|Carlisle center Tyler Sanders  leads his team to the line of scrimmage during the Bison's win over Quitman in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
CARLISLE — For the first time in three seasons, the Carlisle Bison have won a playoff game.
The Bison pulled away from Quitman for a 49-21 win over the Bulldogs in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday night at Fred C. Hardke Field. It was Carlisle’s first playoff win since the quarterfinal round of the Class 2A playoffs in 2013.
The Bison, now 7-4 on the season, will play at undefeated Danville this Friday in the second round of the playoffs. The Little Johns had a first-round bye after winning the 2A-4 conference.
Carlisle took a 7-0 lead with 3:07 left in the first quarter on a 14-yard run by Devon Kendrick. He also kicked the extra point. That was the culmination of a seven-play, 65-yard drive. Ty Golleher also had a 14-yard run on the drive.
Quitman looked to tie the game on its next possession but turned the ball over on downs at the Carlisle 30 with a minute left in the first quarter. From there, the Bison drove 70 yards in 11 plays with Kendrick scoring on a 1-yard run with 8:29 left in the first half. He also kicked the extra point.
Quitman got on the board on the ensuing kickoff. Tyler Stracener picked up a fumble by teammate Michael Lewis and completed 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Lewis kicked the extra point to cut the Bison’s lead to 14-7.
The two teams traded punts. That led to the Bison’s third score of the half. They drove 60 yards in 14 plays with Golleher scoring on a 1-yard run on the final play of the half. Kendrick’s extra point gave the Bison a 21-7 halftime lead.
Quitman started the second half with an onside kick. Sipes recovered the free kick at the Carlisle 49.
On the first play from scrimmage, Qutiman’s Garrett Kennedy ran 34 yards to the bison 15. However, he was called for a 15-yard face-mask penalty for pulling the helmet off Golleher. But that didn’t matter as Lewis scored on a 30-yard run the next play to cut the deficit to 21-14.
Carlisle quickly pushed the lead back to two touchdowns as Kendrick scored on a 1-yard run with 9:21 left in the third quarter. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 27-14.
Quitman was forced to punt on its next possession. Carlisle’s Mitch Lewis deflected the kick and the Bison got the ball at the Bulldogs’ 37-yard line. However, the Bison turned the ball over on downs at the Quitman 32.
Carlisle forced another punt but a bad snap led to the Bison taking over at the Quitman 1 with 4:32 left in the third quarter. Golleher then scored on a 1-yard run on the next play. Kendrick scored the two-point conversion to give the Bison a 35-14 lead.
Carlisle pushed its lead to 41-14 on an 82-yard run by Jasean Harper with 11:23 left in the game. The Bison invoked the mercy rule when Ian Seidenschwarz scored on a 3-yard run and Carson Cunningham threw to Houston Garrich for the two-point conversion later in the quarter.
Quitman added a touchdown with 7:04 left in the game.
Golleher led the Bison with 194 yards rushing on 30 carries. Harper had 120 yards on 8 carries. Kendrick had 72 yards on 14 carries. Ian Seidenschwarz had 42 yards on 10 carries.
The Bison finished with 432 yards in total offense, all on the ground.
Quitman had 68 yards rushing and 157 yards passing.