CAREY - It was physical and hard-hitting.
It was about controlling the ball and grinding out the clock.
In other words, it was a Carey football game.
The Blue Devils played power football to near perfection, rushing the ball right through the Calvert defense. At the same time, Calvert's offense was virtually motionless as Carey grinded out a 22-7 Midland Athletic League win.
For Carey, the win helped ease the sting of last week's loss to Fremont St. Joe, which Blue Devil coach Todd Worst said was still fresh in his mind a day prior to facing Calvert.
"I was still upset yesterday," Worst said. "You're always going to have them a couple times a year, but that doesn't sit well with me. I'm not really a perfectionist, but I thought we could've done some things differently last week.
"This week I just thought we were a little more prepared. Felt a little bit better, we matched up better size-wise. Physically I think we controlled the line of scrimmage, which we didn't do last week. When we control the line of scrimmage, we look a lot better."
All but 11 of Carey's 396 yards of offense came on the ground. Austin Tschanen, Carey's bowling ball of a running back led the team with 148 yards rushing.
"(Calvert is) a really tough team. I think we just came in ready to play," Tschanen said. "Our line was doing great, they made perfect holes. They made it easy on the running backs; we just had to run through the holes."
If it wasn't Tschanen plowing through the holes, it was somebody else in Carey's stable of backs. Four different backs carried the ball at least 12 times and all gained at least 60 yards.
Brian Powers picked up 91 yards on 13 carries, Matt Holsinger rushed 16 times for 70 yards, and Justin Meek rushed 12 times for 63 yards.
"It's nice that we can rotate those guys. A couple of them are on defense, so ... we can give them a break on offense and not miss to much," Worst said. "They each have their own little burst of whatever it might be. Austin obviously is a little more of a power back. He's our lead back. If we start the game and he's fresh, he's our lead back and he's a power guy. Late in the game, then we give him the ball and his legs are still going. He's a tough kid. A lot of times tonight we were watching, I just smile from the sidelines. I'm glad he's playing for us."
"Their schemes are outstanding, what they do and they do it well, they execute it very well," Calvert coach Todd Fox said. "It's so hard in practice to emulate; it's so hard to prepare for. When you run it effectively like they run it, it's a great offense and its tough for anyone to stop.
"They obviously won the war up front, offensively and defensively. That's where it lies."
Carey struck first going on an eight-play, 94-yard drive in the first quarter, highlighted by a 43-yard burst from Powers to get Carey to the 1-yard line. Powers finished the drive off on the next play for the game's first score and a 6-0 Carey lead.
Calvert answered right back as quarterback Tyler Long got Calvert inside Carey's 10 with a 46-yard run of his own. After a delay of game penalty backed up the Senecas, Long connected with Jared Thompson for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Michael Smith's extra point gave Calvert a 7-6 lead.
Calvert held Carey to a three-and-out on the next drive and looked to add to its lead, until the ball was stripped out of Long's hands and Tschanen pounced on the loose pigskin.
"I was kind of hoping he'd pick it up and run with it, but then I thought 'well, maybe we'll just take more time off the clock,'" Worst said. "In the end, I'm like 'eh, as long as we got the ball and it's good field position, I'm not going to complain about recovering one of their fumbles.'"
Nine plays later, Matt Holsinger broke through the Calvert defensive front for a 19-yard touchdown. Tschanen's conversion run gave Carey a 14-7 lead at halftime.
At the break, Carey had outgained Calvert 190-108.
In the second half, the Blue Devil defense took things to an even higher level.
Calvert managed just 50 yards in the half, 37 coming on three Dan Kwiat runs in the Senecas' second to last possession.
"It was great coaching," Tschanen said, which brought out a round of laughter from Worst who was standing in earshot. "Honestly, great play calls. We just had so much intensity on defense, that's what shut them down."
Carey tacked on another score in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run from Tschanen. The Blue Devils again marched inside Calvert's 10, but fumbled the ball away to the Senecas, giving them new life. Kwiat's runs helped get Calvert to Carey's 39. However, a Seneca touchdown was called back on a holding call and Carey forced a turnover on downs.
"We never really got in any kind of offensive rhythm all night, and they did a nice job defensively shutting us down," Fox said. "When you're struggling to get into a rhythm already, and then their offense is chipping away and maintaining ball control, it almost gives your offensive guys too much time to think about what were going to do next, and we never really did get in a flow."
Calvert got one more chance after another Carey fumble, but Tschanen sacked Long on a fourth down play to ice the game.
"(Bryce Mulholland) did a great job of knocking down the tackle, to make it easy for me to get around the end," Tschanen said. "I just ran as fast as I could to bring him down."