Bengals survive 4th quarter surge

IRMO – Blythewood’s Region 3-5A opener was a blowout—before it wasn’t—Friday night at Irmo’s W. C. Hawkins Stadium.

The Bengals controlled the tempo and steadily built a 42-14 lead late that lasted late in the third quarter. Irmo responded with three fourth-quarter scores that if anything, made the 42-35 final look like a respectable defeat.

“This is why everybody has to go all the time, they have to be locked in,” Seidel said. “I’m glad this happened to us, because we’re dealing with young kids. We’ve got a very young football team and this is one of those moments where you say, hey man, you can never be satisfied with just where you’re at.”

The scores, two Dylan Williams touchdowns that included a 75-yard bomb to Kam Green and Tracy Williams’ 3-yard TD run with less than a minute to go, got the Yellow Jackets (3-5, 1-1) to within an onside kick and a quick strike of knocking off the Bengals.

“They made a couple of great plays,” Seidel said. “That post was well-covered, it was just a great catch and that’s just the way that goes.”

If the final quarter seemed to make the team look collectively punched in the stomach, it wasn’t an illusion.

“Our guys almost seemed down after the win,” Seidel said. “I told them, you celebrate anytime you get a win in a football game. You’re 1-0 in the region, a very good region. You take it and run with it, but you’ve got to learn from it too.”

Blythewood (5-2) had much to feel great about for three quarters.

Quarterback Josh Strickland was 19 of 23 in passing for 196 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Aamir Washington had 139 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, thanks to a pair of long touchdown runs.

Brandon Edwards rushed for 97 yards on 14 carries. He rushed for one score and caught a pass for another. 

Collectively, the Bengals offense scored on six straight possessions to bring the game out of reach. They had 263 yards on 29 plays by halftime.

Defensively, the Bengals held Irmo to 30 yards rushing until late in the third quarter.

After holding Irmo’s opening possession to a three-and-out, the Bengals knocked out a clock-draining 14-play, 80-yard drive. Strickland completed eight passes for 72 yards on that drive, and closed it out with a 7-yard toss to David Patten at the 3:43 mark of the first quarter. Brandon Edwards rushed in for the 2-point conversion.

Once Irmo got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run from Tracy Williams, Blythewood unleashed its running attack.

Washington ran through a hole on the right side and broke wide open for a 62-yard touchdown run to put the Bengals up 14-7. Edwards then broke free for a 33-yard scamper three minutes later.

Blythewood drained the first half with another 80-yard drive, this time closed out with Strickland finding Edwards on the goal line from two yards out with 20 seconds left to give the Bengals a 28-7 lead at the half.

The Bengals continued the surge in the second half, first knocking out a 10-play 82-yard drive Strickland capped with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Josh Burrell.

After an Irmo score, Washington broke free for another long run, this time a 67-yard zigzag romp that made it 42-14 Bengals by the end of the third quarter.

“I credit the O-line, they gave Strickland time,” Seidel said. “I thought Strickland did a great job of distributing the ball all over the place. Brandon Edwards, Aamir Washington, were amazing, and the defense did great.”

But Irmo knocked out a long drive and scored on a Dylan Williams-to-Jhamari Thomas touchdown pass at the 8:53 mark. Williams then found Kam Green for a 75-yard connection with 5:26 to go.

Tracy Williams, who had 124 yards and two TDs on 21 carries on the night, crossed the goal line with less than a minute to go.

“We were a little nicked up, and we thought here was a good chance to get some guys in,” Seidel said. “I credit (Irmo) Coach (Aaron) Brand’s staff and the kids over there. I told the kids at halftime that they’re gonna have a great second half.”

 Blythewood now turns to Sumter this week. The Gamecocks (6-0, 1-0) were off last week but notched their first region victory with a 58-6 drubbing of Lugoff-Elgin Oct. 4. They have outscored their opponents 320-50 this season.

The Bengals lost at Sumter 29-17 last year. That loss brought the team down, Seidel said, but this year can go either way, with so many first-year starters on the Bengals.
“It was a pretty good game,” Seidel said. “They were really down on that and sometimes it’s hard to get them to wrap their heads around that. Zero starters were on last year’s defense. On offense we’ve got a lot of new guys. We’re learning as we go.”

BHS  – 8-20-14-0 – 42

IHS – 0-7-7-21 – 35

First Quarter

B – David Patten 7 pass from Josh Strickland (Brandon Edwards run) 3:43

Second Quarter

I – Tracy Williams 1 run (Angel Camarena kick) 10:51

B – Aamir Washington 62 run (run failed) 9:58

B – Edwards 33 run (Jerry Finney kick) 6:31

B – Edwards 2 pass from Strickland (Finney kick) :20

Third Quarter

B – Josh Burrell 23 pass from Strickland (Finney kick) 7:30

I – 5 pass from Dylan Williams (Camarena kick) 1:59

B – Washington 77 run (Finney kick) 1:12

Fourth Quarter

I – Jhamari Thomas 7 pass from Williams (Camarena kick) 8:53

I – K Green 75 pass from Williams (Camarena kick) 5:26

I – Williams 3 run (Camarena kick) :53

                                             BHS                  Irmo

First Downs 22                   21

Rushes-Yards                     28-235          40-211

Passing Yards                     196                 135

Att-Com-Int                        23-19-0        15-8-0

Fumbles-Lost                      1-0                 1-0

Penalties-Yards                 9-91               10-84

Punts-Avg.                        2-38.5             3-37.0          

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Blythewood-Aamir Washington 6-134, Brandon Edwards 14-97, King Ford 1-8, Dhani Dixon 4-2, TEAM 1-(-3), Josh Strickland 2-(-3). Irmo-Tracy Williams 21-119, Dylan Williams 13-78, Naz Mayes 5-17, TEAM 1-(-3).

PASSING: Blythewood- Josh Strickland 19-23-0-196. Irmo-Dylan Williams 8-15-0-135.

RECEIVING: Blythewood-Josh Burrell 5-79, David Patten 4-45, Noble Cooper 4-40, Chase Smith 3-33, Brandon Edwards 3-(-1). Irmo-Kam Green 2-93,

Kobe Taylor 2-15, Jhamari Thomas 2-10, Tracy Williams 1-12, Anthony Washington 1-5.