Bartlett Yancey football fans will talk about Friday night’s contest against Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy for the next 20 years.
BY withheld two late drives from Winston-Salem, including a pass deflection in the end zone on the game’s final play, and held on for a thrilling 34-28 victory over the Phoenix.
Winston-Salem (5-1) got the ball on the BY 12-yard line with 0.6 seconds left in the game. Phoenix sophomore quarterback Timothy Davis dropped back and fired the potential game-winning pass into the left side of the end zone. However, junior defensive end Kyman Little-Tyler slapped away the pass, sealing the win and leading BY (7-0) to rush the field.
“Heart, it took heart,” said junior defensive back Quentin Barley, who recorded a pick-6 against Winston-Salem. “Endurance. Resilience. We just talked about that.”
The Bucs take no time off in practice, treating each session like a game, and BY carried those efforts into the game’s final seconds.
“It’s those long practices. Everything full out. Everything we have, we gave it and coach [Josh Brumfield] told us it’s going to pay off,” continued Barley. “Practice makes perfect. Perfect practices make you perfect.”
The Phoenix were determined to keep Bucs’ fans on the edge of their seats as the final few seconds slipped off the scoreboard. Winston-Salem, trailing 34-28, appeared to be on its way to retaking the lead after moving the ball deep into BY territory. However, the Bucs’ defense did what they’ve been doing all year, stopping the Phoenix on four straight downs, including a Davis sack on fourth down.
“Oh, man, I mean butterflies, butterflies,” Barley said. “I thought they were going to draw the flag on that last play and it surprised me. When you’re in a moment like that, all it is butterflies. You can’t help it. All you can do is keep going and going. It’s an adrenaline rush. That moment right there was scary.”
The stop sent a spirited BY squad, including former Bucs’ standout and Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Mic’hael Brooks, into a frenzy.
“It gives us motivation,” said senior running back/linebacker Jacob Scales. “We’ve got some haters. But we’ve got more supporters. It was crazy and gave you chills.”
“If it wasn’t for them yelling, I don’t know where we’d be tonight,” added Barley. “That yelling and supporting us is what we need. As young men like this at BY, we need that support.”
The Bucs entered the second half facing a 20-18 deficit. However, it didn’t take BY that long to flip the score line as Scales broke loose for a 22-yard rushing score and sophomore quarterback Brendan Nunnally converted the 2-point attempt that gave the Bucs a six-point edge with 10:41 in the period.
Winston-Salem fired right back, piecing together a three-play, 67-yard drive on its ensuing drive. The series was capped by a 67-yard touchdown reception by junior Tresean Stewart on a Davis pass.
The Bucs ended up punting on their following possession, giving the Phoenix a chance to take a two-possession lead. However, BY’s defense stood tall and forced a three-and-out. Junior defensive end/wideout Miles Jefferson blocked the punt and Barley scooped the ball on the one bounce and went 64 yards for a score. Slade converted the 2-point try, pushing the Bucs back in front, 34-28, with 6:39 left in the third.
A little controversy struck near the end of the period. Stewart stripped the ball and went 28 yards for a score that tied the game at 34-all. However, the score was called back after it was ruled forward motion had been established, negating the fumble.
Big plays were common as the two sides traded momentum throughout the game.
BY took its first lead of the game midway through the second quarter when Scales scooped up a botched punt and went 25 yards for a score that made it 12-6 with 10:34 left in the half. Barley’s 64-yard fumble return in the third gave the Bucs the lead for good. Jefferson chipped in with a sack of Davis in the second that resulted in Scales’ score on the botched punt.
Slade and Scales each led the Bucs with a pair of touchdowns, while Barley added BY’s fifth and final score.
BY’s defense forced three turnovers on the evening, marking the fourth time this season the Bucs have forced three-plus turnovers.