Bengals Spoil Homecoming for Former Head Coach

Blythewood’s Lynard Jamison (24) hauls in a pass against Sumter. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Lynard Jamison (24) leaps into the end zone. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD – Former Bengals head coach Reggie Kennedy returned to Blythewood Friday night to face his old team. But it was Kennedy’s former assistant, new Blythewood head coach Dan Morgan, who earned the big “W” as the Bengals defeated the Gamecocks, 34-19. Kennedy spent the past two seasons as a football coach and assistant athletics director at Blythewood High. He owns a career record of 131-81 and led Blythewood to a 9-3 mark last season.

“It was good to come back home to see a lot of ex-players, coaches and friends I made here,” said Kennedy. “We didn’t win the game, but it’s always good to see good people that have been good to me while I was here for those two years. I really do enjoy seeing them and I wish them the best of luck.”

The Bengals offense finished with another great night with 428 total yards, making it the second straight week with 400+ yards of total offense. Even though starting quarterback Javon Smith suffered an injury to his finger in the second quarter, which made it difficult for him to grip the ball, backup quarterback David Israel stepped up big for the Bengals. Israel finished 13-23 for 228 yards and one touchdown, also adding in a rushing touchdown.

“No matter what adversities we ran into, our kids were going to push through it,” said Morgan. “Anything that could go wrong went wrong on some offensive plays, (including) losing our quarterback. But our kids kept responding no matter how bad it got for them and I am really proud of them.”

The Bengals’ top target, Lynard Jamison, had another phenomenal week of big numbers. Jamison finished with 176 total yards. He had eight catches for 117 yards, 59 rushing and two touchdowns.

“Wow,” Morgan said of Jamison’s performance. “What a great job!”

With a lot of back and forth drives, the outset of the game was not a pretty sight for either teams, as they combined for six turnovers in the first quarter. After an interception by Blythewood’s Leo Evans, the Bengals were put in a position to strike first, but would have to settle for a 36-yard field goal by kicker Greg Huegel. On the very next Gamecocks’ drive, Sumter quarterback James Barnes was picked off once again, this time by Josh Wilkes at Sumter’s 32-yard line. Only a few plays later, Sumter’s Erick Wright picked off a Smith pass for a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown. Vince Watkins made the extra point to give the Gamecocks a 7-3 lead with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

On the next Bengals’ drive, Blythewood found themselves on the Gamecock 7-yard line facing fourth-and-6. Morgan decided to go for it, but the Bengals came up short of the first down. The trouble wouldn’t last for long for the Bengals, though, as Barnes fumbled the ball in the end zone, resulting in a safety with 5:46 left in the first. That would bring the Bengals to within two, 7-5.

Following Smith’s departure from the game because of a split in his finger, the Bengals would take the lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by Israel with 9:49 left in the second quarter. Huegel’s extra point would make it a12-7 Blythewood lead.

However, the Gamecocks would take the lead right back on an 89-yard touchdown by Barnes. The point after was no good, but Sumter was up 13-12.

The Bengals were forced to put it away on their next possession, but the Blythewood defense held the Gamecocks in check, aided by a big sack by Jalen Williams on fourth down. The Bengals then drove down to the Gamecocks 7-yard line where Jamison finished off the drive with a touchdown run. Huegel added the extra point, but once again the Gamecocks would take the lead right back with a 57-yard touchdown run on their next possession to take a 19-18 lead at the half.

Entering the second half, the Bengals defense took their play to the next level as they held the Gamecocks scoreless. Following another Huegel field goal, the Bengals would not look back as they were able to find themselves in the end zone two more times to finish the night. Israel would find Smith, who had returned to the game as a receiver, on a crossing pattern for a 51-yard touchdown pass. Although Smith was not able to adequately grip the football, it did not stop him from helping his team win.

“(Smith) is one heck of a team leader and he leads by example,” said Morgan. “The kids will follow whatever he does. Almost any kid I know would have taken themselves out of the game.”

With the lead and the ball with 1:58 left in the fourth, the Bengals mercifully kept the ball on the ground, but not before Jamison could run in a final 22-yard touchdown that would finish the Gamecocks.

With great offensive performances that night, what impressed Morgan the most was another week of successful play from his defense and Williams, who finished with four sacks. The Bengals held the Gamecocks to only 270 yards of total offense.

“Our defense just played outstanding. If you take away the big plays, our defense had a great night,” said Morgan. “(Williams) put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. That was really the big difference. The difference was how well our defense would play in the end.”

The Bengals (3-2) have won three straight games since beginning the season 0-2 and will be facing off against Aiken on Friday night in Blythewood. Kickoff is a 7:30 p.m.

 

SHS – 7-12-0-0 – 19

BHS – 5-13-10-6 – 34

First Quarter

BHS – Greg Huegel 36-FG. (9:59)

SHS – Erick Wright 75-INT return. Vince Watkins kick. (8:55)

BHS – Safety (5:46)

Second Quarter

BHS – David Israel 12-run. G. Huegel kick. (9:49)

SHS – James Barnes 86-run. Pass failed. (9:25)

BHS – Lynard Jamison 7-run. Run failed. (3:29)

SHS – Justin Martin 57-pass from J. Barnes. Pass failed. (0:54)

Third Quarter

BHS – G. Huegel 24-FG. (9:15)

BHS – Javon Smith 51-pass from D. Israel. G. Huegel kick. (8:11)

Fourth Quarter

BHS – L. Jamison 22-run. Kick failed. (1:07)

 

BHS                  SHS

First Downs                             19                    13

Rushes/Yards                          44-158             38-113

Passing Yards                          270                  157

C-A-I-TD                                  18-33-1-1        9-27-2-1

Fumbles/Lost                           2-0                   4-1

Penalties/Yards                       8-71                 4-26

 

RUSHING: BHS – Lynard Jamison 14-59, D. Fletcher 11-53, J. Richardson 7-24, Javon Smith 4-13, David Israel 6-9, Dabreon Benson 2-0. SHS – Q. Anderson 11-60, J. Barnes 11-39, R. Jenkins 8-17, C. Crawford 4-10, K. Tyler 4-(-13).

RECEIVING: BHS – Lynard Jamison 8-117, Jacob Rabon 6-61, Javon Smith 2-71, Reed Branham 1-20, D. Fletcher 1-1. SHS – J. Martin 2-76, K. Tyler 2-59, K. Franklin 2-7, X. Burson 2-6, C. Crawford 1-9.

PASSING: BHS – David Israel 13-23, 228 yards; Javon Smith 5-10, 42 yards, 1 INT. SHS – James Barnes 9-27, 157 yards, 2 INT.