For the second consecutive game, the Carlisle Bison needed a wake-up call before routing an opponent.
Clarendon scored the game’s first touchdown before the Bison rolled to a 56-7 win over the Lions on Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. With the win, the second-ranked Bison are now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in 2A-6 conference play.
The Lions took a 7-0 lead on a 45-yard pass with 10:36 left in the first quarter.
“We’re in good position and we see the routes,” Carlisle coach Brandon Barbaree said. “We give the quarterback a little too much time and they sneak a receiver behind our zone coverage. They hit a big play on us early. We’ve got to eliminate that. In big games, that changes the momentum.
“Hopefully, our guys understand that and buckle down on that first drive.”
The Bison then rolled for 36 first-quarter points.
Bo Weddle scored on a 48-yard run with 10:16 left. The two-point conversion failed, leaving Clarendon ahead at 7-6.
About two minutes later, Weddle scored on a 56-yard run and Deron Ricks added the two-point conversion to make the score 14-7.
Austin Reed got in on the action, scoring on a 14-yard run with 6 minutes left, making the score 20-7.
Ricks then scored on a 32-yard run with 3:03 left. Justice Bryant added the two-point conversion. Weddle concluded the first quarter with a 69-yard run with 1:51 left. Bryant scored the two-point conversion to make the score 36-7.
The Bison scored three touchdowns in the second quarter. Reed scored on a 7-yard run with 10:32 left. Bryant scored on a 4-yard run with 4:28 left. Ricks kicked the first of two extra points. Thomas McCallie then scored on a 32-yard run with 4:11 left.
“Our guys calmed down,” Barbaree said. “I always tell them its a sense of embarrassment when you give up a big play. Our guys are like that. It’s not that Clarendon scored but we gave up a big play on the first drive. It’s either a lack of focus or something is not clicking right there.
“Every play counts. A shift in momentum — we can’t afford to give that up. You’ve got to be prepared at all times and hopefully our guys will get that.”
Barbaree said his team can’t do that against the better teams in their conference, especially Hazen, England and Des Arc.
“Clarendon is young and they have improved during the year,” he said. “You can’t let the Hazens, Des Arcs, anybody in the playoffs, get that big play on you because it changes everything. Our guys need to realize that.”
The Bison host Brinkley for homecoming Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m. The Tigers are 0-5 on the season.
The Tigers are led by transfer Xavier Amos, who came to Brinkley from the Pulaski County Special School District.
“He’s very quick and very fast,” Barbaree said. “The Tigers are huge up front, which is always scary for us. They are athletic in the backfield but they are 0-5 right now. They probably don’t have a lot of confidence. We can’t give up big plays to them, obviously, because that is how you give teams some confidence.”
Barbaree said he thinks his team will come out focused despite it being homecoming.
“Hopefully, we will take care of the business we’re supposed to do and come away with a ‘W’,” he said.