Bengals get bluffed in tight game

LEXINGTON – In a game with 19 punts and just 13 first downs between River Bluff and Blythewood Friday night, big plays stood out.

River Bluff stretched a pair of long runs into a go-ahead score at River Bluff Stadium late in the fourth quarter. While the Bengals used a 56-yard Davion Blackwell-to-Dalen Mickle connection to get within striking distance of the end zone in the final two minutes, the Gators defense held and walked off with a 12-7 victory, their first in Region V-5A.

Blythewood (3-3 overall, 1-1 region), missing quarterbacks Quinton Patten and Quentin Singleton and running back Chris Woodall due to injuries, needed more of an offensive boost than Jaylon Boyd’s 146 yards on 30 carries.

Jordan Loftis (86) leaves his teammates stunned when he nearly leaps out of the stadium to snag the catch.

“We’re extremely short-handed and it showed tonight,” Blythewood head coach Brian Smith said. “We couldn’t really do too much offensively at all. We just didn’t have enough weapons.”

River Bluff (2-2, 1-2) had just two second-half first downs late in the fourth quarter, when Antonio Gantt broke free for a 41-yard run. Gantt put the Gators at the Blythewood 16-yard line. Two plays later, Braden Walker ran the ball into the end zone from 15 yards out.

The conversion run failed, but River Bluff’s 12-7 lead seemed safe.

Blythewood had a chance with 1:44 left after Mickle’s long reception put the Bengals on the River Bluff 19-yard line. But Blackwell’s passes fell incomplete, and River Bluff’s Lawson Danley sacked him on fourth-and-long to turn the ball over on downs.

“Our kids hung in there. It was a hard-fought game,” River Bluff head coach Blair Hardin said. “My hat’s off to Coach Smith and his staff; it really could have gone either way. Our defense played outstanding, and we found a way to finish at the end.”

River Bluff and Blythewood combined for five first downs and eight punts in the first half.

The Bengals caught a break when Boyd found running room for a 41-yard scamper that set Blythewood at the River Bluff 6-yard line in the last play of the first quarter.

Two plays later, Boyd burst into the end zone from four yards out to put the Bengals up 7-0.

The Gators caught a break themselves late in the second quarter, when Blythewood fumbled the snap at their own 8-yard line. On a changeup play, receiver Chandler Mack tossed a light pass to quarterback Braden Walker in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

Spencer Jones (33),Patrick Godbolt (40), Jhevon Daughtry (32), Jack Monroe (10), swarm to the ball carrier.

The Bengals blocked the point-after attempt to keep a 7-6 lead.

Shi’heem Watkins returned the River Bluff kickoff 72 yards to set the Bengals up at the Gators 35-yard line with less than two minutes to go in the half. Blythewood drove to the 19, and Jacob Owens lined up for a 36-yard field goal attempt with 17 seconds on the clock. But after a River Bluff timeout, Blackwell and the Bengals receivers took the field and tried for a last-second TD strike. The ball fell incomplete and Blythewood kept its 7-6 lead going into the locker room.

Blythewood’s few offensive options limited the Bengals in the second half, but the team will go to preparing for next week’s game at Dutch Fork—67-7 winners over Westwood Friday night.

“We’ll keep hitting and keep plugging,” Smith said. “We’ll keep rallying the troops and get ready for the next one.”


Blythewood –  0-7-0-0-7

River Bluff – 0-6-0-6-12

Second Quarter

BHS – Jaylon Boyd 4 run (Jacob Owens kick) 11:26

RBHS – Braden Walker 2 pass from Chandler Mack (kick blocked) 2:05

Fourth Quarter

RBHS – Walker 15 run (pass failed) 5:14

TEAM STATS       BHS               RBHS

First Downs              7                    6

Rushes-Yards          41-128          40-127

Passing Yards          96                  5

Att-Com-Int            17-5-0            9-4-1

Fumbles-Lost          2-1                 3-0

Penalties-Yards       8-65              6-35

Punts-Avg.               9-30.1           10-34.3


RUSHING: Blythewood – Jaylon Boyd 30-146, Brady Carson 2-5, Brandon Edwards 4-0, Davion Blackwell 4-(-24). River Bluff – Antonio Gantt 11-69, Braden Walker 12-44, Jalen Weston 11-25, C.J. Sampson 1-0.

PASSING: Blythewood – Davion Blackwell 5-16-0. River Bluff – Braden Walker 3-8-1, Chandler Mack 1-1-0.

RECEIVING: Blythewood – Dalen Mickle 1-56, Jordan Loftis 1-36, Brandon Edwards 1-7, Kevon Catoe 2-(-3), . River Bluff – Xavier Bright 1-6, Braden Walker 1-2, Fellers Wise 1-(-1), C.J. Sampson 1-(-2) .

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