The race for the runner-up playoff spot in District 16-6A just got a whole lot more interesting.
In a game that was scoreless until the final minutes, Carol City’s Darnell Rolle knifed through the Norland defense and dove across the plane of the goal line for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:12 remaining to notch a 6-0 victory for Carol City in a defensive slugfest on Thursday night at Traz Powell Stadium.
The Chiefs’ win ties them with the Vikings for second place behind Central in the district. If Northwestern beats Homestead (0-3 in the district) on Saturday, Carol City, Norland and Northwestern would battle it out in a three-team tiebreaker for the final playoff spot on Monday.
Rolle, a junior running back, has battled back from shoulder surgery, and in his second game back, scored the biggest touchdown of the season for the Chiefs (4-5, 2-2), who started the season 0-4 but have since won four of their past five.
Rolle finished with 30 yards on eight carries, and Ronneldon Ellington led the team with 62 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
The Carol City defense held Norland (3-5, 2-2) to 47 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers, none more important than the recovery of a Chavis Wright fumble to set up the final drive from the Norland 26-yard line.
De’Andre Wilder had the fourth-down sack of Norland quarterback Rodrick Robinson to force a turnover on downs on Norland’s final possession and seal the win.