Brookland-Cayce defensive back Dominick Byars caught more Airport passes than three Eagles receivers at B-C’s stadium Friday night.
Byars led a defensive effort that shut out Airport through three quarters and boosted the Bearcats to a 21-7 victory against their rival.
“When the quarterback turns his shoulders (to throw), I make sure I’m breaking on that ball,” said Byars, a 6-foot-1 junior who had three interceptions, including two at the goal line in a scoreless third quarter. “The defense played great. We did what we were supposed to do. The coaches told us to pay attention on the field.”
It was Airport’s season opener, and it showed. The Eagles had four first downs and 51 yards in the first half.
“The defense played great for us, that’s the deal,” Brookland-Cayce coach Rusty Charpia said. “When you play good defense, you get so many shots at scoring that, sooner or later, you’ll get one in the end zone.”
The Bearcats’ defense didn’t see much time on the field in the first half.
Brookland-Cayce dominated the first half, owning the time of possession 18:33 – 5:27 over the Eagles.
The Bearcats stumbled in their opening possession, fumbling the ball away at the Airport 3-yard line. The Eagles had to punt after a possession that went backwards, and Brookland-Cayce scored on its next three possessions.
Ti Myers’ 8-yard TD run with 19 seconds left in the first quarter capped a 9-play, 65 yard drive. That drive was kept alive on a 13-yard Kozie Brown-to-Charles Balkcom connection on 4th-and-8.
Two Airport mistakes kept Brookland-Cayce’s next possession, an 18-play 76-yarder, alive. The Eagles roughed punter David Koprowski on 4th-and-4 at the Bearcats’ 15, and a pass interference call set up Brookland-Cayce with a 3rd-and-8 play at the Airport 17.
On the next play, quarterback Kozie Brown stepped up and found Thomas Scott in the end zone to put the Bearcats up 14-0 with 3:15 left.
Kozie and Cam Brown connected for a 19-yard touchdown catch-and-run with four seconds left to close the first half.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Eagles got a score early in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Kadarius Jackson ran in from nine yards out with 10:45 to go.
“After the first half, we couldn’t get anything started,” Charpia said. “Maybe I got a little too conservative, I didn’t want to do anything to lose the game.”
Ti Myers led all rushers with 93 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Kozie Brown finished the night 9-for-17 for 102 yards and two TD passes to one interception.
Charpia couldn’t say enough about Byars, a soccer player in his first year with the team.
“He hadn’t played football since middle school,” Charpia said. We had an all-state Shrine Bowl free safety last year who’s playing for Indiana (Zeke Walker), and this kid has already intercepted four more passes than he did in two games. It just shows the kinds of kids we have in our soccer program.”
B – Ti Myers 8 run (David Koprowski kick) :19
B – Thomas Scott 17 pass from Kozie Brown (Koprowski kick) 3:15
B – Cam Brown 19 pass from K. Brown (Koprowski kick) :04
A –Kadarius Jackson 9 run (Brady Nelson kick) 10:45
RUSHING – Brookland-Cayce, Myers 17-93, Balkcom 7-18, K. Brown 8-5, C. Brown 10-42, Inabinet 1-2, Ameker 1-(-4). Airport, Hairston 2-(-4), Earle 10-32, Jackson 14-78, Richardson 2-24, Tucker 1-6.
PASSING – Brookland-Cayce, K. Brown 17-9-1. Airport, Jackson 16-9-3.
RECEIVING – Brookland-Cayce, Balkcom 3-26, Amaker 2-23, Scott 2-24, C. Brown 2-39. Airport, Hairston 2-10, Tucker 4-31, Wright 1-7, Richardson 1-7, Jackson 1-9.