St. Francis de Sales evened its season football record at 1-1 Thursday night, as senior running back Lamar Carswell propelled the Knights’ offense in a 49-12 nonleague victory over Warrensville Heights in a game plagued by delays.
The game started 38 minutes after the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff time because the Warrensville Heights team bus arrived late and, later, a threat of severe weather caused another 40-minute stoppage in action.
Carswell -- who had rushed 31 times for 309 yards, added 81 receiving yards, and scored four touchdowns in last Friday’s 41-30 loss at Southview -- carried 26 times for 279 yards and scored five TDs in this contest.
“I felt like I was in the Twilght Zone tonight. They show up a little bit late, then we have the [weather] delay,” Knights coach Chris Hedden said. “We’re playing well and then after that delay they kind of amped it up and we weren’t ready to go. Then we settled down in the second half.
Lamar Carswell is a dynamic player. We’ve got to fix some things with him leveraging the football, but when he’s in space he’s pretty darn good.”
After Carswell lost a fumble on the Knights’ first possession of the game, St. Francis needed to go just 26 yards on its second drive to take a 7-0 lead.
Following Carswell’s 13-yard run to the Tigers’ 8, quarterback Nick Lankard hit Dakota Wcislak in the end zone on the next play for the touchdown with 4:31 left in the first quarter.
The Knights went 50 yards for a score on their next possession, with all 50 of those yards coming on three runs by Carswell, who scored on a 32-yard cut-back carry for a 14-0 lead with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
After the Tigers’ Donte Norris returned the opening kickoff 61 yards to the Knights’ 24, severe weather approached the Glass Bowl and the officiating crew ordered the teams off the field.
When play resumed 40 minutes later, the Tigers’ Alex Church ran for 13 yards and then 11 for a touchdown, getting Warrensville Heights within 14-6.
But Lankard and Carswell teamed up on a 21-yard TD pass play with 8:29 left before halftime, and on the Knights’ next drive Carswell scored on a seven-yard cut-back run to extend the St. Francis lead to 28-6 with 4:13 to go in the half.
“I practiced hard all week and we didn’t know much about them, so I just had to come out and give it my best,” Carswell said. “I tried to exceed last week’s level, and I want to reach my goal of 2,000 yards.”
After the break, Warrensville Heights lost a fumble on its first play from scrimmage and, on the next play, Carswell motored 30 yards for his fourth TD of the game just 31 seconds into the third quarter.
Following Carswell’s second lost fumble of the game, the Tigers added a score on quarterback Justin Robinson’s 11-yard run with 4:32 left in the third quarter, pulling Warrensville Heights within 35-12.
Redeeming himself, Carswell added a 50-yard scoring run for his fifth TD of the game with 2:57 left in the third quarter. That gave St. Francis a 42-12 lead, and put the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s new running-clock rule into play on leads of 30 points or more.
Lankard capped the Knights’ final scoring drive on a one-yard TD sneak for a 49-12 lead with 10:40 remaining in the game.