Bengals Hold Off Vikes

David Isreal's pass sails out of reach of Kenny Benton (4) and Spring Valley's Shaun Moore. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

David Isreal’s pass sails out of reach of Kenny Benton (4) and Spring Valley’s Shaun Moore. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

COLUMBIA – What was going to be the Region IV-4A opener over a month ago turned into a season finale Thursday that determined playoff seeding for both Spring Valley and Blythewood.

The Vikings, getting ready for the 4A Division I bracket, came within one possession of setting the 4A Division II Bengals on the road next week. In the game’s final minute, Blythewood’s David Isreal bullied his way to a game-clinching first down, and kept going to finish a 40-yard touchdown run that sealed a 37-28 victory over Spring Valley.

“The defense played outstanding tonight,” Isreal said. “The O-line stepped up. It feels good to get this home playoff game (with a win) on the road against a rival in front of a big crowd.”

Blythewood (8-3, 3-2) clinched a No. 5 seed in the 4A Division II bracket and will play at home against either Westwood or North Augusta next week.

Spring Valley (6-5, 3-2) will travel to Fort Dorchester in the Division I bracket.

“They made it a difficult night for us,” Bengals head coach Dan Morgan said. “(Vikings head coach) Robin Bacon does such a great job over there. They’re going to be very dangerous for someone in the playoffs.”

As for Blythewood, next week will mark the school’s second home playoff appearance in eight years at the 4A classification. The last time Blythewood played host to a postseason opponent, under coach Reggie Kennedy in 2012, the Bengals fell 44-36 to Boiling Springs.

“It’s huge,” Morgan said. “The last one didn’t turn out too well. I think we’re a little more of a mature ball club at this point compared to back to them. I think we’ve got a pretty good shot to make a little run, but we’ve got to play just a little bit better than we did tonight.”

Isreal and Osei Thomas powered the Blythewood offense.

Isreal finished the night completing just nine passes, but was good enough for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He had one interception. He also rushed 23 times for 116 yards and the game-ending score.

Thomas carried 21 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

“For the past three weeks, Osei’s been putting the team on his back,” Isreal said. “He was there when we needed him. We just knew that we were going to have to run the ball, and it worked tonight.”

When both teams emerged from halftime knotted at 14, Blythewood looked to separate from Spring Valley in the third quarter.

The Bengals defense held Spring Valley to zero yards on the first possession. When Blythewood took over, Isreal closed out a 6-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard TD pass to Trae Churn.

With Blythewood leading 20-14, Peyton Pendarvis intercepted a Ryan Lee pass at midfield and returned it 39 yards to set the Bengals up at the Spring Valley 11-yard line.

Blythewood couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone, but placekicker Cody Turner knocked in a 25-yard field goal to put the Bengals ahead 23-14 by the 4:50 mark of the third.

The Vikings didn’t let the game get away from them.

Kadarius Bunch came through with a 3-yard TD run three minutes later to close the lead to 23-20.

In the fourth quarter, another Thomas score with 4:38 left gave Blythewood a 30-21 lead. Spring Valley’s multifaceted Wing-T offense struck again within 24 seconds. Ty’Juan Fulton took a handoff and burst through the lines for a 65-yard TD scamper that allowed the Vikings to jump right back into the game.

“The hard part about playing the flex bone or the wishbone is that you’ve got to commit so much to stopping them that the big plays will hurt you,” Morgan said.

The final Spring Valley score of the night put a scare into the Blythewood crowd, but the Bengals held on for the win. Blythewood took three minutes off the clock, and on third-and-long, Isreal broke free and ran 40 yards for the clinching score with 30 seconds remaining.

“I knew I had to make a play,” Isreal said. “It shouldn’t have been that close, but we had to make the plays to win the game.”

Morgan was glad his team could get out with a win.

“The line played their butts off, Isreal played his butt off,” Morgan said. “Osei, they were geared up trying to stop Osei all night. I’m still trying to figure out how we got 37 points, because their defense played phenomenal.”

UPDATE: Blythewood will host N. Augusta Friday in round one of the Class 4A/D1 playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

 

BHS: 7-7-9-14 – 37

SV: 7-7-7-7 – 28

First Quarter

B – Osei Thomas 2 run (Cody Turner kick) 4:34

S – Ty’Juan Fulton 33 run (R.J. Bacon kick) 1:11

Second Quarter               

B – Jacob McGuire 20 pass from David Isreal (Turner kick) 11:08

S – Fulton 49 pass from Ryan Lee (Bacon kick) 5:37

Third Quarter

B – Trae Churn 17 pass from Isreal (kick failed) 7:49

B – Turner 25 field goal 4:50

S – Kadarius Bunch 3 run (Bacon kick) 1:40

Fourth Quarter

B – Thomas 3 run (Turner kick) 4:38

S – Fulton 65 run (Bacon kick) 4:00

B – Isreal 40 run (Turner kick) :30

 

                                            BHS                                        SV

First Downs                        25                                           17

Rushes-Yards                     44-257                                   39-225

Passing Yards                     289                                         94

C-A-I                                      10-21-1                                 5-11-1

Fumbles-Lost                     2-1                                          1-0

Penalties-Yards                 5-50                                       4-27

Punts-Avg.                          2-45.0                                    4-43.0

 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BHS – Osei Thomas 21-141, David Isreal 23-116. SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 13-120, Kadarius Bunch 6-36, Terrell Jackson 6-22, Shaun Moore 2-22, Elbert Turner 1-8.

PASSING: BHS – David Isreal 20-9-1, Timel Benton 1-1-0. SV – Ryan Lee 10-5-1.

RECEIVING: BHS – Jacob McGuire 2-49, Trae Churn 3-47, Derambez Drinkard 1-48, Kenny Benton 1-23, David Isreal 1-10. SV – Ty’Juan Fulton 2-58, Cameron Jones 1-13.