When your team gets beat by 34 points you’d think that the beaten coach saying it was a closer game than it appeared would seem delusional.
However, that’s what Carbondale coach Bryan Lee said after the Carbondale Terriers got blasted 56-22 by the visiting Cahokia Comanches.
“The game was a lot closer than the final score,” Lee said. “Momentum was changed by our turnovers.”
After finishing the game with more total yards (421-403), rushing yards, and even passing yards than the Cahokia, you start to wonder what a visitor from outer space might conclude by just reading a statistics box score.
They would at least conclude that the game was close and that the end score, although maybe in favor slightly for the Comanches, would be close, too. But not so. Turnovers were the stat that decided this contest.
Though Cahokia was outperformed in every other statistical category, including having more penalty yards (121-95), Carbondale had four costly turnovers — and made the score seem so lopsided score-wise.
The Terriers fumbled and threw three interceptions setting up Comanche scores. Three of those turnovers led to short fields for Cahokia drives. One of the interceptions (starting QB Seth Germann threw all three) was taken 49 yards resulted in a touchdown by Comanche defensive back Darian Dean to make the score 26-0 Cahokia with 9:18 left in the second quarter.
Carbondale countered with two scoring drives led by second-string quarterback Jabeka Burleigh. The backup junior quarterback ended the game with 231 passing yards and three touchdown passes. More importantly, Burleigh had zero Interceptions the rest of the way.
But the damage had already been done.
“Burleigh will now get more and more playing time,” Lee said. “The first day of practice we (coaches) joked about him raising his hand when we asked who wanted to play quarterback, but he has proved that the addition of a running quarterback like him will be positive.”
Burleigh is mobile and showed accurately in the passing game Friday night.
Terrier wide receiver Jaden Bradley used his blazing speed, length, and great hands to maneuver for 98 receiving yards. He scored one of Carbondale’s two receiving touchdowns and Shannon Scott-Rivers scored the other.
But by halftime break, Carbondale was down 34-10 and were within striking distance only one time thereafter.
“We came back to within 12 points in the third quarter,” said Lee.
A Cahokia score late in that quarter to jack the lead back up to 40-22, and the game was basically over from then on out.
Thus, Carbondale lost its fourth game in a nine-game season. One more loss and the Terriers will be out of the playoff picture for 2017.
That gloomy forecast may not happen just yet. This coming Friday Carbondale travels to Mount Vernon’s newly-opened football venue to face a Rams team that has had as much trouble winning as the Terriers.