Carl­son’s grind­ing rush at­tack wears down Wyandotte

The Detroit News - - Sports - BY ERIC COUGH­LIN Spe­cial to The De­troit News Eric Cough­lin is a free­lance writer

Wyandotte — Gibral­tar Carl­son’s foot­ball team knows how to do two things — run the ball and win.

Carl­son (7-1, 7-1 Down­river), pass­ing only twice and rack­ing up 209 yards on the ground, held on against Wyandotte, 14-7, on Fri­day night to stretch its win­ning streak to seven games.

“Our de­fense played a great game,” Carl­son coach Jack Giarmo said. “You have to make plays to win these games, and the guys made big plays.

Carl­son puts mul­ti­ple run­ning backs in on each play. Wyandotte (5-3, 5-3) de­fen­sive line­men didn’t know which run­ning back would get the ball — and where he might go once he got it, with Carl­son backs hav­ing suc­cess up the mid­dle and on the edge.

Carl­son’s strat­egy also proved highly ef­fec­tive in bleed­ing the clock. Once Carl­son got up, it melted sev­eral min­utes off the clock with al­most ev­ery pos­ses­sion, lim­it­ing the num­ber of chances Wyandotte had to catch up.

Carl­son se­nior run­ning back Tom Sucharski did the most dam­age, amass­ing 73 yards with a long of 26 on his first carry.

“I just need my line to keep block­ing for me. I love them. It’s all due to them,” Sucharski said. “I knew we had it in us. Even when it got close, I knew the se­niors would take care of it.”

“Tom Sucharski is a good lit­tle full­back,” Giarmo said. “We were just tak­ing ad­van­tage of what the de­fense gave us, and it worked for us. You can’t find Tommy (Sucharski). He’s so small and quick, too.”

Lead­ing Carl­son in rush­ing at­tempts was se­nior Bran­don Ste­wart. He had 14 car­ries for 54 yards and both of Carl­son’s cru­cial scores.

“It felt good,” Bran­don Ste­wart said. “They’re a good team, but we just fo­cused on our blocks and our as­sign­ments. We tried our best to get the win. That’s re­ally all we ever do.”

Wyandotte’s

sopho­more quar­ter­back, Jalin Pitch­ford, fin­ished 7-for-12 pass­ing for 63 yards, plus 28 yards rush­ing in the los­ing ef­fort.

“We’ve got to for­get about this loss, put it be­hind us,” Pitch­ford said. “We came out a lit­tle slow. In the sec­ond half, we knew what we had to do, but we just couldn’t ex­e­cute.”

Wyandotte ju­nior run­ning back Chris­tian Cooper ran with phys­i­cal­ity but rarely found day­light through Carl­son’s de­fen­sive front, end­ing the day with a hard-fought 65 yards on 18 car­ries.

Cooper scored on a 15-yard run in the third quar­ter, pulling Wyandotte within a touch­down.

Wet con­di­tions con­trib­uted to two Carl­son turnovers. With­out them, Wyandotte wouldn’t have been able to keep it so close.

“We had a good drive go­ing and then fum­bled the ball,” Giarmo said. “That’s the game of foot­ball.

“It was a whole dif­fer­ent ball­game with­out those (turnovers).”

Carl­son scored a touch­down on its first drive.

It fea­tured 10 plays, all runs, for 75 yards with Bran­don Ste­wart fin­ish­ing it off on a 1-yard plunge.

Wyandotte drove into Carl­son ter­ri­tory in the sec­ond quar­ter, but a field goal at­tempt was blocked by ju­nior Ian Ste­wart.

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