The Beaufort High Eagles couldn’t wait to be back on their home field Friday night. It took just one snap of the ball for the packed crowd to erupt.
Powered by their home fans, the Eagles jumped on top early with three first-quarter touchdowns to open their home schedule with a 24-7 victory over a flu-depleted Hilton Head High squad.
“Our guys executed really well early on,” Beaufort head coach Bryce Lybrand said. “I’m proud of them for coming out and doing the things we ask them to do.”
The Eagles didn’t waste any time, scoring on the first play from scrimmage thanks to a little trickery. Quarterback Samari Bonds took the snap and gave it to Kacy Fields before the ball reversed to electric senior Colton Phares, who turned on the jets — and electrified the crowd — on a 59-yard touchdown run.
“Everybody’s worried about Kacy Fields because he’s such a great player,” Lybrand said. We knew that if we got it going that way with him, they’d run with him. We were able to get Colton on the outside and he made a great play.”
Phares was right back at it on the defensive side, making a key tackle to help stymie Hilton Head High’s rushing attack. Beaufort got it right back and found the end zone again thanks to some brilliance from its sophomore quarterback. Bonds showed off some quickness with his legs, making defenders miss to reach the HHIHS 24-yard-line before he threw a quick slant to the senior wideout Fields, who sped to the goal line for a 14-0 lead.
The Beaufort defensive front continued to dominate in the trenches, as a host of Eagles stopped Owen Bayes behind the line of scrimmage to force a three-and-out. Then Caleb Ulmer showed off his moves on a breathtaking 23-yard run, taking the first snap of the ensuing Beaufort High drive, cutting to the left side of the field, and using his power and quickness to outrun his defenders to the pylon for a 21-0 advantage. Ulmer and a determined offensive line continued to dominate in the ground game, and Bonds converted a key third-down pass to tight end Michael Dennison that led to a 19-yard Beck Schwerin field goal.
Despite a second Phares touchdown was called back on an illegal block in the back penalty on a punt return, the Eagles were cruising into halftime on Lady’s Island with a comfortable lead, and with the Seahawks’ roster ravaged by flu this week, the teams agreed to 8-minute quarters in the second half if the point spread reached 21.
Hilton Head got its offense going in the abbreviated third quarter, scoring on an eight-play, 68-yard drive thanks to some strong running from Troy Timko and a beautifully executed 33-yard quarterback keeper from Bayes to cap it off. The Seahawks fought hard until the final snap with limited players available, but Beaufort High used its strong blocking and the speed of Fields to salt away the rest of the clock and finish off its first home win of the season.
Bonds put together a strong game under center, completing four of eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on four carries. Phares added a 59-yard scoring run while bringing his unbeatable hustle to the defensive side of the ball, and Fields added two receptions for 40 yards and a TD. Timko fought hard at running back, posting 31 yards on 15 carries and adding a reception for three yards against a strong Beaufort defense.
Beaufort High (1-1) will be home again on Friday to battle Goose Creek, while Hilton Head High (1-2) stays on the road to face Wilson.
By Wes Kerr / LowcoSports.com