The Carol City Chiefs came out swinging right from the start against Columbus on Friday, picking up four first downs on the first drive of the game and capping the possession off minutes later with touchdown pass to wide receiver Thaiu Jones-Bell.
The domination continued throughout the game as the Chiefs turned seven points into a 35-0 shutout victory against the Explorers at Traz Powell Stadium.
Chiefs quarterback Daniel Richardson led his team to score on all but two of Carol City’s possessions, backed by the excellent running of Katravis Geter and Nay’quan Wright.
“These guys are hard workers,” coach Benedict Hyppolite said. “From the weight room [to the] football field, from film sessions [to practice], they work so hard in the course of the week that when the weekend comes it’s just easy.”
Wright is a senior but hasn’t played a full football season in over two years. He missed all of last season with a broken ankle and suffered a broken leg the year before. Enter Katravis Geter, a sophomore running back who provides much needed depth to the roster and allows his fellow back some time to rest from snap to snap.
“We talk about winning a championship,” Hyppolite said, “but we’re going to need [both Wright and Geter] if we want to make that happen.”
The most exciting moment of the game came in the second quarter when Richardson sent a quick lateral to Lorenzo Floyd, who then threw up a beautiful spiral right into Jamaal Poitier’s hands for a touchdown. Floyd won a state championship two years ago as the Chiefs’ quarterback but now plays as a wide receiver when needed after Richardson transferred from Booker T. Washington. Hyppolite emphasized momentum-changing plays like that one in practice, and said he thought that was the moment that “separated the game.”
Hyppolite praised Richardson for his humility and focus and said the young quarterback had grown into his leadership position well.
“He took care of the football and didn’t turn it over,” Hyppolite said. “I love the phenomenal leader he’s becoming. [He] doesn’t try to be a superhero on every play, and that’s why he is successful.”
Not to be outdone by the offense, the Chiefs’ defense came up with tackles left and right, holding the Explorers on their one scoring opportunity in the third quarter when Columbus made it all the way down to the to the eight-yard-line. The Explorers were forced to go for it on fourth down by the tenacious Chiefs’ defense, which held off quarterback Brandon McDuffey’s attempt at a touchdown run. Carol City’s Amaru Teneus also came up with an interception in the first half that led to a Chiefs touchdown. Though the Explorers’ defense also managed to come up with an interception late in the fourth, it didn’t lead to points.
The only major flaw of Carol City’s game on Friday night was the amount of penalties they committed, although the Explorers had their fair share of flags, as well. Even with all the extra yardage, Columbus struggled to get the ball moving against a hard-hitting Chiefs defense and had to concede the game without a single scoring drive.
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