Bengals Back in Win Column

Irmo’s Nick Jenkins (11) and Blythewood’s Eric Weber (7) both come up empty trying to snag a David Isreal pass. (Photo/Ross Burton)

IRMO – Blythewood ran into some unfortunate events at Irmo’s W.C. Hawkins Stadium Friday night. But one lucky break midway through the fourth quarter boosted the Bengals to a 27-24 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

In the middle of a long drive with his team trailing 24-20, Blythewood (2-3) quarterback David Isreal threw a pass on third-and-14 at the Irmo 38-yard line. The pass landed directly on top of Irmo (0-5) defender D.J. Brunson’s hands — and bounced high enough in the air for Bengals wide receiver Trae Churn to grab it.

Churn then scampered to the 9-yard line. Three plays later Isreal found Eric Weber just across the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 6:55 to go to take a 27-24 lead.

“We had some bad breaks come our way earlier in the game and it was nice to get a few breaks go our way down that stretch,” Blythewood head coach Dan Morgan said of the 12-play, 93-yard scoring drive. “The kids also dug down and really pulled through.”

Irmo didn’t count itself out though. The Yellow Jackets were moving at the Blythewood 25-yard line with four minutes to go — but the ball was lost in a dogpile on a run play. Bengals defender Tylo Kelly came up with it.

“We put up a good fight tonight. We just turned the ball over at a real crucial part of the game,” Irmo head coach Reggie Kennedy said. “We felt like we had the momentum going our way, and we let them strip it out.”

From that point, Blythewood ran the clock out on seven straight Osei Thomas runs. Thomas finished the night with 141 yards on 27 carries.

“Our O-line was strong in that last part of the fourth quarter and I’m real proud of them,” Morgan said. “We haven’t had that in a game all year.”

Blythewood took a 13-0 lead after one quarter, with a pair of Isreal touchdown strikes to Daquan Patten and Kenny Benton.

The Bengals capitalized on the opening drive of the game, a 7-play, 79-yarder capped with Isreal’s 22-yard TD to Patten at the 9:15 mark. Irmo’s Khari Stone-Marshall blocked the point-after attempt.

Later, with 4:38 to play in the first, Isreal connected with Benton from 16 yards out. Blythewood seemed to be in command at that point, as the defense held the Yellow Jackets to minus-1 yard rushing and 4 yards passing in the quarter.
Irmo quickly reversed roles in the second quarter.

Taking over at the Blythewood 37 early in the second, the Yellow Jackets were stopped at the 4-yard line, but Georgi Hristova kicked in a 21-yard field goal at the 9:48 mark to get some points on the board.

Down 13-3, Irmo stopped Blythewood on its next possession, then drove 57 yards on 14 plays. Manny Banks caught a 16-yard TD pass with 2:28 left in the half to cut the Bengals’ lead to 13-10.

“We didn’t come out of the tunnel the way we wanted to,” Kennedy said about his team’s slow start. “We had a better second quarter and felt good at halftime.”

Irmo took the second half’s opening kickoff, recovered a muffed punt and finished a 70-yard drive with Jones’ 9-yard TD run to make it 17-13 Irmo with 9:10 left.

Blythewood struck back quickly with Isreal’s and Benton’s 69-yard catch-and-run score on its next possession.

But after holding the Yellow Jackets on the next possession, Blythewood fumbled the ball away deep in its territory. That set up Johnson’s 1-yard dive into the end zone to give the Yellow Jackets a 24-20 lead with 2:08 left in the third.

“Irmo played fantastic,” Morgan said. “They gave everything they had. It was a fun night of football.”

BHS: 13-0-7-7 – 27

IHS: 0-10-14-0 – 24

First Quarter

B – Daquan Patten 22 pass from David Isreal (kick failed) 9:15

B – Kenny Benton 16 pass from Isreal (Tucker Smith kick) 4:38

Second Quarter

I – Manny Banks 16 pass from A. Jones (Hristova kick) 2:28

Third Quarter

I – Banks 9 run (Hristova kick) 9:10

B – Benton 69 pass from Isreal (Smith kick) 8:18

I – Banks 1 run (Hristova kick) 2:08

Fourth Quarter

B – Rodrick Ladson 5 pass from Isreal (Smith kick) 6:55

                                         BHS                IHS

First Downs                 27                    24

Rushes-Yards       38-146                42-175

Passing Yards            218                65

C-A-INT                  14-26-0          8-17-0

Fumbles-Lost              3-2           3-1

Penalties-Yards        11-93            7-52

Punts-Avg.          2-39.5            4-34.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BHS – Thomas 27-141, Isreal 7-6, Wright 2-5. IHS – Jones 13-79, Tharp 9-40, Jamison 20-56.

PASSING: BHS – Isreal 25-13-0; Smith 1-1-0. IHS – Jones 17-8-0.

RECEIVING: BHS – Weber 5-34, Patten 2-29, Churn 2-47, Benton 3-106. HIS – Banks 2-29, Jamison4 -12, Tharp 2-24.

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