Bartlett Yancey football turned the tides this season, shattering a slew of program single-season records and posting the best regular-season record in program history.
Unfortunately for BY, the wave hit its watermark Friday night in the opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs against Beddingfield.
The Buccaneers seized the momentum and lead early but couldn’t keep it moving as ninth-seeded Beddingfield rattled off 34 consecutive points in a 41-14 victory over No. 8 Bartlett Yancey.
BY (9-3) started out on the right foot, punching the ball loose from Beddingfield junior running back Raekwon Batts on the Bruins’ third play of the game. Senior corner Malik Brogdon jumped on the loose ball, giving the Bucs the ball at their own 47-yard line. Beddingfield (9-3) forced a three-and-out on BY’s following offensive possession. However, junior Ahmad Byrd recorded a sack on Beddingfield’s first play that resulted in a seven-yard loss and the Bruins never recovered, punting the ball.
Facing a third-and-seven on the Bucs’ following drive, BY drew up a sweep play to the right and sophomore Davon Lipscomb took the ball in from 32 yards out, giving his squad an early 6-0 lead.
The score woke up Beddingfield’s offense as the Bruins put together a five-play, 68-yard scoring drive capped off by Batts’ 9-yard run that made it a 7-6 game with 2:58 remaining.
BY once again had trouble moving the ball, punting it away, and senior Jalil Hutcherson punched the middle on his way to a 34-yard score, extending the Bruins’ lead to 14-6.
After a botched punt gave Beddingfield the ball at the Bucs’ 16-yard line, BY’s defense stepped up big, forcing its second of three fumbles that senior linebacker Jacob Scales scooped up.
However, the Bucs’ offense continued to struggle and Hutcherson scored his second touchdown of the evening on a run from 62 yards out, making it a 21-6 contest with just over a minute remaining in the period.
Senior Triston Winn recorded a heads up play midway through the period when he picked up a loose ball in the open field and made a nice in bringing the ball in.
Brogdon, Scales and Winn each pitched in with fumble recoveries. The Bucs forced a combined four turnovers with junior Shahiem Boyd recording an interception. It was the fifth time this season BY has forced at least four takeaways this season.
The Bucs’ offense never really got into rhythm against the Bruins despite the four turnovers their defense produced. Hutcherson’s 20-yard touchdown scamper, his third of the evening, pushed Beddingfield’s lead to 28-6 with 5:55 remaining in the third, but BY quickly showed the Bruins it still had fight.
Junior Michael Slade started the Bucs’ following drive with a 25-yard run that placed the ball at the BY 45-yard line. Two plays later, sophomore quarterback Brendan Nunnally and junior Luis Berlanga gave the Bucs a jump start when they teamed up for a 53-yard touchdown reception, pulling BY within 14 with 4:37 left in the third.
Hutcherson rushed for a game-high five touchdowns on runs of 9, 34, 62, 20 and 20 yards. Batts added a rushing score as well.
Lipscomb and Berlanga added both scores for the Bucs.
Lipscomb finished with a team-high 57 yards for BY, while Slade rushed for a team-best 97 yards. Nunnally threw for a game-high 137 yards and a score.