NEXT UP: Oct. 9
• BCHS hosts Bacon County, 7:30 p.m.
The Bryan County Redskins gave the defending Class AA state champions all they could handle for one half.
Benedictine scored four touchdowns in the second half — all by running back John Kennedy — to pull away for a 35-0 region win over Bryan County on Friday at Redskins Field.
The Cadets, the top-ranked team in Class AA, led only 7-0 at halftime before wearing down BCHS in the second half with their deep roster. Benedictine methodically built its lead as Kennedy scored two touchdowns rushing, one on a pass reception and another on a punt return.
“I thought we played really well in the first half,” Redskins head coach Allen Cartwright said. “We seemed to give out of gas in the second half.”
Benedictine remained unbeaten at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 2-AA. Bryan County fell to 1-4 and 1-1.
The Redskins had their chances to pull a huge upset of a team that beat them 56-6 last year. Bryan County outgained Benedictine in total yardage in the first half.
However, the Redskins committed three costly first-half turnovers. Another drive ended with BCHS stopped on fourth-and-2 inside the Cadets’ 5-yard line.
Though all the Redskins’ possessions ended with no points, Cartwright saw positives in his team moving the ball effectively and trailing by just seven points at halftime.
“I think we just executed better than we have previously,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep improving at a level that will allow us to win the games that we need to get to the state playoffs.”
Being 1-4 halfway through the season is not what Cartwright wanted, but Bryan County is in the thick of the Region 2-AA playoff race at 1-1. Six of the region’s eight teams are in a logjam with 1-1 records, bookended by Benedictine at 2-0 and Groves at 0-2.
“Obviously, I wish we were further along than we are at this point,” Cartwright said. “But on a positive note, we keep getting better each and every week.”
The Redskins will have an extra week to prepare for their next game. Bryan County is off this weekend and will host Bacon County on Oct. 9.
“The open week will allow us to continue to focus on the fundamentals, and also we can get some nagging injuries healed up,” Cartwright said.
Despite the shutout, Cartwright credited senior Markus Johnson with giving the Redskins “a big spark offensively” with six carries for 48 yards. Johnson also had six tackles on defense.
Dominique Mock led BCHS with nine tackles, including seven solo stops. Malik Bostick and Kimonti Murray each registered seven tackles.