Friday night’s matchup between Carver and McDonogh 35 placed the final two undefeated teams in District 9-4A in a matchup of the preseason favorites against the early-season Cinderella story.
The Roneagles (5-0, 2-0 in 9-4A) brought Carver’s early-season magical start to a screeching halt with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to come away with a 27-20 win at Pan American Stadium.
Carver’s record fell to 4-1, 1-1, after its first 4-0 start since 2002.
“It feels like everyone has been doubting us, but we just never gave up,” said McDonogh 35 quarterback Sidney Wilson. “We feel like we’ve been disrespected by a lot of people and that’s what gave us our drive.”
Trailing by six with eight minutes left in the game, the Roneagles reclaimed control with a 95-yard drive that only took five plays. Darius May started the drive off with a 41-yard run and Lawrence Keys ended four plays later with a 49-yard touchdown on a screen pass to convert a fourth-and-6 and give 35 a 21-20 lead with 7:21 left in the game.
Carver had the ball in 35 territory with three minutes left, but the Roneagles defense stood up and got the stop that was needed to end Carver’s hopes. The Roneagles then added a 54-yard touchdown from Wilson to Torreano Miner to put the finishing touches on the win.
Wilson finished completing seven of his 14 passes for 250 yards, 79 rushing yards, and three total touchdowns.
“That fourth quarter shows the resiliency our kids have,” said 35 coach Wayne Reese. “(This win) should open the eyes of everyone, even the guys on the team. They fought hard to pull it out at the end.”
Carver took advantage of a short field on its first drive of the second half and went 42 yards on five plays, culminating with a 33-yard touchdown catch by Joe Young to cut the 35 lead down to 14-12.
Carver took its first lead of the game when D’Quintez Wilson caught a pass over the outstretched hands of a 35 defensive back and ran 72 yards for a touchdown to put Carver up 20-14 with 4:43 left in the third. It was his second touchdown catch of at least 70 yards in the game.
Wilson, who came into Friday leading the metro area with 375 receiving yards, ended the game with three catches for 155 yards and two scores.
“I’m proud of our fight, but we just made too many mistakes,” Carver coach Byron Addison said. “You can’t make those kind of mistakes against a team that good.”
The Roneagles, the No. 5 large school in the New Orleans Advocate Super 10, opened the game by methodically moving down the field with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that included 11 rushing attempts and ate six minutes off the clock , concluding with a 2-yard touchdown by Dajuan Jenkins.
But Carver immediately responded on the following drive with a 75-yard touchdown by Wilson from Izea Hurst to swing the momentum back in the Rams favor.
Both team’s struggled to put together a drive the rest of the quarter, but 35 got an explosive play of its own when Wilson hit Minor for a 92-yard pass. The senior was taken down at the Carver 2-yard line, but two plays later, Wilson finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to increase the Roneagles’ lead to 14-6.