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The Carroll football team pulled out a 7-2 defensive victory Friday night at Bellevue to keep their record spotless at 5-0. The Panther ‘D’ allowed no offensive scores and just 167 total yards, with the Tigers (3-2) scoring their only points on a safety in the fourth quarter.
“I can’t say enough about the job the defense did,” Weedman said. “Casey Breeden and Nick Carroll had great games. Travis Branum made some great plays, and our defensive ends Logan Doll and Duane Robbins played very disciplined.”
As a team, the defense notched 17 tackles for loss. Weedman said Breeden had “the game of his life,” leading the team with a career-high 22 total tackles. He also forced a fumble and logged two sacks.
Carroll grabbed an interception and forced a fumble. Robbins and Doll also had two sacks each, while Brandon Franklin recorded a sack and recovered a fumble. Branum and Dillon Craig also each recovered a fumble.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Panthers’ lone score came on a 7-yard run by Carson Butcher on their second possession in the first quarter. Weedman said Butcher later left the game with a minor injury and did not return. Ben Newby split the uprights to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
The safety came with 2:19 remaining in the contest. The Tigers were stopped on a fourth down, but the Panthers were unable to move the ball from deep in their own territory. The snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone, which Weedman said was probably the best thing that could have happened.
Carroll amassed 141 yards on the ground. Butcher rushed 13 times for 72 yards and a score; Tyshawn Embs, 17 for 46 yards; Trent Downs, 3 for 12 yards; Branum, 5 for 10 yards; and Craig, 3 for one yard. Through the air, Downs was 4-9 for 65 yards and one interception. Craig caught two passes for nine yards; Evan Mefford, 1 for 40 yards; Carroll, 1 for 15 yards; and Franklin, 1 for one yard.
The Panthers committed four penalties for 18 yards, while the Tigers committed two for 10 yards.
Weedman said both teams moved the ball well between the 30-yard lines, but neither did a good job of converting.
“It was a very physical game, one of the most physical games I remembered in a long time,” Weedman said. He also noted that this is the first time Carroll has topped Bellevue in at least a generation.
Up next for the Panthers is another road test, this time against district foe Walton-Verona (3-1).
“They’re a good team, and we’re going to have to be ready for them,” Weedman said. “It’s a district game, and they’ve had a week to prepare for us. Now’s the time we need to play our best football.”