BLACKSHEAR — The rains held off at the Bear Den on Friday night.
But the deluge came courtesy of the Pierce County offense.
The Bears scored on every possession and rolled to a convincing 47-6 win over Liberty County. The loss dropped the Panthers to 2-1 on the season and the Bears, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AA, improved to 3-0.
The Bears ran for 450 yards and held Liberty’s offense to 208 yards and six first downs.
Jimarion Guyton ran for three touchdowns, and D.J. Bell ran for two and threw for another for the Bears. The Bears rotated Bell, Guyton and Jaquez White as quarterback in a wildcat formation for nearly every play except for one.
The Panthers struck for their lone score when Carlos Singleton found an open James Summersett over the middle, and Summersett raced away from the Pierce defense for a 68-yard touchdown with 1:30 to go in the first half.
The Bears, however, extended their lead to 31-7 in the half’s waning moments, setting up Jonah Allen’s 48-yard field goal with just 10.6 seconds left.
Pierce County’s final two points came on the game’s final play, a bad punt snap that sailed past Singleton and out of the end zone for a safety.
Bell’s 7-yard pass to White capped a 10-play, 87-yard opening drive for the Bears. They needed just three plays to cover 63 yards on their next possession, with Guyton’s 34-yard dash concluding it.
Singleton’s 69-yard punt pinned the Bears at their own 9, but they responded with a 12-play march, taking 5:15 off the clock as Bell scored from 8 yards out. Bell’s 1-yard run with 2:20 left in the first half staked the Bears to a 28-0 advantage.
The Panthers responded with their only scoring drive of the game, but taking over with 1:30 to go, the Bears had enough time to get into position for Allen field goal.
Guyton found a crease on Panthers’ defense right side and bolted 31 yards for a score on the Bears’ opening second half possession. With a running clock in effect, he capped an 11-play drive with a 3-yard run on Pierce County’s final drive.
Bell ran 20 times for 179 yards, and Guyton had 197 yards on 17 carries. Of the Bears’ 48 rushing attempts, only five went for no gain or a loss of yardage.
The Bears held the Panthers to 31 yards rushing on 18 attempts. Singleton was 9 of 20 passing for 177 yards.
Pierce outgained Liberty 293-156 in the first half and chalked up 16 first downs.
The Panthers will host Calvary Day in Liberty’s home and Region 3-AAA opener September 16. The Cavaliers are ranked No. 4 in the state in Class AAA. The Cavaliers (2-0) are coming off an open week following a 28-21 win over Eagles Landing Christian.