"Never give up, and never give in" is a message you will hear around the gridiron grass of Bryan County High School no matter the opponent and no matter the score.
This is the motto head coach Mark Wilson is instilling in the heads of his football team, which is 1-5, 1-4 after taking a 21-9 loss on Friday to the Cadets of Benedictine (5-1, 4-1) in a Region 2-AA battle.
"Our guys don’t have anything to hang their heads down about cause they played their hearts out and continued to fight for four quarters and if they do that then I don’t care about the score on the scoreboard because we can continue to move this program forward with that determination and attitude," said Wilson.
Bryan County gave the visiting Cadets a wakeup call when Ty Wilson booted a 42-yard field goal through the uprights at the 2:58 mark of the first quarter to put the Redskins on the scoreboard first with a 3-0 lead. It wasn’t until the 10:54 mark of second quarter that Benedictine got on the scoreboard with a 6-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the Cadets were up 7-3 and on their way to another region win.
"We are probably pretty much out of the region picture," Wilson said. "We would have to win the remainder of our games and get a lot of help from some losses by teams ahead of us to get back into the region picture."
After the Cadets scored, Bryan County mounted a time-consuming drive that saw the Bryan offense move the ball from their own 25-yard line down to the Benedictine 9, where Ty Wilson came on in a fourth and goal situation and nailed a 26-yard field goal to close the scoring gap to 7-6, Benedictine leading with 1:52 left in the first half.
The Cadet offense put the ball in air in the remaining minutes and soon answered with a touchdown pass and extra-point that made the score 14-6 in favor of the Cadets. With just 30 seconds left until halftime, Bryan County took the ball at the 50, due to a Benedictine penalty, and passed the ball to within kicking range for the strong-legged Wilson, who nailed a 41-yard field goal that pushed the score to 14-9 at halftime.
Benedictine came out in the second half determined to power their way with the running game against the scrappy Redskin defense, but the Bryan defense continued to stymie the Cadet offense at opportune times throughout the second half.. It wasn’t until the 7:14 mark of the fourth quarter that Benedictine got its final points with a 13-yard touchdown run and extra-point that held until the final buzzer and the Cadets marched away with the 21-9 region victory.
Wilson had these final words about his teams’ effort. "I couldn’t be prouder of the effort our guys gave out their tonight. That was a winning effort no matter what the scoreboard showed. We are having to play freshmen and sophomores in some positions and those guys are giving the best effort they can. We lost a heart-breaker to Long County last week and these guys could have come out here tonight and just gone through the motions, but our seniors are leading and the attitude of this team is good and we can work with attitudes and heart like this," Wilson said. "The future is bright here at Bryan County even though it may look bleak at times, but these kids are learning about giving all they have no matter the circumstances. They were winners tonight in my book,."
Bryan County is idle this week and will be on the road Oct. 19 when the Redskins travel to Vidalia ((6-0,5-0) for another region game.
Kickoff is 7:30p.m.