Once the Carver Tigers got rolling offensively Thursday, there was nothing the Shaw Raiders could do but step aside.
The Tigers (2-4, 2-1) made quick work of Shaw (1-4, 0-2), putting up 192 rushing yards and four scores on the ground in the first half of a 46-7 victory over their Region 1-4A rival. Carver senior running back Jacorey Brown was the star of the ground game, reeling off two first-half touchdowns and ending the night with 118 yards.
“We just practice on it and practice on it every single day. We’ve got a real good defense, so we just kept running the ball,” Brown said. “It felt wonderful, just to get in a rhythm and get myself going.”
The victory was Carver’s ninth consecutive win over Shaw.
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Khiari McCoy set the pace for the Carver offense in the first quarter, punching it in on an 8-yard touchdown run that helped the Tigers take an 8-7 lead following the two-point conversion. McCoy stretched the lead with 9:48 left in the second quarter, scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run that made it a 14-7 contest.
Brown turned his big runs into touchdowns starting midway through the second quarter, hitting the hole on a 41-yard run to put Carver up 20-7. He wasn’t done in the first half, either, finding paydirt again on a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:47 left in the quarter.
“He showed us a lot tonight,” Carver head coach Calvin Arnold said of Brown. “He showed us when somebody else goes down, he can step up. That’s all we asked from him.”
Just for good measure, the Tigers made plays in the passing game, too.
After a Shaw turnover on downs with less than 20 seconds before halftime, Carver’s Desmond Whitlock stepped in at quarterback and hurled a pass deep downfield toward Jarius Thomas. Thomas made the catch and ended up in the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown.
Arnold had used his timeouts to give the Tigers a few seconds to work with before halftime. Needless to say, the strategy paid off.
“I just wanted to make sure everybody got a chance to score and everybody got a chance to see what we can do,” Arnold said. “I wanted to make sure we got a call to our good receiver (Thomas) out on the sideline.”
Carver added a Jacolby Cunningham rushing touchdown and a pitch-and-catch score from Whitlock to Davion Holloway in the second half of the blowout.
The first half got out of hand for Shaw despite showing promise on its second drive of the evening. Quarterback Andrew Lacy led the Raiders down the field on a six-play, 37-yard drive that ended with Lacy’s 8-yard touchdown run.
While the Raiders got their bells rung in a game they staged a blackout in, the victory over a intra-city rival made the productive night all the more special for Brown.
“It felt real good,” Brown said. “There was a lot of trash talking between the two. We went out here, we battled, competed and gave it our all.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports