Bucs earn shutout at Ben’s Ford

Published 10:59 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

Bowling Green’s Buccaneers used a dominating run game and stifling defense to win a 31-0 shutout at Ben’s Ford on Friday night.

Bowling Green led 6-0 after one quarter of play, 18-0 at halftime, and 24-0 after three quarters.

“We won with a shutout, so we played well on defense,” Bowling Green coach David Currier said. “But we’re still making too many mistakes on offense. There are some things that we have to clean up.”

The Buccaneers improved to 2-3 overall, and 2-1 in District 5AAA play. Ben’s Ford fell to 1-6 overall, and 0-2 in district.

“I was proud of my team, because they never quit,” Ben’s Ford coach Robert N. Cook said. “It was a tough game because of injuries and our numbers are low this year, but we had some eighth and ninth graders step up and play tonight and that was great to see.”

Bowling Green broke onto the scoreboard thanks to a defensive play. Drew Knight recovered an incomplete backwards pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed but the Buccaneers still led 6-0 with 4:02 left in the first quarter.

Bowling Green’s Cameron Cowart added a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:09 left in the second quarter. Again, the two-point conversion attempt failed.

The Buccaneers closed out their first-half scoring when quarterback Cameron Bell broke away for a 12-yard touchdown run with 2:33 left in the second quarter. After the missed two-point conversion, Bowling Green led 18-0.

Bowling Green ran 24 plays in the first half, but attempted just four passes.

“We usually like to have a little more balance on offense, but we’ll take the win tonight,” Currier said. “We were dropping too many balls on pass plays.”

The Buccaneers did succeed on their first pass of the second half, as Bell connected with Logan Leger for a 21-yard touchdown. Bowling Green missed the two-point conversion and led 24-0 with 8:33 left in the third quarter.

Bowling Green almost scored again on the last play of the third quarter, when Kenny Robertson returned an interception 60 yards to the endzone. But the play was nullified by a block-in-the-back penalty, and the Buccaneers eventually punted the ball away.

The Buccaneers’ defense set up the final score of the night, after they recovered another backwards pass at the Ben’s Ford 29. On the very next play, Bell kept it for a touchdown run, and Cowart added the extra point with 8:44 left in the game.

Ben’s Ford had its best chance of the evening to score in the fourth quarter, when Chad New recovered a fumble and returned it 35 yards to the Bowling Green 5 with 4:02 remaining. But the drive ended two plays later on an interception.

The Eagles had one more shot to score after Bowling Green turned the ball over on downs on its own 25 with less than a minute remaining. But Robertson intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the threat.

Cook praised the play of senior Cameron Byrd, who played wide receiver, quarterback and defense, and also helped the Eagles with some strong kickoff returns.

“Cameron will probably be our most valuable player at the end of the season,” Cook said. “He’s not only a gifted athlete, but also a wonderful young man.”

Ben’s Ford also got some strong running from junior lineman Tyrik Bickham, whose size made him hard to tackle. Bickham was injured early in the second quarter, and did not return to the game.

Ben’s Ford will be on the road next Friday at Oak Forest, while Bowling Green will host Silliman Academy.