Airport took a 35-12 lead into the half against rival Brookland-Cayce on Friday night.
With a pair of third-quarter touchdown strikes, the Bearcats showed they weren’t going to go down easily. Brookland-Cayce rallied to within six points of the Eagles, but its rally fell short 42-37 at Airport Stadium.
The Eagles (2-0) made good on three Bearcat turnovers in the first half, getting two touchdowns on fumble recoveries and a scoring drive sparked from an interception.
The Bearcats (1-1) took a 6-0 lead with a 15-yard Kozie Brown-to-Dominik Byars touchdown connection, but the Eagles took over the game after that.
Jamir Robinson’s 65-yard fumble return got things started for the Eagles. Then came a 12-yard Josh Tucker touchdown run, a 1-yard Brett Burnett-to-Jonathon Earl TD pass and Anthony Calhoun’s fumble recovery in the end zone that made it 28-6 Eagles nearing the end of the first half.
A.J. Brown’s score from two yards out cut the lead to 28-12, but the Eagles managed one final score, a Burnett-to-Calhoun strike from 15 yards out with 18 seconds left in the half.
The Bearcats opened up the second half with a pair of Brown touchdown runs, one from four yards out and another from three yards out. That cut Airport’s lead to 35-24.
Burnett found Tamon Nottingham from two yards out to make it 42-24.
Brookland-Cayce struck again with two Kozie Brown TD passes to Justin Mill to make it 42-37.
The Bearcats later took over at midfield with a minute to go in the game, but time expired as they turned the ball over on downs.
Brookland-Cayce held a 6-0 lead and drove to the Airport 28-yard line midway through the first quarter. Just as the Bearcats looked to take control, the Eagles broke up an option play, Jamir Robinson scooped up the loose ball at the Airport 35 and rumbled 65 yards to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Kozie Brown: The Brookland-Cayce quarterback completed 19 of 30 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Brett Burnett: The Airport quarterback was 16-for-27 for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Dylan Brazell: The Eagles defensive back scooped up a loose ball and returned it 65 yards for a first-quarter touchdown and opened the Airport scoring.
No offense, but … Neither team presented much in the way of offense until late in the second quarter. Airport got two scores directly from fumble recoveries and a Tyrik Khrumah interception set up a third score. Take away B-C’s 15-play, 61-yard scoring drive that opened the game, and the Bearcats had just 110 yards of offense on top of four turnovers in the first half.
It’s Personal: The Bearcats were penalized five times for 55 yards on personal fouls alone.
Defense disappears: The offenses were slow in coming in the first half, but the defense practically disappeared late in the game. Running up and down a field without a stop can tend to do that.
THEY SAID IT
“They didn’t really do anything to hurt us. I’m not putting them down, but we gave them everything. I told them to settle down, play hard and this game doesn’t really matter except for pride around here, try to get better so we can do something later in the region.” – What B-C head coach Rusty Charpia told his players at halftime.
“They kept charging and they kept charging. We had a bunch of injuries, but it was a great victory. We’re happy. One game doesn’t make the season, but it’s a good start.” – Airport head coach Kirk Burnette.
“We just gotta stay up. We just gotta stay up. We just gotta keep running the ball, we just gotta keep scoring.” – Airport wide receiver Josh Tucker on shootout games.
THREE KEY NUMBERS
43: Total number of first downs. Airport had 22, Brookland-Cayce had 21.
830: Total offensive yards in the game. Brookland-Cayce had 514 yards. Airport had 316.
4: Number of punts, all by Airport, for an average of 23.5 yards.
HOW THEY SCORED
B – Dominik Byars 15 pass from Kozie Brown (kick failed) 5:39
A – Jamir Robinson 65 fumble return (Paxton Brooks kick) 1:13
A – Josh Tucker 12 run (Brooks kick) 9:30
A – Jonathon Earl 1 pass from Brett Burnett (Brooks kick) 5:07
A – Anthony Calhoun fumble recovery in end zone (Brooks kick) 3:57
B – A.J. Brown 2 run (run failed) 2:24
A – Calhoun 15 pass from Burnett (Brooks kick) :18
B – Brown 4 run (run failed) 11:22
B – Brown 3 run (kick failed) 8:56
A – Tamon Nottingham 2 pass from Burnett (Brooks kick) 6:03
B – Justin Mills 46 pass from K. Brown (run failed) 8:51
B – Mills 14 pass from K. Brown (Jonathan Edwards kick) 5:45
Rushing: B – A.J. Brown 13-85, K.J. Adams 7-38, Charles Balkcom 10-89, Keyshawn James 2-4, Kozie Brown 1-(-1), Doninik Byars 1-6, Cam Brown 1-3. A – Brett Burnett 6-21, Kerryon Richardson 8-30, Jonathon Earl 14-60, Zach Feaster 1-8, Josh Tucker 10-47.
Passing: B – Kozie Brown 30-19-1, Justin Mill 1-1-0. A – Brett Burnett 27-16-2
Receiving: B – K.J. Adams 5-70, Dominik Byars 4-83, A.J. Brown 2-38, Justin Mills 4-79, Reed Charpia 1-7. A – Jonathon Earl 2-5, Kerryon Richardson1-15, Osirus Hairston 2-26, Josh Tucker 4-56, Anthony Calhoun 4-36, Tamon Nottingham 2-12