FINAL THOUGHTS--The scoreboard said that this game was all Carver, and it was, but there are some important things to take away for both teams.
First, as mentioned earlier, Dell McGee was the first to say he wasn't entirely happy with his team's performance. The offense piled on a lot of points early, but it also picked up plenty of penalties. After committing 14 in a scrimmage against Central last week, the Tigers picked up nine for 80 yards tonight.
Carver could get away with that tonight against a team that is young, small and inexperienced, but what happens if it shoots itself in the foot too many times next week against an underrated Shaw team? McGee had the same thought.
"We've got a short week and a tough matchup against Shaw next Thursday," he said. "We have to find a way between now and then to limit the penalties and play a lot smarter."
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All nine penalties came on offense. There was a handful of holds, a couple of false starts and even an unsportsmanlike conduct call.
For now, Carver can enjoy the victory. But ranked No. 3 in the state, its highest goal should be to win a state championship. Just a personal opinion, which is shared by McGee, the Tigers aren't there yet.
On the Spencer side, it's a hard game to break down because of the relative novelty of the team under new head coach Calvin Arnold.
As expected, there were plenty of growing pains. The Greenwave had a handful of turnovers and fumbled the ball seven times in total. They didn't move the ball well enough on the ground and really couldn't keep up with the team speed coming from the other sideline.
Arnold said the most important thing was to cut down on the mistakes. When you're a team without a ton of players and are behind the opponent in size and speed, you have to play as close to perfect as you can.
It would have been bold to expect that from Spencer from the get-go, but there were signs that it might be able to put something together in the future. Quarterback Blaze Coaxum and running back Damarkus Robins showed good speed and athleticism, combining for 105 rushing yards in the game. Both had impressive runs of over 20 yards, including a 30-yard score from Robins in the fourth.
It's not a lot yet, but it's something to build on.
Some final thoughts...
--I'm all about fresh uniforms, and, don't get me wrong, I thought Carver looked great in their all-black threads tonight. But as a guy in the press box trying to keep stats, where seeing players' numbers is vital, black numbers on black jerseys just wasn't working for me. I just got the prescription on my contacts and glasses updated so that I could see the players on the field. Now they throw something else at me?...
--The atmosphere, as expected, was great tonight. Plenty of fans, plenty of chatter, good sportsmanship across the board. It was my first time seeing this rivalry firsthand, and I really enjoyed it...
--I sat next to former Carver coach Wallace Davis, who coached 28 times in the Heritage Bowl, winning 20, in the press box, and he had plenty to say about the game. He noted the athleticism in some of Carver's players, like Moore and McGee, but echoed Dell McGee's words on the sloppiness of the penalties and missed opportunities. Davis, who retired after the 2004 season, with 127 wins as a head coach in Georgia, said that he likes to get out to as many practices and games as he can.
Alright, that's all for tonight. Come back to the Valley Preps Blog tomorrow afternoon for a detailed look back at this week's games. I'll highlight some notable performances, discuss the significance of certain results and just talk football.
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CARVER 47, SPENCER 6, FINAL--Sorry for the delay, but this game did go final. More thoughts on the game coming later.
CARVER 47, SPENCER 6, 5:15 4thMario Moore just ran it back 94 yards for a touchdown to give Carver a 47-6 lead over Spencer in the 4th.
CARVER 35, SPENCER 0, HALF Late update...Danny Ryles caught a 47-yard TD pass from McGee as the horn sounded for halftime. Second half about to start.
Notable number: Carver is outgaining Spencer 200-52 in the first half. Carver also has six penalties for 55 yards. McGee was 4 of 9 for 93 yards and two scores to go with 48 yards on the ground.
CARVER 28, SPENCER 0, 2:06 2ND--Brandon Thomas in for a nifty 21-yard touchdown run. On the first play of the drive, he cut left, ran into traffic, stepped back and cut back to the middle of the field. Avoiding tacklers, he dove across the goal line for the score.
CARVER 21, SPENCER 0, 8:39 2ND--Carver has a sizable lead right now, but I think coach Dell McGee would be the first to tell you he hasn't been overwhelmed with the performance yet. Tigers have shot themselves in the foot with penalties and a handful of missed opportunities.
Of note, Carver committed 14 penalties in its scrimmage against Central. Perhaps an issue to keep an eye on.
CARVER 21, SPENCER 0, 11:39 2ndJaQuan Sanks hauls in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Torrance McGee on the first play of the drive. McGee putting together a real solid game early on here.
CARVER 14, SPENCER 0, END 1STSpencer fumbled the snap on a punt attempt on the first play of the second quarter, setting Carver up at the Greenwave 22-yard line. The Carver offense, despite a turnover, has controlled the game.
CARVER 14, SPENCER 0, 3:32 1STDespite the announcement over the P.A. system that it was a touchdown for the Greenwave, it is Carver that has extended its lead to 14 after an 11-yard Noah Hickey touchdown run.
The game has been loaded with turnovers and penalties thus far. Everyone still shaking off the offseason rust, I suppose.
CARVER 7, SPENCER 0, 9:04 1st--Carver has gotten on the board first with a 54-yard fumble return by Reshad McCarter. Carver had intercepted a pass two plays earlier, before fumbling the ball back to Spencer. Another fumble by Spencer allowed the Tigers to pick up the score.
Further updates coming when time allows.
It's about 30 minutes until kickoff of the 50th meeting between Spencer and Carver at Memorial Stadium and already the stadium is filling out nicely.
Carver has won the previous 13 meetings and looks to extend that streak against the Greenwave tonight. For Spencer coach Calvin Arnold, it will be the first official game as a head coach.
Follow this blog throughout the game for live updates on the game's progress. You can also follow me on Twitter