COLUMBUS, Ga. — Carver football coach Joseph Kegler had a simple message for his defense at halftime Friday night.
“We’re going to put this on your back and you guys go ahead and take us to the third round,” he said he told the unit.
The defense followed Kegler’s marching orders, helping Carver blank Jefferson County 19-0 in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs.
How good was the Tigers’ defense?
It didn’t even allow the Warriors to break into triple digits in total offense, as the visitors finished with 95 total yards (58 rushing, 37 passing). Because of the stellar play of his defense, Kegler used a conservative approach on offense in the final two quarters, with Carver throwing just three passes. The Tigers (11-1) completed two of those attempts, one in spectacular fashion.
After a blocked punt by Daniel Melvin, the Tigers took over at the Warriors’ 28-yard line.
It took just one play for Carver to cross the goal line – and this time, the hosts used a little trickery courtesy of the Pass siblings. Younger brother and starting quarterback Jawon Pass hit older brother Khane on a quick pass at the line of scrimmage. Khane then tossed it to a leaping Raekwon Lowe at the 2-yard line, who broke a tackle and fought his way into the end zone to extend the Tigers’ lead to 19 with 3.2 seconds to play in the third quarter.
It was the final score of the night, as Carver’s defense put the clamps on Jefferson County (8-4).
“I told them earlier in the week this would be a great time for our first shutout of the year,” Kegler said.
A date with Buford awaits Carver next week.
Given their credentials – Buford has won five state titles in the past six years – Kegler said they need no introduction.
“Buford is just Buford. They’re always good,” he said. “It’ll be a tough ballgame next week.”