.
“Our offense wasn’t flashy, but we ground out the yardage,” Detering said. “Chrisp ran well again. He’s a good, hard runner and hard to bring down.”
Morrison added 90 yards rushing on 12 carries. Jerolds had 73 yards on 25 carries. Nate Kisat had 17 yards on 5 carries.
Jerolds was 2 of 6 passing for 41 yards. Morrison led the way, snaring a 36 yard pass reception.
“Jerolds made some adjustments and played extremely well,” Detering said. “And Morrison had another good game for us. But really it was a total team effort for our defense and offense.”