Friday night at Bryan County High was the place to be as the Redskins celebrated Homecoming and senior night at their last home game of the season.
The festivities were capped off with a 44-21 victory over Region 3-A foe Calvary Day School. Bryan County, now 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the region, went into the game having already nailed down third place in Region 3-A and a berth in next week’s first round state playoffs.
Bryan County started the game with the ball on their own 34 yard line and quickly the running game was in motion.
Soon the offense had the ball down to the Calvary 1, where Justin Bostick stuck it in the end zone for the first score of the game. Ivey Mutcherson added a 2-point conversion run to make the score 8-0.
The Cavaliers then produced a drive of their own that put 7 points on the board. But with 2:23 left in the first quarter, Bryan County took their next offensive series and continued to pound out chunks of yardage as the Redskins offensive linemen were leading the way for the backfield trio.
Still with the ball going into the second quarter, the scoring explosion began as fans saw Bryan County tack on three more touchdowns: a 27-yard run from Mutcherson, who ended the night with 206 rushing yards, a 45-yard pass interception return for a score by Winston Johnson, and a 49-yard scoring jaunt by Deandre Walker, who added 134 rushing yards of his own.
The touchdown by Walker was set up by a fumble recovery by sophomore Mitch Marsh, who made a hit and recovered the fumble to give Bryan County the ball.
Two 2-point conversion runs by Mutcherson and an extra-point kick by Taylor Lucas put the Redskins ahead 31-7 at halftime.
"We felt pretty comfortable at halftime in the locker room with the score and saw that as an opportunity to play some guys that may help us in the playoffs, but I think we lost some of our focus and intensity in the second half and it showed in some of our second half play," BCHS Coach Ron Lewis said.
Determined to fight back and make the best of a bad situation, the Cavaliers took the ball to start the second half, but found themselves unable to produce a first down and after four plays had to turn the ball over to Bryan County.
Continuing to add to their 413 rushing yards for the game, the offensive machine of Bryan County drove from the Redskins’ 47 to the Cavaliers’ 39, where Walker took a first down handoff and bolted down the left sideline where he ran untouched into the endzone to make the score 37-7 with 7:14 left in the third quarter.
Another Lucas extra-point kick was good to push Bryan County’s lead to 38-7.
The next series for the Cavaliers started at their 40 yard line and the first play was a pass that defensive back Johnson picked off for Bryan County, but a roughing the passer penalty against the Redskins gave Calvary the ball back. Determined to fight to the end, Calvary continued to rely on their nifty running back, Bubba Green, who cut and swished his way to 170 yards of his own.
Green added a touchdown at the 1:08 mark of the third quarter and another touchdown in the fourth quarter with 10:23 on the clock. Green added one 2-point run to make the score 38-21.
After an onside kick by Calvary, Bryan County had the ball in Calvary territory when Mutcherson slipped through a seam on the right side and sprinted into the endzone for a 46-yard touchdown, his second of the night to increase the Redskins’ lead to 44-21. The 2-point run was stopped.
Calvary’s last two possessions of the game ended with interceptions by senior quarterback/defensive back, D.J. McElroy, and Johnson, who pulled down his third interception of the night with 0:29 seconds in the game, allowing McElroy to simply take a knee to seal the 44-21 Homecoming victory.
"Even though I’m the quarterback and play a leadership position, I can’t take all the credit. It’s the linemen blocking and the running backs hitting the holes hard that make us successful, I just happen to be the one who hands them the ball," McElroy said. "Our entire team has improved since the first of the season. At first we kind of slacked around, but once we saw what we could do we just built off of that and have improved each week".
The Redskins take on Miller County on Friday in the opening round of the state Class A playoffs.