Carver-Columbus dropped its season opener 28-26 to Harris County before compiling eight-straight victories and clinching the top seed out of Region 1-AAAA. Now, the 8-1 Tigers are fresh off a bye week and preparing for a meeting with Americus-Sumter to close out the regular season this Saturday.
This year’s Tigers team has lit up the scoreboard with (a would-be school-record) 43.67 points per game—the largest output seen at the school since it capped off their perfect championship 2007 season with 37.33 ppg. Much of this year’s success can be attributed to running back Khiari McCoy’s breakout 2019 season. As a junior this past season, McCoy earned Region 1-AAAA Player of the Year and as exceptional as his play needed to be to garner that recognition last season, his current production is generating results that have him in position to be one of leading rushers in all the classifications this year.
Through Carver’s first nine games, McCoy has taken 140 carries for 1,473 yards (10.5 ypc) and 17 touchdowns. He has also caught 20 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Within this breakout season, are the two consecutive performances he had in middle October that showed just how electric and valuable McCoy is to the team’s success.
In the Tigers’ 52-46 win over Cairo that put them on track to eventually take the region crown, McCoy led the way with 27 carries, 309 yards and five touchdowns. His performance earned him Georgia Player of the Week. The following Friday night, McCoy did it again, taking a career-high 31 carries for 305 yards and six touchdowns to lead Carver past Westover 50-33. That is 58 carries, 614 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in perhaps Carver’s toughest matchups of the regular season.
McCoy had a lighter workload in the 40-7 win over Shaw the following week, but still took 19 carries for 166 yards and a touchdown. Finally, McCoy and Carver entered a well-deserved bye week before this upcoming week’s game.
McCoy has proven that he can control the tempo of the game if need be and that Carver will not hesitate to give him the ball 25 or 30 times a game if that’s what it takes to win. That is not the only weapon that the Carver offense has in its arsenal however, and the Tigers are proving to be much more multi-dimensional than McCoy’s banner season might suggest.
Sophomore quarterback Devin Riles is also making a major impact this season. After a 7-of-18 outing in the season-opening loss to Harris County, Riles has stepped up his effectiveness, completing 85 of his next 125 passes (68%). In Carver’s 51-10 win over Columbus, Riles went a perfect 9-of-9 passing for 169 yards and four touchdowns. He has now thrown for 1,579 yards and 23 touchdowns with just four interceptions in addition to his 485 rushing yards and four scores heading into the season finale.
Senior receiver Ja’cyais Credle has also continued to keep up his production. Credle had nine touchdown receptions through Carver’s first seven games this year, and has been able to contribute as an experienced playmaker in the games where McCoy is taking heavy carries and the Carver run game is dictating the pace.
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