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Carlisle stuns DCG in lopsided postseason action

Sean Cordy
Correspondent
Ben Elfvin runs the ball for the Mustangs on Friday, Oct. 23.

Teams don't beat No. 2 Dallas Center-Grimes (6-1), and they certainly don't beat the Mustangs 49-7 like Carlisle (6-3) did Friday night in the second round of Class 3A postseason action.

The sample size is almost non-existent for such a loss. It's typically DCG that has dished out lopsided scores. The last time a team won by over 30 points against the Mustangs, Pella Christian would later go on to win the Class 3A state title in 2014. That's the bar that Carlisle rose to Friday on the Mustangs' turf.

Beau Barrett looks to tackle a Carlisle player on Friday, Oct. 23.

From the start, DCG was found off balance in the blistering cold conditions as the Mustangs were called for two penalties on their opening drive much to the ire of the sideline and home crowd. While that didn't stop the team from moving the chains, Carlisle's defense made the stop to ultimately step on the gas once the ball was in the Wildcats' hands with frightening power on the ground as they have all season.

Nic Goodhue took the ball 39 yards on the very first play en route to a touchdown to cap a deadly drive. He'd finish with 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns, with six rushes of at least 10 yards out of his 15 touches. He was further accompanied by two touchdowns from Karson Dunn (151 yards) and Jonathan Dunn (82 yards) as Carlisle pounded the rock all night long, dropping back to pass just once all day. Virtually all of their production came in the first half as the Wildcats held a 42-7 lead going into halftime.

Huston Halverson runs the ball in for the Mustangs' only score of the night on Friday, Oct. 23.

Playing in such a deep hole early on, the Mustangs took an alternative approach as quarterback Huston Halverson was tasked with a bulk of the workload with the team in search of big gains. Down 21-0 in the second quarter, Halverson dropped back to pass eight times compared to just one designed run play. Moving the chains at rapid pace, the junior QB evaded a sack with some fancy footwork to find the end zone on his own, the lone touchdown of the Dallas Center offense.

Caden Grimes looks to move past Carlisle players on Friday, Oct. 23.

That was all she wrote for DCG. The Mustangs finished the night with 183 total yards compared to 480 from their guests, exacerbated by four turnovers to increase Carlisle's scoring opportunities. Halverson's work from the pocket was limited largely to that lone scoring drive as he completed four passes against the Wildcats' otherwise tight coverage and heavy pressure as only 7-of-19 passes were completed in total for 98 yards.

Caden Grimes led the team with three receptions for 56 yards followed by Keaton Jackson (3-35) and Gavin Rupp (1-7). Rushing the ball was met with similar defensive enthusiasm as Zach Brand topped out at 29 yards on 10 touches while AJ Jahangir picked up 33 yards on five carries for DCG.

Keaton Jackson looks to escape a Carlisle player following a catch on Friday, Oct. 23.