The Bryan County Redskins will look to carry momentum from their big win Friday over Bacon County into tonight’s matchup with McIntosh County Academy.
Bryan County and MCA, both 2-4 overall, are in a three-way tie with Vidalia for second place in Region 2-AA with 2-1 records. Unbeaten Benedictine (6-0, 3-0) holds the top spot.
“We’re 2-1, right where we want to be,” BCHS head coach Allen Cartwright said. “We control our own destiny at this point. We’re in good shape. We just have to keep plugging away.”
McIntosh County is coming off a 50-14 rout of Groves on Oct. 8. The Buccaneers’ other region win was a 15-14 upset of Vidalia (4-2), which reached the Class AA state quarterfinals last season.
Meanwhile, the Redskins posted their most-impressive performance of the season Friday. Bryan County rolled up 344 yards of offense — all rushing — to defeat Bacon County 28-14 at Redskins Field.
“I don’t think a lot of people outside of Bryan County and Pembroke gave us much of a chance, so it was a big win,” Cartwright said.
The Bryan County-MCA contest is WSAV’s televised game of the week. Kickoff is at 7 tonight in Darien.
A Thursday game meant a shorter-than-usual week of preparation for the teams. The Redskins condensed their typical four days of practice into three.
“It does affect preparation because you lose a day,” Cartwright said. “You always worry about that to some degree, but they’re dealing with the same issue.”
Markus Johnson scored three touchdowns against Bacon County, and Kimonti Murray sealed the win with a 32-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Six running backs combined for 61 rushing attempts as Bryan County averaged 5.6 yards per carry and controlled the clock, keeping Bacon’s potent offense off the field.
The rushing attack was so effective that the Redskins did not attempt a pass in the game. DeVontae Anderson had team highs of 16 carries and 89 yards, and Murray rushed for 59 yards on just five carries.
Dominique Mock ran for 55 yards on nine carries, Markez Bostick gained 51 yards on eight carries and Willie Lavant rushed 13 times for 47 yards. Johnson added 43 tough yards on 10 carries to go with his touchdown runs of 5, 1 and 4 yards.
“As long as it kept working, we just kept pounding and pounding away,” Cartwright said. “The offense moved the ball and, just as importantly, chewed up clock and shortened the game.”
The Redskins gave a sign of what was to come with a 10-play, 62-yard touchdown drive to open the game. Anderson was the workhorse with
41 yards on five carries, including a 13-yard run on fourth and 2 from Bacon County’s 27-yard line.
Two plays later, Johnson scored up the middle from the 5. Christian Thomas tacked on the extra point, and the Redskins led 7-0 with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.
The score stayed that way for only 13 seconds, as Bacon’s Trae Stewart returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders missed the extra point, keeping Bryan County ahead at 7-6.
Bacon County (3-3, 1-2) took its only lead of the game on Aubrey Carter’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Stewart followed with a two-point conversion run to put the Raiders up 14-7.
The Redskins answered with a tying touchdown on their next drive. Johnson bulled into the end zone on fourth down from the 1-yard line, and Thomas’ extra point knotted the score at 14 with 1:19 to play before halftime.
The game remained tied until Johnson’s 4-yard touchdown run with 10:38 left in the fourth quarter. Bryan County took advantage of good field position, starting at Bacon’s 44-yard line, and Johnson scored four plays after Murray ripped off a 17-yard run to the Raiders’ 16.
The Redskins put the game away with a nine-play, 68-yard drive, kept alive by an improvised run to convert a fourth-and-2 from Bacon’s 44. Quarterback Gage Hagan was wrapped up by a defender on a keeper and pitched the ball to Mock, who ran for 4 yards and a first down.
Four plays later, Murray took a handoff to the right and raced untouched to the end zone. Thomas’ fourth extra point of the night extended Bryan County’s lead to 28-14 with 4:37 to play.
The Bryan County defense held Bacon scoreless in the second half and allowed only one touchdown on the night. Quran George and Murray each had second-half interceptions.
Along with his 55 rushing yards on offense, Mock led the Redskins’ defense with eight tackles. Johnson and Murray each registered six tackles, and Malik Bostick had two sacks among his five tackles.
“The defense played big, especially considering that this football team that we played is very explosive,” Cartwright said. “They played really well and kept them in check.”