An open week on the schedule is just what the Bryan County Redskins need after a tough loss to open the season.
Head coach Allen Cartwright said he and his staff “have to go back to the drawing board” following Friday’s 16-0 loss to Metter at Redskins Field.
“We have two weeks to try to address some mistakes, but we also have a chance to maybe evaluate some other personnel,” Cartwright said after the game. “We have a long way to go, but we’ll get there.”
The Redskins are off this week before facing Claxton on Sept. 4 in the first of three straight road games. Claxton plays its first game Friday at home against Metter.
Bryan County committed four turnovers in the season opener, and five other possessions ended in three-and-outs. The Redskins managed just 68 yards of offense — all of it rushing.
Markez Bostick led BCHS with 15 carries for 47 yards. Willie Lavant (five carries) and YaDevrn Eason (seven carries) each rushed for 20 yards, but the Redskins had no completions in eight passing attempts and lost 30 yards on sacks, fumbles and botched snaps.
“We’re very young on offense, and it showed,” Cartwright said. “We have a lot of work to do on offense. We have a lot of inexperienced players.”
BCHS turnovers led to both of Metter’s touchdowns in the second half. The Tigers led 3-0 at halftime on a 41-yard field goal by Javier Martinez in the first quarter.
A high snap sailed over quarterback Gage Hagan’s head on the Redskins’ third play of the second half, and Metter recovered the ball at Bryan County’s 22-yard line. The Tigers’ Antraveious Howard scored from a yard out on fourth and goal.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hagan heaved up a pass for grabs under a heavy rush. Alex Dekle intercepted it and raced 25 yards to the end zone.
While the BCHS offense struggled, Cartwright credited the defense with playing “well enough (for us) to win.” T.C. Pippen set the tone with an interception to end Metter’s first drive.
The Bryan County defense allowed only 185 yards, forced three punts and stopped Metter three other times when the Tigers tried to convert on fourth down. The Metter offense’s lone touchdown came on the short drive in the third quarter.
“We just kept putting (our defense) in bad positions all night,” Cartwright said.
Penalties also hurt the Redskins, especially on their second possession of the game. Bostick ran for 5 yards on third and 3 from the Bryan County 40-yard line, but an illegal-procedure penalty against BCHS negated the first down. A holding penalty wiped out another first-down run by Bostick three plays later, and the drive ended with a punt.
The Redskins were set up in good field position late in the first half after stopping Metter on fourth down near midfield. A 5-yard run by Kimonti Murray gave BCHS a first down at the Tigers’ 40, but Metter defenders broke up three straight passes by Hagan, and Eason was stopped short on a fourth-down run.
The closest the Redskins came to the end zone was Metter’s 29-yard line, on their possession following Dekle’s interception return that put the Tigers up 16-0. However, an illegal-procedure penalty pushed BCHS back 5 yards, and Hagan was intercepted four plays later.
“The good thing about it is we’ve got some really stout-hearted kids who work hard,” Cartwright said. “They’ll come out and they’ll keep working hard. We’ll be OK. We’d like to be a lot further along than where we are, that’s for sure, but we’ll get better.”