|Carlisle's Jasean Harper runs the ball against Lonoke in the season opener. Harper rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries against DeWitt on Friday night. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
CARLISLE — Even though the result was the same, it was a complete turnaround for the Carlisle Bison football team.
After dropping a 37-0 decision to Lonoke in the season opener, Carlisle went toe-to-toe with Class 4A DeWitt but fell 26-12 in the home opener, which was delayed 90 minutes because of lighting.
Against Lonoke, the Bison had less than 30 yards in total offense. Against DeWitt, the Bison finished with 222 yards, including 184 yards rushing.
“We played a lot better … I thought we tried to play pretty physical,” first-year Carlisle coach Caleb Shock said. “Effort has continually gotten better.”
Shock said senior Jasean Harper stepped up after his performance against Lonoke. He rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries.
“We were on him pretty hard this week,” Shock said. “Last week at Lonoke, he had some pretty decent effort when he had the ball in his hands. But when he didn’t have the ball, he didn’t give very good effort, doing some other things, like blocking and carrying out fakes.
“It was completely night and day. He gave really good effort without the ball. He did a good job blocking for us. He did a pretty good job on defense. I was really proud to see he responded this week and did things he needed to do.”
Shock also spoke highly of junior lineman Kaleb Boyle.
“He is one, on film, who played his tail off on both sides of the ball,” Shock said. “Across the board,we had much better effort. Execution on some things, we’re still cleaning those up. We’re a couple of plays here or there from the outcome being different.”
DeWitt took an 8-0 lead on the game’s first possession. Tiner Gunnell scored on a 2-yard run with 7:11 left in the first quarter. Seth Courtney scored the two-point conversion.
Carlisle then ran off the rest of the first quarter clock then Harper scored on a 33-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving DeWitt ahead at 8-6.
DeWitt pushed its lead to 14-6 on a 61-yard run by Courtney with 5:04 left in the first half.
Carlisle got the ball to start the second half. After a 28-yard run by Harper down to the DeWitt 24, a few plays later, Carlisle’s Kamryn Taylor scored on a 9-yard run with 11:08 left to make the score 14-12. The two-point conversion failed.
DeWitt pushed its lead back to eight points at 20-12 with 6:10 left in the third quarter on a 16-yard pass from Courtney to Dylan Moser.
Carlisle looked to have a chance to tie the game but a long run by Taylor was negated by a holding penalty. The Bison did pick up a first down after the penalty but turned the ball over on downs at the DeWitt 20 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
DeWitt’s final points came on a 9-yard pas from Courtney to Moser with 8:08 left in the game.
Carlisle quarterback Eli Moody completed 4 of 13 passes for 38 yards. Will Carter caught three passes for 28 yards. Carter also had in interception for the Bison defense.
Ian Seidenschwarz led the Bison with 12 total tackles. Carter had seven. Boyle had six.
Carlisle will host Baptist Prep in the final non-conference game this Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Eagles enter the game at 1-1. They beat Bismarck 35-29 in the season opener then lost to Central Arkansas Christian 38-13 on Friday.