Davis and Vanover saw more snaps in the backfield after Haley went out, and when Richmond was shaken up and missed a series in the third quarter.
"It make you feel a little bit better when your defense plays good,'' Carpenter said, "and those guys are playing real well. It makes up for some of the mistakes. It's probably my fault for not having other guys get some reps when somebody goes down. I'll take the blame for that, and get that fixed this week.''
Even with the four fumbles they covered, the Flying Eagles were still limited to 182 net yards, gaining just 62 on 30 running plays. Twelve of those rushes went for minus-yardage. They also lost a fumble and quarterback Andrew Johnson was picked off twice by Pittman and Edmond Harvey.
Pittman's big play came as the Eagles faced third-and-6 at their own 5 after Haley had pinned them inside the 1-yard line with a 42-yard punt. As he was going to the ground on a sack, Johnson blindly flipped the ball forward - back-handed - and Pittman snapped it up and headed for the end zone.
"We played really, really flat in the first half,'' said Woodrow Wilson coach John H. Lilly, "and I don't understand why we played so flat in the first half. I guess everybody was telling them they were in the playoffs or something, I don't know.
"I was real proud of their character in the second half - that's a positive thing. But the bottom line is if you get whipped on the line of scrimmage, you're not going to win too many games.''
The Eagles sliced their deficit to 28-14 with a 2-yard run by fullback Marcus Mickey late in the second quarter and a 1-yard run by Johnson early in the third quarter.
However, the only two times they crossed midfield after that came when Capital lost fumbles at its own 32 and 45. Woodrow managed just one total first down on those two possessions and never really threatened to score against Capital's inspired defense.
Johnson, one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the MSAC, wound up 9 of 23 passing for 120 yards with two picks and carried 12 times for 35 yards. Donte Nabors grabbed five passes for 92 yards.
Capital concludes the regular season next Friday at Huntington (8-1), the No. 3 team in AAA. The Highlanders, who have allowed just 11 TDs in nine games, beat the Cougars last year 35-14.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.