Bengal Defense Answers the Call at Sumter

The Blythewood Bengals football team did something Friday night they hadn’t done in two weeks. They played a game on the road. It was a point of interest for head coach Reggie Kennedy going into the game.

“I was a little concerned,” Kennedy said.

But the Bengals answered the call, defeating the Fighting Gamecocks of Sumter 37-22 and improved their record to 4-1.

Sumter (2-3) was riding a two game win streak and head coach Paul Sorrells knew his team would have their work cut out for them when the Bengals came to town.

“They’re real strong and very athletic,” Sorrells said. “Coach Kennedy and his staff have pumped some energy in their team and they’re playing well.”

To start the game, Blythewood won the coin toss and deferred until the second half. Sumter’s offense was forced to punt on their first possession. Blythewood took over at midfield and used three plays to score the touchdown. Dean Beckford put the Bengals on the board first with a 9-yard touchdown run. It would be the first of four touchdowns for Beckford. After Greg Huegel added the extra point Blythewood led 7-0.

On the Gamecocks’ next drive, Stephen Moseby came away with his first interception of the year giving the Bengals’ offense the ball at the Sumter 22-yard line. Again it was Beckford capping a six-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Huegel recorded the point after and gave Blythewood a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Sumter got on the board on their next drive when their kicker Cody Lee showed off his leg by knocking through a 44-yard field goal to salvage a five-play 54-yard drive.

The first quarter would end with the Bengals leading 14-3. The second quarter was far less productive for either offense as they traded punts back and forth. So with limited production from their offense, the Blythewood defense took matters into their own hands by recording their first safety of the season. With the Gamecocks on their own 1-yard line, after a perfect punt by Taylor Henry, running back Rayshad Bennett was swarmed by the Bengals in the backfield to extend Blythewood’s lead to 16-3 going in at halftime.

Fans at Memorial Stadium in Sumter were witness to a scoring frenzy in the third quarter. Each team scored touchdowns on their first two possessions. With 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter Blythewood led 30-16.

Sumter’s offense was on the move and shot themselves in the foot when a double reverse resulted in fumble, which was recovered by Blythewood’s Ervin Hall. The Bengal offense would capitalize on Sumter’s second turnover of the night. Beckford galloped his way across the goal line for a 16-yard score. The point after was good and Blythewood was in firm control leading 37-16.

Sumter still had a few tricks up their sleeve, though. On the ensuing possession, Gamecocks’ quarterback Hunter Thames threw a swing pass to running back Rayshad Bennett who would zigzag his way to a 52-yard touchdown. The extra point was wide right making the score 37-22.

With 3:38 to play in the ball game, Sumter reached deep into their bag of tricks and set up for an onside kick, which they recovered. But after back-to-back interceptions by Joe Kelly and Reeves Matthews, the game was over.

“The defense got the job done tonight,” Kennedy said. “They bent but didn’t break.”

Two keys to the win for Blythewood included turnovers and field position. The Bengals won the turnover battle 4-0. They recovered one fumble and intercepted three passes. The Blythewood offense was in prime real estate throughout the game. Their average starting field position was the 50-yard line, compared to Sumter, starting at their own 21.

Friday night, Blythewood goes on the road to face Aiken (2-3), who are coming off a 17-7 loss to Irmo. Kickoff  is at 7:30 p.m.

BHS – 14-2-14-7          37

SHS – 3-0-6-13       22

First Quarter

BHS – D. Beckford 9 run. G. Huegel kick. (9:59)

BHS – D. Beckford 4 run. G. Huegel kick. (6:20)

SHS – C. Lee 44 field goal. (4:30)

Second Quarter

BHS – Safety. (8:58)

Third Quarter

BHS – D. Beckford 7 pass from K. Binn. G. Huegel kick. (5:51)

SHS – R. Bennett 4 run. C. Kick failed. (3:48)

BHS – K. Binn 4 run. G. Huegel kick. (1:21)

Fourth Quarter

SHS – H. Thames 7 run. C. Lee kick. (10:10)

BHS- D. Beckford 16 run. G. Huegel kick. (6:29)

SHS – R. Bennett 52 pass from H. Thames. Kick failed. (3:38)

Records: BHS: 4-1/0-0 SUM: 2-3/0-0

Team Stats

      BHS SHS

First Downs 10 14

Rushes/Yards  40-145 27-89

Comp/Att/Int  9-19-0        18-30-0

Pass Yards          112 239

Fumbles/Lost    1-0 3-1

Penalties/Yards  2-12 6-38

Individual Stats

RUSHING—BHS: D. Beckford 11-50. K. Binn 9-71. D. Albert 8-12. B. Ruiz 8-12. SHS: R. Bennett 10-70. S. Choice 5-18. H. Thames 8-8

PASSING—BHS: K. Binn 9-18. 112 yards. 0 INT. 1 TD. SHS: H. Thames 18-30. 239 yards. 3 INT. 1 TD.

RECEIVING—BHS: J. Smith 3-24. L. Jamison 2-55. H. Estep 2-7. S. Brown 1-20. D. Beckford 1-6. SHS: K. Tyler 6-50. B. Jackson 5-81. K. Lewis 3-20. T. Yates 2-29.