GLASGOW – Jake Shriner punched in the go-ahead score from the 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, and Caravel hung on to survive a slugfest with host Glasgow, 23-18, on Friday night.
Isaiah Wilson’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete in the end zone inside the final minute of play as celebrating Caravel players poured off the field.
“It was definitely a tough ballgame,” said Caravel running back Darnell Savage, who scored two touchdowns. “They came ready to play. They definitely came ready to play. We’re got to treat every team like a normal opponent. I’m not going to sit here and say that it should have been worse or it should have been better. A win is a win.”
Michael Helton scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge to give Glasgow an 18-17 lead, its first of the game, early in the fourth quarter. It capped a grueling 17-play, 87-yard march that burned 10½ minutes off the clock.
But Caravel (5-2) zipped down the field in nine plays, and converted a fourth-and-7 when Jackson Argoe completed a 16-yard pass to Savage to set up a first-and-goal. Shriner scored from the 1-yard line. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Caravel with a five-point lead over Glasgow (2-5) with 7:43 to play.
“We got tested, definitely, there,” Shriner said. “That’s why we work all season, that’s why we worked through the summer, in the weight room. We know each week, it’s not going to be easy. … We were tested and we were able to answer it.”
The Dragons failed to pick up a first down on their following possession, and turned the ball over on downs at their own 35. Caravel drove into the red zone, but was pushed backward on consecutive plays and hit with an intentional grounding penalty, forcing a punt that was downed at the Glasgow 1.
Lammot Brown rushed for 39 yards on first down, and Edgar Mena caught a 15-yard pass on fourth-and-8 to set Glasgow up near midfield. Michael Helton caught a 27-yard pass as the Dragons drove to the Bucs 25 with 1:09 remaining.
Wilson was sacked on consecutive plays, then threw incomplete twice.
Brown finished with 158 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to lead Glasgow, while Wilson completed 9 of 15 pass attempts for 121 yards.
Savage had 65 yards and a score on 13 carries, plus a 78-yard kickoff return for another touchdown.
“Listen, it’s good character [test] for our kids to figure out who they are, their identity,” Caravel coach John Reed said. “This is a big win for us, and we’re onward to the next game now.”
Caravel, ranked No. 2 in Division II, owned a 10-0 lead before Glasgow recorded a first down.
The Buccaneers needed just three plays to put the ball in the end zone on their opening drive, including a 36-yard catch by Robert Heintzen and an 18-yard touchdown run by Savage. Glasgow fumbled on the first play of the following possession, leading to a 20-yard Maverick Jackson field goal.
But the Dragons responded to the early double-digit deficit with a nine-play, 54-yard drive, capped by Brown’s two-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Savage returned the ensuing kickoff for a score to stake Caravel to a 17-6 lead.
But again, Glasgow marched down the field, this time chewing up 59 yards in 10 plays. A host of teammates escorted Brown down the right sideline for a 19-yard score, his second of the night.
Savage’s would-be third touchdown was called back because of a holding penalty late in the second quarter, and Glasgow stopped Caravel on downs to keep it a one-score game, 17-12, at the half.
“Our hard work is paying off,” Shriner said. “I know we’re going to stay in it the entire game. We’re not going to give up easy.”
Contact Jason Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JasonChadWolf.