Late drive wins it for N. Carroll Panthers' offensive line dominates S. Carroll, 21-14

October 10, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

North Carroll celebrated its annual homecoming with a victory for the first time since 1986, and for only the second time in their series the Panthers knocked off South Carroll last night.

North Carroll (4-2), with three touchdowns from as many players -- the last by Greg Bair with 42 seconds left -- got the job done, 21-14.

On a wet, misty evening when any running except in a straight line was almost impossible, North Carroll's offensive line dominated South Carroll (4-2) with four long drives. The Panthers took huge amounts of time off the clock, but their collective effort in the final 3 1/2 minutes, capped by one final surge, produced victory.

Scott Warner's touchdown and Matt Kelley's second conversion got South Carroll a 14-14 tie with 3 minutes, 38 seconds left, and the home team started its winning drive from its 21.

Senior quarterback Justin Raynor drove the Panthers 79 yards in 11 plays, aided immeasurably by South Carroll's third unsportsmanlike penalty of the game.

Steve Suter, the county's top rusher, converted two third-down situations, one a leaping grab of a pass from Raynor, and the other a 21-yard dash on which he paused at the line as if on a fake, then bolted into open territory.

A run to the 26, followed by the penalty, presented North Carroll with a first down at the 14. Suter ran left for 4 yards. Then Bair, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior, barged through a gaping hole "and I just saw the white line and dove for it," he said.

Moments later, Suter's first varsity interception ended it.

"As explosive as South Carroll is, we knew we had to keep the ball out of their hands," said North Carroll coach Bill Rumbaugh. "We knew they would key on Suter, so we had to have help from our other backs."

The Panthers got it, too, as Chad Lettau scored on a 1-yard plunge after a pass interference and an unsportsmanlike call had pushed the ball to the goal line. Another senior running back, Jemel Hogan, also contributed valuable yardage.

Mike Muller scored South Carroll's first touchdown, dashing 25 yards around the left side with four minutes left in the second quarter.

Receiver David Keefer made the big play of the drive, going up between two defenders for a John Luster third-down pass that went for 17 yards.

Pub Date: 10/10/98

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