VIENNA — On the IHSA’s Selection Saturday, the hopes and heartbreaks started early in Vienna. The Carmi Bulldogs, with an outstanding time of possession, outlasted the Eagles, 34-20, in a matchup of two teams fighting for possible playoff spots.
Carmi grabbed the momentum early, as Ethan Mahon scored the first touchdown of the game, topped by a Colton Yates two point conversion. The Bulldogs quickly forced a fumble from the Eagles, resulting in another scoring drive capped by a Yates 8 yard touchdown rush and Mahon punching in the two point conversion.
Despite the 16-0 deficit, the Eagles were not out of the game as Vienna’s leading offensive weapon Nolan Dahncke started the second quarter with a 4 yard touchdown. Dahncke showed off his speed in the next defensive drive, returning a fumble 85 yards for the score, but Vienna failed to convert either 2 point conversion, leaving the Eagles still trailing.
Carmi answered with another pair of touchdowns, with Yates scoring his second touchdown late in the first half and Bryce Northcott scoring a 52-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Vienna's Aiden Kuhn brought the Eagles back within a score, scoring both a touchdown and the following two point conversion.
But clock control was the name of the game for Carmi, as the Bulldogs answered with a six plus minute drive and six points on Yates’s third touchdown of the day.
Including the six plus minute drive that iced the game for Carmi, the Bulldogs held possession for 31 of the 48 minutes of the ball game, smothering Vienna’s late chances to answer the Carmi touchdowns.
Carmi was led on the ground by the 3 touchdowns of Yates, who finished the day with 216 yards rushing. Northcott added a touchdown and finished with 130 yards. Mahon racked up 65 yards and a touchdown. Wyatt Weinbrecht added 28 yards, while quarterback William Pugsley scrambled for 12 yards on the ground and completed all five of his passes for 62 yards.
In the loss for Vienna, Dahncke finished with 90 yards, and 2 touchdowns, one on offense and one on defense. Quarterback Logyn Frassato completed 11 of his 18 passes for 81 yards and rushed for four yards. Kuhn finished with 67 yards and a touchdown, while Jakob Breeden contributed 24 yards for the Eagles.
With the 34-20 victory, Carmi-White County joins undefeated Fairfield, along with SVWW, Chester and Eldorado as Black Diamond teams who clinched a playoff spot.