BEAUFORT — Beaufort was able to control the game from the start, shutting down Blythewood’s run game and consuming the clock on offense.
The Eagles won 23-15 and will play at North Augusta next week in the second round of the Class 4-A Division II playoffs. The Yellow Jackets defeated Laurens 42-11.
“They’re going to be a problem for North Augusta,” said Blythewood coach Dan Morgan. “The fact that they can control the clock as well as they do is one of the biggest things, and one of the best ways to stop a throwing team like us and North Augusta. Shorten that game and get a little more sense of urgency, a lot of pressure on every series that you’ve got to get the ball down the field.”
The playoff victory was the Eagles’ first since 2007, when they reached the state championship game against Clover.
Beaufort (9-3) held the ball for 25 minutes longer than Blythewood (7-5) and ran 33 more plays. Eagles backs churned out 274 yards on the ground to play keep-away.
After slowing the run and forcing Blythewood into obvious passing situations, the Eagles were able to contain the Bengals. Defensive back Malcolm Simmons intercepted two passes on the Bengals’ final three drives, one setting up a field goal and the other sealing victory after Blythewood made it a one-score game.
The Eagles forced sophomore quarterback David Israel, making his first playoff start, into 28 incompletions. He threw for 205 yards, a big chunk coming on an 80-yard scoring strike with 2:07 remaining. That was the Bengals’ first score since their second drive.
Penalties hurt the Bengals after a short punt set them up with good field position at the Eagles’ 38, down 17-7 in the third quarter. Blythewood was flagged for an ineligible receiver and unsportsmanlike conduct. Beaufort’s Kentrell Seabrook punctuated the drive with a sack to force a punt on fourth-and-51.
BLY — Aaron Peak 33 run (Greg Huegel kick) 2:01
BFT — Ben Vaigneur 3 run (Brady Cormier kick) 8:41
BFT — Cormier 21 FG 2:32
BFT — Jeffrey Tookes 1 run (Cormier kick) 7:15
BFT — Cormier 48 FG 4:57
BFT — Cormier 25 FG 2:25
BLY — Javon Smith 80 pass from David Israel (Trae Churn pass from Israel) 2:07
PASSING: Blythewood — David Israel 14-32-3-205; Beaufort High — Ben Vaigneur 4-9-1-50.
RUSHING: Blythewood — Aaron Peak 4-50, Jalen Williams 1-8, Jaquari Blunt 4-8, Joseph Richardson 1-1; Beaufort High — Eric Blakely 26-152, Jeffrey Tookes 30-83, Ben Vaigneur 10-35, Da’Quan Cason 1-5.
RECEIVING: Blythewood — Javon Smith 4-111, Lynard Jamison 4-53, Richardson 2-20, Deyon Grayer 2-11; Beaufort High — Cason 2-33, Stephen Baggett 1-10, Keaton Butler 1-7.