Resurgent Brookland-Cayce stayed on point in Friday’s showdown between two unbeaten Class 3A teams at Memorial Stadium.
The eighth-ranked Bearcats spotted the host Dreher Blue Devils a 14-0 lead before rebounding for a 21-14 win. Brookland-Cayce, which has a bye week ahead, carries a 5-0 record into region play for the first time since 2004.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Bearcats coach Rusty Charpia said. “We didn’t play our best and we were missing two key starters, but to our credit, we stayed with the gameplan and made enough plays to get a win over a good team.”
Quarterback Zeke Walker had a rough night, throwing three interceptions and suffering three sacks, but the senior leader capped an eight-play, 85-yard scoring drive with a go-ahead 33-yard touchdown run with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter.
“Zeke had an off night, but he broke one when we really needed it,” Charpia said. “We had some guys take up the slack.”
Ti Myers did not score but was the workhorse of the attack with 173 yards rushing on 28 carries. Cam Brown scored Brookland-Cayce’s two other touchdowns on short sweeps from the wing position. The defense recovered four Dreher fumbles and limited the Blue Devils to 183 yards. The headliner was Kyle Stinson, who had two fumble recoveries and two tackles for loss.
“We play hard, and we practice hard,” Myers said. “We refuse to lose in the fourth quarter.”
The Bearcats got on the board with a 58-yard scoring drive late in the first half. The big play was a middle screen pass from Walker to A.J. Brown that netted 34 yards and a first down at the Dreher 5 on a fourth-and-25 call.
It was all Brookland-Cayce after the break. The Bearcats outgained Dreher 219-23 in the second half.
“Our gameplan was to run the ball, and we did it well in the first half,” said first-year Blue Devils coach Treigh Sullivan. “But Brookland-Cayce’s a good team, and they wore us down in the second half because we couldn’t sustain much. Of course, having four turnovers doesn’t help.”
Sophomore quarterback Avery Armstrong had 88 yards rushing and one touchdown on 18 carries. Willie Reed’s 21-yard pick-six in the second quarter was the other Dreher (3-1) score.
Brookland-Cayce now turns its attention to the start of Region 5-3A play and a road date at third-ranked Strom Thurmond.
“We start over at 0-0 in the region, but being 5-0 sure means something to these kids and our fans,” Charpia said. “The kids have built up a little confidence, and we have a week to get healthy and put together a good gameplan.”
D – Avery Armstrong 9 run (Wesley Mousseau kick), 9:34
D – Willie Reed 21 interception return (Mousseau kick), 8:34
BC – Cam Brown 5 run (Jacob Smoak kick), 0:58
BC – C. Brown 8 run (Smoak kick), 8:19
BC – Zeke Walker 33 run (Smoak kick), 5:36
RUSHING: BC, Myers 28-173, A. Brown 8-30, Walker 10-17, McCall 1-18, C. Brown 7-34. D, Ward 8-30, Armstrong 18-88, Corbin 8-47.
PASSING: BC, Walker 5-16-5-87. D, Armstrong 4-10-0-38.
RECEIVING: BC, Amaker 2-36, A. Brown 2-54. D, Lemmons 2-15, Tinsley 1-10, Ward 1-13.