A key stretch in the second quarter doomed Bryan County on Friday, as the Redskins fell to Screven County 35-0 in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs in Sylvania.
The Gamecocks scored all of their points in the first half, but only had a 7-0 lead halfway through the second quarter, BCHS head coach Allen Cartwright said. However, on the ensuing kickoff after Screven County went up 13-0, the Redskins bobbled the ball and got buried deep in their own territory. Shortly after, the Gamecocks got good field position and scored again, which started their run to the 35-0 halftime lead.
“Seemed like it kind of snowballed on us,” Cartwright said.
The Redskins ended the season with a 5-6 record.
The Gamecocks were staunch defensively, allowing just 91 rushing yards to a BCHS team with a strong running game. The Redskins had just 101 total yards on the night.
Markez Bostick led Bryan County with 35 yards on 14 carries and had the team’s lone catch, a 10-yard reception on a pass from Gage Hagan.
Markus Johnson had 23 yards on five carries, and Devontze Anderson had 22 yards on eight carries.
Screven County moved to 10-1 with the win and will take on Pace Academy at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sylvania.
Cartwright, who was in his first season as head coach at BCHS, thought 2015 was a successful season for the program, especially considering that a new coach was putting in new schemes to which the players had to get accustomed. The team’s slow start — four losses in its first five games, although three of the defeats were to eventual playoff teams — was mitigated by four straight wins, a run that earned the squad a postseason berth.
Making the season more intriguing is that the squad was led by a lot of players who were inexperienced at the start of the season. Three of BCHS’s top four players in rushing yards — including team-leader Anderson (568) — will be back, as will many top defensive players.
That list includes All-Region 2-AA defensive lineman Malik Bostick, who had 22 tackles for loss and 78 tackles overall, which was second on the team.
“I think, overall, we’re pretty pleased with what we’ve got coming back,” Cartwright said.
The team will have to replace two of its three starting defensive backs, as T.C. Pippen and Quran George — second- and first-team All-Region 2-AA selections, respectively — both graduate this spring. Also, region first-team linebacker Markus Johnson will graduate after leading the team in tackles (84) and touchdowns (seven).
The common theme in the Redskins’ final two losses, however, was physicality. Both Vidalia and Screven were a little more physical than BCHS, Cartwright said, indicating that the Redskins have work to do in the weight room.
“We’ve got to step it up to another level if want to compete with teams like Vidalia and Screven County,” he said.