For the first time in 2015, Carlisle's high-powered spread offense hit the road.
But while the Thundering Herd continued to pile up offensive yards Friday at The Mustang Corral, they were held in check on the scoreboard and lost to South Western, 17-14, in non-conference football action.
The Herd (2-1) trailed 17-14 when it took over at its own 19-yard line with 3:13 to go. A trio of completions by quarterback Eric Harris gave them possession at South Western's 49-yard line with 1:45 to play, but Carlisle ended up facing a fourth-and-33 at its own 28.
Harris connected with DeShawn Millington for a 12-yard pickup but he was tackled at the Herd 40, turning the ball over on downs with 40 seconds left.
South Western quarterback Brock Geiman knelt on the ball twice to run out the clock.
Harris finished the evening 27-of-45 for 331 yards through the air with a pair of touchdowns and three interceptions.
"They played a nice cover-3 shell and kept everything in front of them," Carlisle head coach Josh Oswalt said. "They had a great game plan. That said, we were flat, and our guys didn't do a good job of finishing off their routes."
South Western (2-1) scored both of its touchdowns after fourth down stops around the midfield stripe.
The first one came in the first quarter. The Mustangs got the ball at Carlisle's 49 and took seven plays to march into the end zone. Wideout Noah Staub made a circus catch for 30 yards, and Brock Geiman hooked up with Jeff Green on the next play for a 14-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal.
Carlisle was driving late in the second quarter only to have Carson Perry intercept an errant pass from Harris.
The Herd managed to get on the board when Harris hit Gavyn Barnes for a 13-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left in the second quarter. The conversion attempt was no good, and South Western led, 7-6, at halftime.
Another fourth down stop by the Mustangs early in the third quarter put them in business at the 50-yard line. They drove 50 yards in ten plays with Geiman scoring on a 6-yard keeper around the right end with 5:11 left in the frame.
Wes Sneeringer boosted South Western's advantage to 17-6 when he split the uprights from 26 yards out for a field goal with 6:07 to go.
But Carlisle answered immediately and a Nate Barnes 1-yard touchdown catch, coupled with a two-point conversion pass from Gavyn Barnes to Jordan Purcell, made it 17-14 with 4:57 to play. Gavyn Barnes set up the score with a 67-yard pickup off of a short pass that he turned into a big gainer down to the South Western 4-yard line.
Carlisle came into the game averaging 51.5 points, 25.5 first downs and 616 yards per game. South Western's defense kept the Herd to 363 yards and 20 first downs.
"The defensive coaches put together a great game plan for tonight," South Western head coach Damian Poalucci said. "And the kids did a great job of executing it."
South Western found success running the ball as the Mustangs ran for 173 yards on 47 attempts. Tyler Fulmore led the team with 83 yards on 18 carries.
"We wanted to slow the game down a little by running the ball to keep their offense off the field as much as possible," Poalucci said. "They have so many playmakers, and they thrive off of tempo. If you can keep them off the field, it makes it harder for them to get in rhythm."
South Western 17, Carlisle 14
SW — Jeff Green 14 pass from Brock Geiman (Wes Sneeringer kick), 5:50.
Car — Gavyn Barnes 13 pass from Eric Harris (kick failed), 0:24.
SW — Geiman 6 run (Sneeringer kick), 5:11.
SW — Sneeringer 26 FG, 6:07
Car — Nate Barnes 1 pass from Harris (Jordan Purcell pass from G. Barnes), 4:57.
CarSWFirst downs2013Rushes-yards21-3247-173Passing28-35-37-14-0Passing yards331104Total yards363277Punts1-40.05-36.8Fumbles-lost1-00-0Penalties-yards1-109-50
Rushing — Car, Tyler Greene 12-44, N. Barnes 2-7, Rojen Procopio 3-(-4), DeShawn Millington 1-(-5), G. Barnes 2-(-10). SW, Tyler Fulmore 18-83, Nigel Williams 5-28, Geiman 8-22, Zack Hughes 4-17, DeShawn Crump 6-14, Miles Francis 1-4, Jacob Muir 1-4, Green 4-1.
Passing — Car, Harris 28-45-331-3. SW, Geiman 7-14-104-0.
Receiving — Car, G. Barnes 9-149, Zion Patterson 6-87, N. Barnes 6-58, Trai Powell 3-26, Millington 3-11. SW, Crump 2-23, Green 2-19, Staub 1-30, Hughes 1-17, Corbin Byers 1-15.