BEULAH — Despite it being senior night, it was junior Quay Moreland and the defense who stole the show for Beulah in a 56-6 win over McKenzie on Friday night.
Moreland, who finished the day with 9 carries for 148 yards and three scores, showed that the future of the Beulah offense (4-6, 1-6) is in good hands.
“It’s good to see underclassmen coming up and making some big plays,” Beulah head coach Matt Johnson said. “It sets the tone for next year. He’s going to be one of our leaders next year.”
While he didn’t take over until the second quarter, the defense started the game hot and never let up.
On the first possession of the game McKenzie (2-9, 1-6) turned the ball over on downs at their own 39-yard line and set the tone for the entire game.
“Upfront we just dominated,” Johnson said. “Everybody just played great all around.”
The defense allowed only 125 yards and forced three turnovers to go along with a safety.
On their first offensive possession of the game Beulah was threatening to waste great field position, but senior running back Chris Person saved the day.
On fourth-and-four, he took it 34 yards to the house and gave the Bobcats a 6-0 lead with 8:02 in the first quarter.
Their only blemish of the game came two possessions later.
Following a 17-yard punt by McKenzie, the Bobcats’ offence once again started on the Tigers’ side of the field. This time, they were all the way up at the 33.
However, by the time it was fourth down they had been called for holding, a personal foul and had two negative plays.
Their punt went worse than all of that.
After the ball hit one of their blockers in the back it was picked up by Zanderion Cook who returned it 51 yards for McKenzie’s first and only score of the game. While this tied the game at 6 with 9:59 to go in the first half the game soon became all Beulah.
The teams would only be tied for 63 seconds of game time.
On their following drive, Moreland went 49 yards on the third play of the drive, and the Bobcats went up 14-6.
On their next possession they extended the lead even more. This time the Bobcats put together a six-play, 60-yard drive. While 57 of those yards came on the ground, Abney hit Jaquavion Johnson for the final three and put them up 21-6 with 5:25 left in the half.
Two plays later, Johnson contributed on the defensive side of the ball as well by picking off McKenzie quarterback Jakarrie McPherson.
Moreland only needed to go 28 yards this time to put the Bobcats up 28-6 with 1:14 left in the half.
Johnson credited the success to his team’s ability to adjust on the fly.
“They were doing something upfront that we haven’t seen. We made some adjustments, when you can execute adjustments on the fly you are moving in the right direction.”
It was quickly apparent that they were not letting up after returning from halftime.
On their opening drive, they went on a 10-play, 55-yard drive.
Abney hit Billy Wayne Sykes on fourth-and-12 for the 22-yard score to go up 36-6.
With the Tigers’ offense desperate to get on the board the Beulah defense once again shut them down by stripping McPherson. Senior backup quarterback Dylan Coleman recovered it.
When the next drive was capped off by Moreland’s third score of the game, the officials made it a running clock.
The next two possessions took a total of five plays and both ended in touchdowns by sophomore running back Sondrekus Cooper. These scores made it 56-6.
The win by Beulah snapped a five-game losing streak and improved them to 3-3 at home on the year.
“These guys have been working hard for so long, Johnson said.” We’ve had some ups and some downs. I’m just proud to coach them.”
Johnson said they wanted to take care of their seniors.It may have been a junior who carried the offense, but what better way to end the season than with a victory?
“I’m proud to send them out after a winning game,” Johnson said
Beulah 56, McKenzie 6
BHS — 6 22 13 15 — 56
MHS — 0 6 0 0 — 6
BHS — Person 34-yard run (XP no good), 8:02
DHS — Wilkerson 75-yard reception from Smith (XP good), 4:01
MHS — Cook 49-yard punt return (XP no good), 9:59
BHS — Moreland 49-yard run (2-point try good), 8:54
BHS — Johnson 3-yard reception from Abney (XP good), 4:01
BHS — Moreland 28-yard run (XP good), 1:14
BHS — Johnson 22-yard reception from Abney (XP no good), 7:58
BHS — Moreland 7-yard run (XP good), :20.6
BHS — Cooper 36-yard run (XP good), 11:44
BHS — Safety, 7:14
BHS — Cooper 22-yard run (XP no good), 3:13