Fuel Added To The Fire for Carter

Nothing about Friday night's game between region 1-3A rivals Carter and Seymour was pretty.

Carter's 27-0 victory over the Eagles marks the second consecutive shutout in the series. Since dropping into 3A competition, the Hornets (6-0, 3-0) have given everyone in the region fits.

Halfway through the season, the Hornets need to hold their opponent scoreless once more to match their total of five shutouts from last year. Seymour (2-4, 0-2) struggled to move the ball early and often as they have the past few weeks. The quarterback combination of pocket passer Duncan Smith and the shifty Todd Ogle were never able to get on the same page with their receivers. The two combined to go 10 out of 21 for only 60 yards in the air.

Carter BE Mark Allen Bounds also struggled throwing the ball. Bounds completed 12 of 22 passes for 105 yards with two interceptions. The first quarter was filled with mistakes from each team. Carter had two touchdown runs called back because of penalties while Seymour turned the ball over twice by way of fumble.

The coolest evening of 2006 thus far provided poor passing conditions, but also prepared an excellent chance for either teams' rushing attack to lead their team to victory. Seymour's defense had held Carter's potent tailbacks in check for the first 20 minutes, so second year coach Heath Woods decided to go with a different but similar approach.

The first score of the game came when Carter fullback Shane Watson ran in from 18 yards away. The oversized Watson would add another score just before halftime, making the score 14-0 at the split.

Seymour coach Gary Householder spoke about Carter's depth, "They started the game with that stretch play, and we adjusted to stop that. Then (Watson) came in on the touchdowns. We had two people sliding out and he hit the gap inside both times. The defense had their backs against the wall all game we just could not get anything going on offense."

The second half was not outrageously different from the first. Field position woes continued for the Eagles. A 26-yard Bounds' scramble capped another short drive for the Hornets. Eugene Brown finally found the endzone without a flag minutes later to finish the scoring, as Seymour's Brandon Dockery blocked the extra point attempt.

While the first brisk evening air kept spectators cool, it could not keep the players' heated tempers from flaring on the field. The game was all but over when a Seymour player tried to even the score through blows with 6:30 left. Another player showed his frustration as he slammed his helmet on the ground moments later.

"Evidently there was a lot of talking going on," Householder said following the game. "It was just a very sloppy football game on our part. But that had a lot to do with Carter. I think we let our emotions get the best of us a little bit. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. You can't do that against a good football team, and they are a good football team."

There were a few Seymour defenders that had good defensive games despite the final outcome. Ryan Williamson and Ethan Kegley each had eight tackles. Drew Fox and Brandon Dockery also had big tackles for loss on the night.

Householder talked more about the momentum of the game, and why it was so tough for his Eagles to avenge last season's loss. "Our defense played hard the first half, kept us in the game," he added.

"We just had a hard time getting anything going on offense. Two fumbles, two bad punts, and the ball stayed inside our own 40 (yard line) the whole first half."

With the top end of Seymour's schedule much heavier than the bottom, the Eagles can win the remainder of their games and claw their way into the playoffs. But Seymour needs a huge effort against a winless Pigeon Forge to establish the Eagles as a legitimate playoff threat.

"We have to get ready. It's another region game so we've gotta play hard and get back in it," Householder added.

The date to watch for Carter fans is October 20th, when the Hornets face a Fulton team that embarrassed last year's squad 34-0 on regional television.

Prep Tennessee Top Stories