Bengals Rally to Steal Victory from Vikes

 

Blythewood’s Osei Thomas slips a Spring Valley tackler. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

BLYTHEWOOD – Two fourth quarter touchdown passes by David Isreal vaulted the Blythewood Bengals (3-4, 1-0) to a 15-12 come-from-behind victory over the Vikings of Spring Valley (4-3, 0-1) Friday night at District Stadium in Blythewood.

With five and a half minutes remaining in regulation and trailing by two scores, the Bengals engineered two late drives to win the ball game. After the game, Blythewood head coach Dan Morgan said he could not put into words what happened in the Bengals’ fourth quarter comeback win.

“We overcame shooting ourselves in the foot tonight,” he said. “It was just one of those game where it seemed like neither team wanted it. I’m just proud of our guys and the way they responded by going down the field twice when they needed to.”

It appeared as if Spring Valley’s triple-option rushing attack was going to dominate the game when they ran the ball five straight times for 63 yards on their opening possession, but all that came to an end when Blythewood’s Hassan Belton picked off a pass in the red-zone.

“(Belton) is a pretty good athlete,” Morgan commended his defense’s leading tackler after the game. “He just loves to play football and as a coach you wish you could have more of those.”

After trading possessions following a couple of back-to-back fourth-down stops, the Bengals put the first points on the board when Tucker Smith buried a 28-yard field goal with one minute remaining in the first quarter. The boot capped a seven-play, 47-yard drive that was set up by a Belton fumble recovery.

With both teams sputtering in the second quarter, the Bengals took the 3-0 lead in at the break.

Spring Valley averaged 4 yards per rush in the first quarter, but would only average 2.5 yards on the ground through the final three quarters. Morgan said the Bengal defenders weren’t trusting their teammates in the beginning of the game, but then that all changed.

“(Spring Valley) was gashing us inside and they were gashing us outside,” he said. “It is truly a hard offense to face because each guy has to play their assignment. Once our guys started buying in and trusting each other, it all changed. Our kids were able to adjust and start to trust each other.”

After going three-and-out to start the second half, the Bengals were forced to punt. The Vikings methodically moved their way down the field to hit pay dirt by putting together an 11-play, 63-yard drive. Kevin Owens found Ty’Juan Fulton on a 7-yard sit-route over the middle to take the lead. However, a bad snap botched the extra point attempt.

A second fumble by Blythewood’s Osei Thomas set up the second scoring drive for Spring Valley early in the fourth quarter. Fulton finished off the 30-yard drive by bulling his way over the left side for the score from 4 yards out. A failed 2-point conversion gave the Vikings a 12-3 advantage over the Bengals halfway through the fourth quarter.

Just before mounting their comeback, Morgan called his offense together on the sideline and said Isreal and the offensive unit responded well after a talk on the sideline.

“They went out and did a wonderful job on those two drives,” he said after the game.

On the ensuing drive, Trae Churn got things started when he caught a strike from Isreal and then sliced his way down the seam to pick up 24 yards and set up the Bengals’ offense at midfield. Facing a second-and-goal at the Spring Valley 2-yard line, Isreal fired a rocket to Eric Weber for the score to cap an eight-play scoring drive. Isreal completed five of his six passes for 71 yards on that drive to pull the Bengals to within three, 12-9. A bad snap also botched Blythewood’s point after attempt.

With 3 minutes remaining, Belton showed up big for the Bengal defense again when he forced a fumble that was recovered by Nate Allen.

“(Belton) goes out there and gets after it every single snap,” Morgan told The Voice after the victory. “He played a part in willing our defense into what happened tonight.”

Taking over at their own 44-yard line, the Bengals began their game-winning drive. Church kept the march alive when he hauled in a 24-yard pass on a third-and-4 play. After fumbling twice, Thomas made arguably the biggest play of the night when he took a 12-yard swing pass over the goal line to score with two minutes left in regulation and give the Bengals lead.

“That proves that no matter how bad things look, if you stick with it and you persevere, there is a good chance you could be the reason we get a win on the board,” Morgan discussed Thomas’ role reversal after the game.

Tucker Smith pushed the extra point wide right, but Blythewood held on to a 15-12 advantage.

Blythewood’s defense put the game on ice when Zavion Holmes intercepted a pass with just seconds remaining at midfield. It was Spring Valley’s sixth turnover (three interceptions, three fumbles) of the contest.

Despite taking some lumps during non-region play, Morgan said improving to 1-0 in region play is the start to a new season.

“We sold them (Bengals) on this being a brand new season,” he stated. “The 2-4 (non-region) part was the growing part, so now we are in the second season of the year and this is the part that matters for us to get to the playoffs.”

Blythewood will travel to play the defending state champs, Dutch Fork (5-2, 1-0), Friday night. Dutch Fork is coming off a 41-7 win over Ridge View. The Silver Foxes are averaging 46 points per game and are allowing 24.2 points to opponents.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Morgan said. “If you want to really find out where you’re at, you go play Dutch Fork.”

Kickoff at Dutch Fork is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Fans can also follow on game updates on The Independent Voice’s Facebook page.

 

SV: 0-0-6-6 – 12

BH: 3-0-0-12 –15

 

Scoring

First Quarter

BH – Tucker Smith 28 field goal. 0:54.

Third Quarter

SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 7 pass from Kevin Owens (Cooper Gresham rush failed). 5:46.

Fourth Quarter

SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 4 run (Kevin Owens pass failed). 7:27.

BH – Eric Weber 2 pass from David Israel (rush failed). 5:31.

BH – Osei Thomas 13 pass from David Israel (Tucker Smith kick failed). 2:15.

 

 

Team Stats

SV                           BH

First Downs                        17                           12

Rushes/Yards                    56-164                   22-67

Passing Yards                     67                           184

C-A-INT                              7-12-3                      17-37-0

Fumbles/Lost                    5-3                          2-2

Penalties/Yards               5-28                     6-61

Third downs                       3-12                        3-12

Fourth downs                     1-2                          0-4

Red zone                              2-2                           3-4

Time of possession             30:56                     17:04

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 16-76, Kadarius Bunch 10-51, Shaun Moore 5-19, Jordan Williams 1-12, Kevin Owens 21-8.  BH – Osei Thomas 14-59, David Israel 6-12, Kyle Wright 1-0.

RECEIVING: SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 4-45, Jordon Foster 2-21, Kristion Glover 1-1.  BH – Kenny Benton 4-66, Osei Thomas 4-15, Trae Churn 3-58, Eric Weber 3-26, Joseph Richardson 2-17, Daquan Patten 1-2.

PASSING: SV – Kevin Owens 7-12, 67 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT. BH – David Israel 17-36, 184 yards, 2 TD 0 INT.

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