Coral Springs Charter had one kryptonite this season and that was in the form of Fort Pierce John Carroll as the Golden Rams routed the Panthers 40-14 in the semifinals of the Southeastern Football Conference playoffs.
John Carroll will play the Pope John Paul II/Calvary Christian winner next week at FAU for the championship. CSC finished its season 8-2, both losses coming against John Carroll. Earlier this season, John Carroll routed CSC 41-21.
The story was told early as the Golden Rams dominated the line of scrimmage and negated the speed advantage of the Panthers by simply running the ball in between the tackles. John Carroll rushed for 269 yards on 43 carries and wore the Panthers down.
“When you can’t tackle and you can’t stop the run, you can’t win. When your start quarterback goes down, it hurts,” CSC coach Adam Miller said. “When they have a bigger line like that, they cut their splits down, and we weren’t able to utilize our speed.”
John Carroll jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter by scoring on its first two drives. The first drive was in the Wildcat formation as Edwin Thomas went for 35 yards on six carries before Greg Green went for a 32-yard touchdown run right up the middle for a 7-0 lead two minutes in. After blocking a punt, Carroll scored again, with Thomas rushing for 2 yards on fourth-and-goal from the 2.
CSC got on the board when Joe McChrystal hit Delvin Butler with a 5-yard touchdown pass cutting it to 14-7, but McChrystal was knocked out of the game with the Panthers trailing 21-7 late in the first half.
McChrystal appeared to have an Achilles injury of some kind. He put ice on it and taped it up and tried to come back in the game, but it was too painful to return.
“Joe’s a great kid. He’s super tough. He comes from a military family. He’s a great kid, tried to go, but physically couldn’t get it done,” Miller said.
The Golden Rams pushed the lead to 27-7 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Watkins to Dan Culumber on a wide receiver screen midway through the third.
CSC got within a couple of scores on a 70-yard touchdown pass from David Vozzola to Garrison Swain that Swain did most of the work on when he caught a flip pass and went the final 65 yards for the score.
However, John Carroll scored right back on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Watkins to Thomas.
A 38-yard interception return by Carroll finished the scoring.