John Bruce, Contributor
FRENCHTOWN — On Homecoming, the King reigned supreme for the Unioto Shermans.
Just minutes after being named Homecoming King, Unioto senior Jamarcus Carroll put together a signature performance that Shermans fans have become used to seeing. On only 13 rushes, Carroll rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns in Unioto’s 50-6 win over rival Zane Trace.
“It felt really good. We were running the ball insanely good,” Carroll said after the win. “Cutback lanes, holes everywhere, and shooting them.”
Not to be outdone, junior quarterback, cornerback and return specialist Isaac Little also showed out in all three phases of the game.
On the first play from scrimmage, Little intercepted a pass. He then capped off the Shermans’ first drive with an 11-yard touchdown run and broke off a 53-yard touchdown run late in the first half, before finishing off his display with a 95-yard kickoff return to start the second half.
Overall, Little had 112 yards rushing on just seven carries and two rushing touchdowns, plus the aforementioned special teams score.
“We realized that we are a running team and we just need to run until they stop us. And that’s what we did,” Little discussed after the game. “Our backs ran hard, they had good vision. Our offensive line blocked extremely well and we just kept running at them.”
Just run it at the Pioneers is just what the Shermans did. Out of the Shermans’ 40 offensive plays, they only attempted five passes but racked up over 360 yards of total offense.
Unioto scored on their first four possessions of the game. The Pioneers were able to put drives together, but turned the ball over on downs on four consecutive possessions after the opening interception. After recording an interception of their own, the Pioneers had a great chance near the end of the first half.
Senior quarterback Gabe Shanton connected with sophomore Ben Nichols on a seam route for a 62-yard gain as time ran down. Eventually, the Pioneers found themselves at the 1-yard line with one second left in the half. With a chance to grab momentum going into the break, the Pioneers threw a quick screen pass that was swarmed by the Shermans to end the half.
Following Little’s 95-yard return to start the third quarter, the Pioneers finally got on the board themselves as Shanton found Caden Fry streaking down the field for a 67-yard pass and catch.
However, the point after was blocked by Unioto’s Dalton Ford in what would be a way to really sum up the evening.
Once the teams cleared their benches, Unioto found the end zone late when freshman Cody Tuttle plunged in from a yard out for his first career touchdown.
“Everyone contributed tonight,” Little added. “It was nice to get excited for the junior varsity players when they were in, to see them get to play under the lights.”
Zane Trace was led in rushing by Cougar Stauffer, who had 47 yards on the ground. Fry finished with 76 yards receiving on three catches, and Shanton finished 8-of-20 passing for 157 yards.
Unioto (4-2/2-1 SVC) will play host to Paint Valley in Week 7, while Zane Trace (1-5/1-2 SVC) travels to Southeastern.
“They have some really fast dudes,” Carroll said when asked about Paint Valley. “They took the Gold Ball from us last year, so we are going to be intense all week looking forward to it.”
10:23 — U, Isaac Little 11 yard run (Gage Stout Kick) 7-0 U
5:15 — U, Jamarcus Carroll 8 yard run (Stout Kick) 14-0 U
0:43 — U, Carroll 1 yard run (Stout Kick) 21-0 U
5:44 — U, Little 53 yard run (Stout Kick) 28-0
11:46 — U, Little 95 yard kickoff return (Stout Kick) 35-0 U
9:09 — ZT, Shanton 67 yard pass to Caden Fry (Kick Blocked) 35-6
8:01 — U, Carroll 32 yard run (Stout Kick) 42-6
3:19 — U, Cody Tuttle 1 yard run (Doughty pass to Fox) 50-6