EPC falls to Carlisle in football playoffs
The EPC Warriors faced the Carlisle Bison for the third straight year in the Class 2A high school state football playoffs this past Friday in Lepanto. Carlisle, for the third straight year, ended EPC's season with a 37-26 victory.
"They beat me my last year of high school so I'm 0-4 against them," EPC coach Brian Weathers said.
Carlisle took the opening kick and returned it out to 35-yard yard line where Michael Sipes tackled the ball carrier. The Bison faced a fourth down with 10:05 to go. Carlisle picked up the first down to keep the drive alive. Justice Bryant scored Carlisle's first points of the game as he took the ball up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run. Deron Ricks added the two-point conversion run to make it 8-0 Bison with 9 minutes left in the opening quarter. EPC started their first drive on their own 20-yard line following a touch back on the kickoff. Tristan McDaniel moved the ball out to the Warriors 48-yard line with a 26-yard run with 8:12 left in the quarter. EPC faced a fourth and on the Bison 41-yard line where Aaron Scales kept the ball on a quarterback sneak for yards picking up the first down. Aaron Scales' had his pass intercepted by Bison Chris Hart and returned back out to their own 40-yard line. A penalty on the return backed the Bison up to their 30-yard line with 4:25 left. Carlisle gave the ball back to EPC as Justice Bryant fumbled the ball and Aaron Scales fell on it at the Bisons' 36-yard line. Tristan McDaniel hauled in a pass and took it down to the Carlisle 16-yard line with 2:55 left in the quarter. Trevor McDaniel scored a little over a minute later from six yards out with 1:52 left. Aaron Scales ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8. Carlisle's Braden Reed returned the kick out to the Bison 46-yard line to set up the next Carlisle possession. A big run from Carlisle got the ball down to the EPC 30-yard line with 59 seconds left. The quarter ended with score at 8-8.
Carlisle faced fourth and two on the EPC 22-yard line with 11:39 left in the second quarter. EPC's defense jumped outsides to give the Bison a first down on Warrior 17-yard line. Carlisle completed a pass down to the EPC three-yard line before Chris Hart took the ball in from three yards out for the touchdown. The two-point pass play was no good leaving the score 14-8 Carlisle with 9:05 left in the second quarter. Carlisle short kicked the kickoff where Corbin Truelove fell on it at the EPC 42-yard line. EPC's Trevor McDaniel and Aaron Scales got the ground game going as they moved the ball down to Bisons' 11-yard line. Two Aaron Scales runs and a personal foul on Carlisle moved the ball to the one-yard line where Aaron Scales took it in to tie the game at 14. Blake Carter's extra-point was wide left leaving the score tied at 14 with 2:41 left in the half. Carlisle took the ensuing kickoff and returned in to the Warriors 22-yard. Carlisle faced fourth and 1 on the 13-yard line with 41 seconds left in the quarter. Carlisle's Ricks ran the ball down to the one-yard line with 23 seconds remaining before Chris Hart took the ball in for the Carlisle score. Bryant added the two-point run to make the score 22-14 Carlisle with 13 seconds left in the half.
Quinn Young took the short kickoff and returned in out to the EPC 41-yard line where the Warriors would start their first drive of the second half with 11:50 left in the quarter. EPC moved the ball out to the 48-yard line where they faced fourth and two with 10:27 left. Aaron Scaled kept the ball and picked up three yards to give the Warriors a first down at the Bison 49-yard line. Trevor McDaniel carried the ball down to the Carlisle 39-yard line where EPC faced another fourth and one. Aaron Scales again picked up for the first down with 8:19 left in the quarter. Aaron Scales again keeps the ball and with a personal foul on Carlisle the ball is placed on the Carlisle 13-yard line with 7:52 left in the third. Byron Scales take a sweep and goes down to the two-yard line with 6:57 left. Aaron Scales keeps the ball and scores from two yards out to make the score 22-20 Carlisle with 6:42 left in the third. The two-point run by Byron Scales was no good. The Warriors kickoff went out of bounds giving the Bison the ball on their own 35-yard line. Carlisle has a big run that gets the ball down to the EPC 17-yard line. Bryant took the double hand off and went for the touchdown to put the Bison up 28-20 with 2:08 left. A bad snap forced the Bison holder to scramble before throwing the ball back to Ricks who found the end zone for a 30-20 Carlisle lead. Kicking off from EPC 45-yard line due to a personal foul on EPC, the kick sailed into the end zone for a touchback and EPC started their next drive from their own 20-yard line. The Warriors got only two yards on three downs and were forced to punt the ball. Chris Hart fair caught the ball giving the Bison the ball at midfield. Paul Pilgrim had a big tackle for a five-yard loss with 16 seconds left in the quarter. Carlisle took a 10-point lead into the final quarter of play.
Caleb Harston executed a perfect onside kick but the Warriors couldn't come up with the loose ball with Carlisle taking over first and ten on the EPC 48-yard line. Carlisle got a big run from Hart and Ricks to put the ball inside the EPC 10-yard line where they went to the victory formation and ran the clock out for a 37-26 win.
Aaron Scales led the Warriors offensively with 67 yards rushing with two touchdowns and 87 yards passing and a touchdown. Trevor McDaniel had 74 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Paul Pilgrim led the defense with 13 tackles while Chandler Smith finished with 10 tackles.
"It was an extremely physical game and I thought our team played hard and well," Weather said after the game. "We didn't get the big stops and that hurt us. The kickoff return right before half that set up their short score really hurt," Weathers added. "We had a great group of seniors who won a lot of ball games and my hats off to them, I will miss them."