COLLINSVILLE — Running and passing, Andrew Carney was unstoppable for No. 4 Collinsville.
Carney rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns, and passed for another two scores, accounting for all of Collinsville’s touchdowns in its 42-17 victory over No. 6 Sapulpa on Friday night at Sallee Field in a key District 5A-4 matchup.
“You’d never think it was his first year as a starter,” Collinsville coach Kevin Jones said. “He’s got a lot of poise, and he’s such a strong kid when he is running the football.”
The game featured two incredible performances by quarterbacks, as Sapulpa’s Zac Mason threw for 333 yards, completing 22-of-33 passes, and a touchdown.
But it was Carney, a 6-foot, 195-pound junior, who stole the show. Besides the rushing yards, Carney was efficient throwing the ball when he had to, completing 9-of-14 passes for 86 yards.
“Andrew is a true dual-purpose quarterback who can both run and pass,” Jones said. “He kind of grew up as a running back. Then we moved him to quarterback as a freshman, so he’s kind of a running back at heart.”
The first half featured fireworks between two high-octane offenses. Perhaps the most amazing part of the half was that the Chieftains trailed 21-17 at halftime, behind Mason completing 14-of-18 passes for 244 yards for Sapulpa (3-2, 2-1).
Collinsville (5-0, 2-0) was able to withstand that first-half barrage by Mason because its offense was moving along steadily itself. Perhaps not as gaudy individual first half stats, but the Cardinals were a force.
Kaleb Cunningham and Carney provided the spark, as Cunningham caught first-half touchdowns from Carney of 22 and 18 yards.
Cunningham, who also had a 20-yard sack of Mason on the last play of the first half, turned a short pass into a touchdown by breaking several tackles on the first score less than two minutes into the game. A diving catch by Cunningham in the back right part of the end zone early in the second quarter from 18 yards out gave the Cardinals a 14-7 lead.
But a 59-yard bomb from Mason to wide open running back Te’Zohn Taft on the next series tied the score at 14-14. Taft had earlier scored on a 19-yard burst up the middle.
Carney scored from 12 yards out with 3:50 left in the half to give Collinsville back the lead. But Sapulpa countered with a 28-yard field goal by Eli Tobar less than two minutes later and narrowed the margin to four points going into halftime.
An early second-half fumble by Taft deep in Sapulpa’s own territory set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Carney, and the Collinsville lead was extended to 28-17. Taft was banged up the rest of the game, and it was a definite turning point.
“Well, let’s be real. Taft getting banged up a little bit played a part in stopping them the second half,” Jones said. “I think that was part of it for sure.”
A 26-yard run by Carney late in the third quarter boosted the lead further to 35-17. Another 1-yarder in the fourth quarter by Carney made it 42-17.