|Brandon Branch throws an outlet pass to Chris Baker during the Blue and White game. Carbon won their first game of the season 7-6.|
Not a region-match-up or even a 3A team, but Carbon chalked up its first win in over a year with a defensive gem over American Leadership Academy on Friday night.
The 6-7 win was well needed as a long losing streak finally came to an end.
The team dedicated the game to Coach Tiller, who was leading the squad, despite dealing with the loss of his bother-in-law, miner Brandon Kimber. In an emotional game, the team got a taste of what it is like to win, and they reveled in it.
Carbon started off marching down the field with quarterback, Brandon Branch at the helm. As the team got inside the 15 yard line, on the third play of the game, he fumbled. ALA scored on the turnover, but failed in their extra point attempt.
The Dino defense took over and bent a few times, but did not break. "This was not a small team" Tiller stated, "Out boys played a physical game and hit hard all night. In the end they were carrying them off the field."
Down 6-0 at the half, the squad renewed their determination not to let this game slip away. In the third quarter they put up their only score. They tacked on the extra point to take the lead. All game the team marched down the field only to make mental mistakes in the red zone. It was the penalties that make every coach crazy, holding, off-sides and turnovers that kept the team from dominating the game.
"As much as I know we should have won the game by the score of 28-0, I am glad we didn't," Tiller explained. "I feel they learned more from their mistakes by the game staying close." He feels that the final drive of the game by ALA was proof, as his defense buckled down and played the system to perfection as they shut them down and took the win.
The Carbon offense racked up 386 yards on the night,moving the ball well all night. "We had to go 60 plus on every possession and if we had not had so much trouble in the red zone, we would have scored big," Tiller observed. The coaching staff has still not settled on a starting quarterback. Joey Keller and Brandon Branch rotated into the game. "They both played well, with the exception of the Branch fumble," he stated. "They each bring a different style to the field."
Defense was also solid. They held the big line of ALA to 175 total yards. The only time ALA scored was when they took possession on the 15 yard line on the turnover. Other than that they were unable to move the ball against the Dinos.
All the work in the weight room paid off. Despite the physical play the team dished out, Carbon walked away from the night without a single injury. Tiller summed up the game saying that all the problems he saw on the field were correctable. Many things were partly first game jitters. "We will get better and better as the season progresses," he predicts.
The team will hit the road again this week with a game against Uintah on Friday night. That game starts at 7 p.m.