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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 01, 2019 11:00 pm

Carroll 42, Snider 31

Carroll finally gets better of Snider

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Snider ended Carroll's season in 2017 and in 2018. On Friday night, the Chargers turned the tables, avenging those defeats and an August loss to the Panthers with a 42-31 victory at Spuller Stadium in a Class 6A sectional semifinal matchup.

Chargers sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Becker threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns and added a rushing score, while junior Mason Englert caught eight passes for 143 yards and a score, helping Carroll tie its season-high in points.

The Chargers' (7-3) victory sets up a sectional championship matchup next week against undefeated SAC foe Homestead (10-0), which snuck past Noblesville in overtime.

"What it means is we're playing for another week," Carroll coach Doug Dinan said of the win. "In the playoffs, you play or you pack your stuff and turn it in on Monday. Tribute to Snider and their program and their coaches but our kids played hard and our kids wanted to win."

Momentum swung back and forth in the second half as Snider (7-3) tried to overcome a 28-10 halftime deficit.

Late in the third quarter, Becker made maybe the biggest play of the game. He dropped back and found no one open downfield so he scrambled to his left. The way was blocked on that side, so he sidestepped a potential tackler and looked downfield, firing a perfect throw to Englert in the back of the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown, the final score of the game.

"I don't really know what I saw, honestly," Becker said of the clinching score. "It just kind of comes naturally and my receivers just get open and I just throw it downfield."

The Panthers made one more foray into Carroll territory late in the final quarter, but on fourth down in the red zone, quarterback Jon Barnes tossed an interception to linebacker Craig McGinnis, sending the Carroll sideline and stands into joyful convulsions. It was one of three interceptions for Carroll.

"Without question, those are huge," Dinan said of the picks. "Anytime that you can create turnovers, it's huge in the game. It's momentum-changing, it's driving-stalling. Our defense played well, it really did."

The Chargers scored the final 21 points of the first half, but Snider answered early in the second half, scoring twice in the first six minutes of the third quarter to pull within 28-24. Lenny Bennett ran in one touchdown from 42 yards and out Kameron Trotter had a 5-yard score to knock Carroll on its heels. 

Still, the Chargers remained poised and Becker responded with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Morrison to give his team some breathing room.

"(Our coaches) told us, 'We're not done, we're going to keep battling this battle,'" Becker said of the tense moments after Snider pulled within four. "We never gave up and it showed."

dsinn@jg.net