Creston/O-M and Carlisle got started quickly, opening the game with a touchdown scoring a drive apiece to set the tone.
Nic Goodhue bolted down the sidelines on Carlisle’s third play from scrimmage for a 61-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats punched in a 2-pt. conversion to take an 8-0 lead on the game’s opening drive.
The Panthers responded with a 9-play drive that ended in points when Eli Loudon punched in a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to bring Creston/O-M within one, 8-7.
Carlisle’s offense continued to make its way down the field, but a Kylan Smallwood interception and a fumble recovered by Garon Wurster killed two Wildcat drives.
After a Panther three-and-out, Carlisle drove 68 yards on 12 plays before Ethan Reed carried the ball seven yards into the end zone to put the Wildcats up 15-7.
Carlisle continued to pound the ball on the ground, mainly using halfback dives off of center and began pulling away from the Panthers.
In the final minute of the first half – facing a fourth-and-25 – the Panthers chose to attempt a screen pass which mustered just three yards.
Carlisle took over on its own 42-yard line with 32 seconds left to go in the second quarter.
The Wildcats needed just two plays to travel 58 yards, completing a 28-yard strike to Goodhue before Carlisle quarterback Tegan Wyckoff tossed up a jump ball that was pulled down by Joey Donovan in the end zone to give the Wildcats a 22-7 lead heading into the locker room.
“I figured it was worth a shot ... They had one guy tie up and it wasn’t there. One of those deals if we punt, we probably punt it through the end zone. We gave them 20 yards.” said Creston/O-M head coach Brian Morrison.
The second half opened the same way the first half ended with Carlisle putting together a defensive stand and bullying its way down the field on a long drive for a touchdown.
Thirteen plays, all of which were carries by either Goodhue, Wyckoff or Reed marched the visiting team right back into the end zone as Reed ended the drive with an 8-yard touchdown.
Only three of the 13 carries on the drive were for less than five yards.
Reed added another rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and ended the night with 138 yards rushing on 24 carries and three touchdowns. Goodhue added 153 yards on 16 carries along with the lone score that opened the contest.
The Wildcats ended the night with 362 yards on the ground.
“I thought in the first half they had to earn it ... Third quarter they grinded on us and we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Morrison said.
Creston/O-M couldn’t get a push against the bigger, more physical Carlisle front as the Panthers managed just six first downs and 157 yards of offense.
The Panthers forced three turnovers, as James McDonald also recovered a fumble, but failed to turn the extra possessions into points.
“We had a tough time with their front today. We have to watch tape and see what we did right from wrong,” said Morrison. “They have some good size and they get after it offensively and defensively.”
Defensively, Beau Barncastle had a night to remember with 18 assisted tackles. Luther put together four solo tackles and 12 assisted wrap-ups.
The Panthers honored the late, longtime Panther athletic director and middle school football coach Curt Olson by wearing ‘OLY’ stickers on the back of their helmets, in light of Friday being his birthday.
“We started that tradition the year he passed away. He’s a legend here. These guys, everyone knows who Oly is. It’s a tradition that will carry on forever,” said Morrison.
As a team, Creston/O-M and the student section wore yellow – with the football team sporting yellow socks – to bring awareness for Suicide Prevention Month.
UP NEXT – Creston/O-M (1-2) heads to Bondurant to take on Bondurant-Farrar (2-1) in their final non-district contest as the Bluejays are currently owners of a two-game winning streak.
“Our kids will comeback next week no doubt about it. We’re going to have a challenge against Bondurant and then we start district play against really good competition,” Morrison said. “Our kids our going to take their lumps ... I like the fight in them. They’re going to learn from this.”