Playing their second straight road game against a Class AAAAAA opponent, AAA Carver got a big night from halfback Brandon Thomas and bounced back with a 32-20 win over Tri-Cities Friday night.
Thomas rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries, including an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that put the Tigers up 18-0.
“It feels good to win and come back after a loss,” said Thomas. “Hopefully we can keep going and win some more.”
Carver (3-1) was held to just over 100 total yards in a shutout loss Sept. 14 at Colquitt County. It took the Tigers just seven offensive plays to surpass that Friday.
Tri-Cities (2-2), meanwhile, couldn’t get out of its own way. Carver scored two touchdowns following Bulldog turnovers, including one after a muffed punt in the third quarter that put the game away.
“You can’t make all those mistakes,” Tri-Cities coach Kenneth Miller said. “You have to execute to the fullest against good teams. I’m shocked.”
Carver moved 80 yards on six plays to the game’s first score, a 27-yard pass from Torrance McGee to Jaquan Sanks midway through the first period.
With a holding penalty mixed into the drive, the Tigers gained 90 on the opening drive.
Carver, ranked No. 6 in AAA, went up 12-0 after a turnover set the Tigers up on the Tri-Cities 1-yard line. Tim Whatley intercepted a pass from Bulldogs quarterback Kareem Wallace and returned it from the Carver 45 to the Tri-Cities 10 before having the ball stripped from behind. Teammate Brandon Watt fell on it at the 1, and on the next play Carver quarterback Torrance McGee pushed into the end zone.
The Tigers moved 80 yards in six plays to their third score, Thomas’ 18-yard run. The big play on the drive was a third-down screen pass from Torrance to Thomas that covered 37 yards.
Tri-Cities got on the board with a safety with just under three minutes left in the first half. A big return by Charles Middlebrooks gave the Bulldogs great starting field position, but they failed to make a first down and Chris Hernandez drilled a 27-yard field goal.
Down 32-5 in the fourth, Tri-Cities’ Sam Van Pelt recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Kelton Franklin’s 2-yard run gave the Bulldogs their only offensive touchdown.