Dylan Stiltner ran for 169 yards and Carroll County limited Floyd County to 113 yards after a quick 80-yard scoring strike as the Cavaliers rallied for a 16-6 victory Friday in head coach Eddie Sloss’s head coaching debut.
“Right now I am just going to enjoy this one,” Sloss said after his first game as Carroll’s coach. “It is nice to get the first one obviously, but a win is a win right now and we’ve got nine more ballgames. We are going to try to compete in every single one of them and we are expecting to win and we have a chance to win, but it’s nice to get it over with.”
After a slow start, Carroll County dominated the second half, outgaining Floyd County (0-1) 136-47 in yardage, while keeping the ball for more than 15 of the final 24 minutes. Stiltner and the offensive line had a lot to do with that as the senior running back continued to pound the Buffalo defense behind a veteran offensive line.
Stiltner’s 3-yard touchdown run with 9:51 left in the final quarter gave the Cavaliers their first lead at 13-6. Kicker Chase Goins added a 33-yard field goal with 2:18 left to ice the game.
“Offensively we ran the ball well, hats off to our linemen. They blocked well,” Sloss said. “Dylan Stiltner ran a tremendous game. I took him off the defensive side because I think he is more valuable offensively than he is defensively. He is a good defensive player, don’t get me wrong, but as he showed tonight, he is a good offensive player. Our goal was 27 (carries), but he exceeded that. It was good. I am proud of our kids.”
Early on, Carroll County was its own worst enemy. After marching 62 yards on nine straight runs to the Floyd 7-yard line, a false start penalty ended up killing an opening drive that resulted in a missed field goal attempt. The Buffaloes capitalized on their third play of the game as quarterback Brady Underwood connected with Joshua Bary on a 15-yard pattern over the middle that Bary busted for an 80-yard touchdown to put Floyd ahead 6-0.
“That was kind of discouraging. We came up empty handed. I was hoping we would at least get a field goal, but that didn’t transpire. It was frustrating, but again the kids were probably more frustrated than we were and they responded well,” Sloss said. “(On the touchdown) we were just giving away that pattern. I saw before the play was even snapped, I just saw and I was hoping they wouldn’t and they did, but so be it. We adjusted well. The kids stepped up tonight in the backfield.”
Floyd maintained that lead until midway through the second quarter. Jared Haga, who earlier killed a promising Buffalo drive at the Carroll 10 with a sack and forced fumble, put the Cavaliers in business when he later recovered a fumble near midfield. On the very next play, quarterback Winston Giles broke free up the middle on a scramble and took it 47 yards to the house to tie the game at 6-all.
Carroll took advantage of another Floyd fumble, this time on a botched punt, late in the third quarter. After Stiltner recovered the loose ball at the Carroll 39, the Cavs drove 63 yards on 14 plays before Stiltner gave his team a 13-6 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run.
After the big 80-yard touchdown pass, Carroll limited Floyd to 113 yards on 37 plays. The Cavs also held Floyd to just 71 yards rushing after getting gashed the previous week in a 48-14 loss to Galax in a benefit scrimmage.
“That’s what beat us last week, the run. So we worked hard all week and got guys in the right positions and they were a little more disciplined than they were last week. I am proud of them. They played hard, they stuck their nose right in there. Floyd’s got a good football team. That was a good test for us right there. That showed that we have what it takes to be in these games and finish,” Sloss said. “Coach (Casey) Burcham, he got a tackling drill out from the archives and put them through the fire on Monday. We did some tackling and we put a lot of emphasis on it. So yeah, we worked hard on the tackling this week. We still have a lot of work to do, still some arm tackling going on, but we’re getting better.”
Carroll will try to improve to 2-0 this Friday when it travels across the border to take on Mount Airy (N.C.) at 7 p.m.
Floyd6 0 00 - 6
Carroll 0 6 0 10 - 16
FC – Bary 80 pass from Underwood (run failed)
CC – Giles 47 run (kick failed)
CC – Stiltner 3 run (Goins kick)
CC – Goins 33 field goal
First Downs 713
RUSHING – March 12-49, Hunter 4-20, Cromer 6-7, Underwood 1-minus 5.
PASSING – Underwood 7-17-1 122 yds.
RECEIVING – Bary 4-100, Clemsons 2-14, Cromer 1-8.
RUSHING – Stiltner 30-169, Giles 5-58, Goins 5-26, Dalton 1-4, Puckett 3-2, Quesenberry 2-0, Team 3-minus 12.
PASSING – Giles 1-8-0 15 yds.
RECEIVING – Goins 1-15.