|The Carlisle Bison celebrate after beating Augusta on Friday for their first win of season. (Photo by Lindsey Thaxton)|
By Mark Buffalo
AUGUSTA — The Carlisle Bison may have struggled in their first two games this season but that is all out the window because the Bison are now 1-0.
Carlisle rallied then held off Augusta for a 44-38 win over the Red Devils in the 2A-6 opener last Friday
"It's good to get that monkey off our back," Carlisle coach Jack Keith said, referring to his first head coaching victory. "Now, maybe we can play more relaxed and not press as much."
The Bison fell behind early as the Red Devils led 12-0 with 3:09 left in the first quarter. Carlisle scored the next 14 points to lead 14-12. Clinton Hampton scored on a 33-yard run. He also added the two-point conversion.
Carlisle quarterback Chase Brazeal scored on a 1-yard run with 10:47 left in the first half.
Augusta reclaimed the lead at 20-14 on a 64-yard pass less than a minute later. Carlisle's Devon Kendrick then scored on a 22-yard run. Hampton added the two-point conversion to give the Bison a 22-20 lead.
Augusta scored another touchdown right before halftime to lead 26-22.
Carlisle took a 30-26 lead on a 5-yard run by Hampton with 9:56 left in the third quarter. The Red Devils respond with a 49-yard touchdown run with 9:03 left in the quarter. Carlisle would not be outdone as Hampton scored on a 1-yard run with 3:52 left to make the score 36-32.
Carlisle pushed its lead to 44-32 on a 1-yard run by Brazeal with 8:37 let tin the game. Hampton added the two-point conversion.
Augusta cut Carlisle's lead to 44-38 with 5:06 left but could not get any closer.
Keith said his team was able to move the ball after being stopped on its first drive when Augusta took a 12-0 lead.
"They didn't stop us any drive other than that one," he said.
Hampton rushed for 181 yards on 27 carries. Kendrick had 118 yards on 20 carries. Tyler Sanders had 28 yards on six carries. Grant Sumner had an interception on defense.
Carlisle travels to Des Arc for it second conference game this Friday. The Eagles are coming off a 42-40 win over Brinkley last week.
"They are going to play tough and hit you in the mouth," Keith said of the Eagles, which finished as the Class 2A state runners-up in 2013. "They are a little faster than usual. We've got some things to square up on the defensive side of the ball. If we get those squared away, we'll be okay.
"The offense has been able to move the ball all year. We've just got to be able to bow our necks and stop somebody."
Kickoff on Friday at Des Arc is set for 7 p.m.