Carol City senior quarterback Trayon Gray rushed for a pair of touchdowns as the Chiefs beat District 16-6A rival Northwestern 28-15 on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium.
Tied at 15 entering the third quarter, Carol City outscored the Bulls 13-0 in the second half by running the football and clamping down on defense to snap a two-game losing streak.
“It’s special,” Carol City coach Aubrey Hill said. “Being at your alma mater, being with these kids, beating a real good team, getting a head start in the district. Trust me. We will celebrate tonight.”
The offense produced three touchdown drives of two-or-fewer plays, including the go-ahead score with 1:17 remaining in the third.
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Following a line drive punt by senior Ruben Piraquive from his own end zone that gave the Chiefs (2-2) the ball at the 22-yard line, junior quarterback Edward Loveland ran it in on the next play.
“Initially Trayon got hurt with some cramps,” Hill said. “We put the other guy in and he gave us a spark, so what we did is just going back and forth.”
Both teams exchanged possessions while failing to get on the scoreboard again until the Chiefs tacked on an additional touchdown with 4:40 to go in the game. Gray rushed 20 yards for his second trip to the end zone of the game.
“We watched film and saw how they would play,” said Gray, who finished with 18 carries for a game-high 135 yards. “The coaches prepared us in practice for the run to wear them down in the fourth quarter.”
In an offensive struggle, the only offense initially in the first quarter was a safety for each team.
After a fumble on a Northwestern (1-2) drive was returned to the 4-yard line, sophomore Brian Lanier ran it in for a touchdown on the next play with 33.2 seconds left in the first. The two-point conversion was no good, making it 8-2.
Senior Trevis McKinney rushed for a 16-yard touchdown with 7:45 remaining in the second, capping an eight-play drive that began from the opponent’s 45-yard line to tie it at 8.
Gray responded with a 58-yard touchdown run down the right sideline. Northwestern answered on FSU commit Joseph Robinson’s 90-yard kickoff return to even it at 15 heading into halftime.