Mohawk makes a statement
CAREY — Carey’s band may have come out twirling fire, but it was Mohawk’s offense that burned through the Blue Devil defense in a 32-0 win Friday.
The game plan for the Warriors was to run the ball. With the help of its offensive line, Mohawk rushed for 237 yards led by Parker Brown with 88 yards, Bryce Kirian’s 78 and Keith Jenkins’ 65.
“We challenge our linemen,” Mohawk coach Brent Konkle said. “How good are we up front? Can we control the line of scrimmage like we have at spurts this year? And we really challenged them and I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage the first series — got away from us a bit that second series — but we came out the end of the first half, got the turnover and we housed it after that because our line got up and went downhill.”
After forcing a Carey three-and-out, Mohawk took over at its own 25 and Jenkins led the scoring drive. Jenkins found a hole for an 18 yard sprint before pushing his way through for another 5. Brown was on the receiving end of a 22-yard pass that set up Jenkins’ 34-yard scamper for the 6-0 lead.
Carey’s following two drives ended with a turnover on downs. The first went for 50 yards with the second going about 41. When the Warrior defense needed to make a play, it did just that.
“Defensively, I can’t have more pride in our kids,” Konkle said. “We challenged the entire team, ‘let’s send the seniors away winners against Carey.’ … As of right now, I would take my defense over my fantasy football defense.”
With the ball at the Carey 46, the Warriors drove for their second score, led Brown and Kirian. Both backs ran the ball for 13 yards. With Carey’s defense showing blitz, Jenkins faked the run and found Zach Hayman open in the back of the end zone for the 12-0 lead with 5:12 left in the half.
What really changed the game was Carey’s following drive. After the kickoff, Carey set up shop at its own 35. Brayden Wentling dropped back to pass and after he released the pass, Kedryk Leeth made a huge play. Leeth was able to get his hand on the ball and tipped it up. He stayed with it to make a one-handed interception.
“I thought the big wind knocked out of the sail — or whatever you want to call it — was the interception,” Carey coach Jon Merschman said. “The kid made a hell of a catch. He tipped it to himself and caught it and then they end up scoring.”
Leeth returned the ball 21 yards and put his team at Carey’s 7. Mohawk gave the ball to Brown on the ground who plowed his way in for the score 12 seconds after the Warriors’ last score.
Carey had a huge 45-yard return by Griffin Summit after the score, but a holding call forced the Blue Devils to start at their own 18. Carey took its time driving down field.
Willie Schafer started the drive with a 1-yard plunge before Wentling took over. Wentling found Adam Hackworth for 8 yards, tossed to Summit for 7 and Hayden Stone for 12. Schafer pushed ahead for a yard before Wentling took the the air again to find Summit for 12 yards.
Mohawk took a timeout which was followed by Cody Luzader’ 18-yard end-around, Hackworth made a 3-yard reception and Luzader ran for 3 and made a 7-yard grab. Curtis Blair took a handoff and was stopped at the line before Wentling was sacked for an 11-yard loss. Wentling found Stone for 14 yards, but the play was called back because of holding and the drive ended with a pair of incompletions to end the half.
“Give our secondary some credit,” Konkle said. “Right before half, that’s a big breakup. They score there, its 18-7, 18-8 — or whatever it is.
“(Carey) has some good athletes in space and they gave them a chance. I’ve seen them score deep against (Colonel) Crawford, Wynford, that’s their game plan anymore.”
After the half, the Warriors drove 67 yard for the 26-0 lead. The Warriors made three bigs plays to to set up the score.
“Their first possession of the half was boom, boom, boom, boom,” Merschman said.
Kirian busted out for a 21-yard gain to be out done by Brown runs of 27 and 17 yards. Jenkins took the ball up the gut for the 2-yard score.
Carey was again stopped on a three-and-out on its first drive of the half. Summit broke a bunch of tackles on his 35-yard kick return. A pair of holding calls sandwiched Wentling’s 11-yard scramble — the second was declined to force a punt.
Carey looked to have Mohawk stopped on its next drive as it forced a punt, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Warriors a second chance. Kirian totaled 22 yards on the ground with Brown and Jenkins adding a few during the drive. Hayman was open again in the end zone for another 21-yard TD grab, making it 32-0 and forcing a running clock.
Carey had two possessions after the Mohawk score, but couldn’t make anything happen.
“(Mohawk) got the running clock on us,” Merschman said. “Thirty-two to nothing. That’s a pretty healthy (butt) whooping. Now we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we’re off to Seneca East.”
Merschman isn’t blaming the short week for his team’s loss. He isn’t making any excuses for his team. “We needed to come ready play today,” Merschman said, “and for one reason or another — or whatever it maybe — we just weren’t there tonight.
“(Mohawk) is a great team. They just stood their own ground. They kept coming at us, and coming at us … and that was probably the first time all year that somebody did it for four quarters and blow up after a quarter and a half, two quarters.”