Carrollton quarterback Hunter Flowers hands off to Garrett Settles who would be tackled for a 7-yard loss by the Beardstown Tigers defense on Friday night.

BEARDSTOWN - Everybody loses, but there’s always the problematic moments where great programs have to come back down to earth or at least ask themselves; did that just happen?

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After scoring on their first play from scrimmage, it seemed like it would be a relatively standard game for the Carrollton Hawks. However, it wasn’t to be in any way shape or form.

They wouldn’t score again, and the Hawks would get lit up as well.

The Beardstown Tigers 40-6 defeated Carrollton on Friday night at Beardstown High School. The Hawks, who started the season with high expectations and ranked No. 5 in Class 1A, dropped to 0-2, and the Tigers are now 2-0.

“They were too much for us tonight,” Carrollton head coach Nick Flowers said. “I don’t remember this feeling in a long time. This is a good old fashion butt kicking.”

Flowers noted how strong the Tigers linemen were in the trenches and admitted they didn’t appear to be as strong while watching them on film.

“Sometimes I think film can be deceiving. You can’t see how physical somebody is on film and [Beardstown] played physical tonight.”

Beardstown head coach Robbi Howard was confident his boys could take down the Hawks and end a four-game losing skid after coming off a convincing 48-22 victory over Pleasant Hill, but even he was surprised with the final score.

“We knew Carrollton [is] a very quality ball club. To win 40-6 we’re surely humbled about it, and our kids played well,” Howard said.

The Hawks got a three-and-out to start the game, and then Hunter Flowers threw a screen pass to Garrett Settles who found the end zone on a 48-yard pass to put Carrollton on the board first at 6-0.

On the following possession, Clint Cooper hit Bill Cramblit for a long pass play that set up Chad Grimm for a 2-yard rushing touchdown that tied things up six apiece with 7:55 to go in the first quarter.

After that, Flowers and Cooper traded interceptions on two straight possessions with Nathan Walker picking off Cooper each time.

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Flowers finished with one touchdown and three interceptions. He was 13-for-28 through the air with 150 passing yards. He carried the ball 18 times and gained 33 yards. Byron Holmes rushed for 29 yards with four carries. Settles at wide receiver caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Hawks were lined up to punt near their end zone, and the hike sailed over freshman Hayden Flowers’ hands and intentionally fell on the ball for a safety putting Beardstown up 8-6.

The Tigers would ultimately get three more points off of that with a 30-yard Pascal Guilavogui field goal kick. Shortly after, Grimm found the end zone again on a 2-yard run with 46 seconds to go in the half to give Beardstown an 18-6 lead.

Carrollton got the ball to start the second half, which turned out to be their last good drive of the game. They drove down to the 20-yard line, but couldn’t get any further and turned the ball over on downs. That turned out to be a significant turning point in the game as the two teams went in different directions.

“We’re two scores from tying and taking the lead. That drive took everything out of us in the second half,” Flowers said.

That’s when Guilavogui took over.

On the very next play, he got a handoff, broke through the middle, and raced 80 yards for a touchdown to give Beardstown a 25-6 lead, and they weren’t done by any means. The Tigers attempted an onside kick and recovered it inside Carrollton territory. Nearly two minutes after his first touchdown, Guilavogui found the end zone again from 16-yards out to put Beardstown up 32-6.

“He’s a home run threat and no doubt he’s talented,” Howard said. “We got three or four backs that are pretty good too. I think he had seven yards at the half and tried to do too much. We told him you gotta take the three, four-yard runs, which could easily turn into touchdowns for him. He did a much better job in the second on being patient and let his blocks develop.”

With 2:00 left in the third quarter, Grimm got his third rushing touchdown of the game on a 3-yard score.

The Hawks will look to get on the win column as they take on the Calhoun Warriors, who are 0-2 as well, next Friday at home as WIVC South play begins.

“It’s going to be hard to find positives on film, but what we do know is South Conference play starts next week,” Flowers said. “Calhoun coming to our place is going to be a great game.”

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