The contrast on the sidelines in the closing minutes summed the game up — ASD coaches dodged chilly water cooler baths on one end while the Wildcats hung their heads on the other, finishing the season 0-10.
“I’m pleased with the 8-2 record considering the difficult schedule we faced this year,” said ASD head coach Paul Kulick. “I’m very proud of our players. This has been a very good year and I hate that it has to end tonight. I know the boys can leave their locker room for the last time and feel good about themselves and what they have accomplished this year.”
ASD didn’t record a pass in the game, while Tharptown only ran the ball three times.
The senior trio of Demetric Snider, Anthony Jones-Robinson and Kadarius Slaughter closed out their high school football careers in style with two touchdowns each.
“We have a wonderful group of seniors this year,” Kulick said. “Most of the seniors have been with me since seventh grade. They have set a positive leadership for our young players. They will be greatly missed.”
Tharptown sophomore quarterback Kelby Hallmark led the passing attack, completing 19 of his 36 passes for 399 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
“Tonight was the first time we have faced the spread offense this year,” Kulick said. “We were not able to contain their passing attacks as I had hoped. Give them credit, they played well against our defense. They played their hearts out.”
The first quarter was a shootout, with both teams combining for nine touchdowns. But with just 13 players dressed out, the Wildcats were eventually worn down toward the end of the second quarter.
After Tharptown turned the ball over on downs on its first possession, ASD needed just one play to find the end zone. Snider took a handoff up the middle and broke numerous tackles en route to a 49-yard touchdown. The Silent Warriors failed to convert a two-point conversion, and led 6-0 early.
A long drive by the Wildcats ended on fourth down again. A 39-yard run from senior Jones-Robinson put the ball on the Wildcat 28. Five plays later, senior Josh Eatmon found the end zone from seven yards out. Slaughter carried the ball for the 2-point conversion to give ASD a 14-0 lead.
After a 27-yard run from Hallmark, the sophomore avoided a blitz and found Timothy Bryant in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. After the extra point, Tharptown trailed 14-7 with 3:25 in the first period.
ASD answered two plays later with a 52-yard score down the left sideline from Jones-Robinson. Lorenzo Burrow scored the 2-point conversion to give the Silent Warriors a 22-7 lead.
Tharptown jumped right back in the game two plays later. Starting on his own 28-yard line, Hallmark threw an incomplete pass before tossing a 72-yard bomb to Hayden Fleming, who burned through the defense for a touchdown. In the closing minutes of the quarter, the score stood at 22-14.
On the second play of the second quarter, Snider found the end zone from two yards. After Slaughter’s 2-point conversion, ASD led 30-14.
The Wildcats scored another touchdown on the ensuing possession. A 42-yard pass from Hallmark put Tharptown in business at the 15-yard line, where the quarterback threw a 15-yard touchdown to Edgar Bahena. The Wildcats failed to convert the two-point conversion, and trailed 30-20 with 9:58 to play in the half.
Tharptown failed to recover the onside kick, and five plays later Slaughter scooted 31 yards for a touchdown, putting ASD up 38-20.
Slaughter scored again with just over four minutes to play on a 6-yard carry.
At halftime the teams agreed to play 10-minute quarters.
ASD scored on the second play of the third quarter on a 34-yard run from Burrow, and an 18-yard run from Rashard James made it 62-20.
The 62 points from tonight brings ASD’s scoring average to 44 points per game in 2011.
Tharptown scored three more times before the game finished on 28, 38 and 14 yard passes from Hallmark to make the score 62-42.
Contact Wesley Sinor at firstname.lastname@example.org.