The Bradwell Tigers knew the Beach High Bulldogs had ace athletes, especially Simon Heyward. Anticipating the wildcat play and the versatility of the Dogs’ run/pass offense, Tiger coach Jim Walsh and his team turned the tables on the Savannah squad and did something unexpected. They passed the ball and spread the run to more than just Sheldon Barnes. The Tigers added another victory to stay in playoff contention, defeating the Bulldogs 41-14 at home Friday for homecoming.
More importantly, the Tiger defense put the brakes on Heyward, the Bulldogs’ top runner.
"Defensively, we played extremely well," Walsh said after the game. "We knew Beach had some athletes and some size up front … We knew we would have to bend a little and give a little as long as we didn’t give up the big play, and I think we accomplished that. We were able to contain those guys."
Receiving the ball at their own 19-yard line, the Tiger offense opened their first drives with a series of runs by quarterback Wilson Brown, full back Sheldon Barnes and running back Stanley White. Driving the length of the field, the Tigers scored on a 6-yard run by Barnes to go up 7-0 after David Miller kicked the extra point.In their first drive, the Bulldogs moved the ball effectively and passed to Heyward, who coughed up the ball into the hands of Tiger Dymire Jones. Jones ran the ball back to the 8-yard line. The Bulldogs grabbed Brown’s face mask on the next play, giving the Tigers the ball at the 4-yard line. They set up a quarterback keeper by Brown and scored. Miller’s extra point attempt fell short.
Beach answered with a 47-yard touchdown pass to make it a 13-7 game.
In the second quarter, the Tigers started at their own 20-yard line. Brown hit Saquan Anderson in stride to bring the ball to the 41-yard line. Brown handed the ball to Robert Augustin and Barnes, who made it to the Bulldogs’ 48-yard. Brown passed the ball to White for another Tiger first down. Bradwell got the ball inside the 9-yard line and Brown ran it for a touchdown. The Tigers gave the ball to Barnes for a 2-point conversion and closed the half up 21-7.
In the third quarter, the Tigers opened their series with a 47-yard run by Barnes for a touchdown. They scored again on an 8-yard run by Brown and, in the fourth, they tossed a 5-yard pass to White for a final touchdown.
The Bulldogs scored late in the fourth, but the Tigers had already established their lead. They held on for the 41-14 victory, which kept them in playoff contention.
The Tigers are tied at 3-2 with the Bulldogs for the Region 3-AAAAA No. 3 spot. The top two slots belong to Camden and Windsor Forest.
Walsh told his players they did a good job, but warned them the game against Johnson is still ahead.
"We are going to see the same things, guys," he said. "We are going to see a spread and chunk type team, so we have to get ready."
Johnson will visit Olvey Field next week. The game is another must-win for the Tigers if they want to stay eligible for the playoffs. The Atomsmashers are 2-3 in the region after losing to Windsor Forest on Friday.