The loudest cheers of the night Friday at Traz Powell Stadium weren’t for any of the six touchdowns Carol City scored in its 44-6 first-round playoff rout of Dillard.
Those cheers came late in the third quarter when longtime stadium announcer Willie “The Voice” Wilcox mistakenly announced the wrong score of the Central-Boyd Anderson game.
Carol City fans erupted when they heard Wilcox say the rival Rockets were trailing Boyd Anderson 21-13. A few minutes later, Wilcox corrected himself. “Someone gave me the wrong score,” Wilcox said over the stadium speakers. “Central Rockets 13, Boyd Anderson Cobras 3.”
Carol City fans might not have wanted a rematch with the three-time defending Class 6A state champion Rockets. But they’ve got one now.
Central’s 20-3 win over the Cobras on Friday means the Chiefs (9-2) will host the Rockets (8-2) in a rematch next Friday night at Traz — a game that should be much more exciting and closer than the one Carol City played against Dillard (6-5).
“We’re just going to stay focused,” said Chiefs receiver Steve Newbold, who led the team in its postgame circle celebration and put an exclamation point on the blowout win with his signature forward flip. “We need to make sure we don’t underestimate them just because we beat them the first time. We just need to get ready for practice [Saturday] and take it one game at a time.”
Carol City had little trouble dispatching of the Panthers. The Chiefs scored 25 points in the opening quarter behind a pair of Nayquan Wright touchdown runs, a pair of two-point conversion catches by Kevaughn Dingle, a safety, and a 57-yard Steven Calvert-to-Montray Smith touchdown pass.
Calvert finished 12 of 17 for 213 yards passing and two touchdowns, his last coming to Newbold on a 13-yard toss with 2:18 left in the half.
Carol City held Dillard to minus-29 yards rushing (31 yards were lost on a bad snap on a punt) and sacked quarterback Anthony “Mo” Hasan four times. Hasan, who finished 9-of-19 passing for 130 yards, found sophomore receiver Bryce Oliver on a 28-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half to trim Carol City’s lead to 31-6.
After Calvert connected with Kevaughn Dingle on a 67-yard gain down to the Dillard 5, sophomore running back Cameron Davis punched it into the end zone two plays later.
Carol City cornerback Brian Lanier then picked off Hasan and returned it to the Dillard 2-yard-line. Freshman backup quarterback Lorenzo Floyd scored on the next play to start a running clock with about four minutes and 30 seconds left to play in the third quarter.
Now, a date with Central waits. Carol City won the first meeting 8-7.
“As I look back three years ago when I first got here, they were a very talented team, and we just quite weren’t there yet,” Hill said. “We just kept getting closer each year. We felt this was the year we had a great opportunity to win the game, and we were fortunate enough to pull it out [the first time]. But we do know that they’re a great team with great players and great coaches. Now we’re in playoff football mode, and we know it’s win or go home. So we know they’ll be ready, and we’ll be ready.”