Bryce Lybrand has continually called Kacy Fields one of the most underrated players in the state. There’s no doubting his skill anymore.
Fields went off for a whopping 341 rushing yards and five touchdowns on Friday, powering Beaufort High to a 55-23 win at home over Bluffton.
“He’s been awesome,” Lybrand said. “And he’ll be the first one to tell you that the offensive line did a great job tonight. He’s hard to tackle, and he’s just going to get better as the season goes on. He lets us kick it in another gear.”
Hayden Gregory’s Bobcats put up a strong fight on the road and established a strong opening drive with success in both the rushing and passing game with Roderick Buxton and Camauri Simmons, but a stout Eagle defense locked in to get the stop and hold the Bobcats off the board with a failed 37-yard field goal attempt.
Lybrand loved what he saw from Fields in the backfield at May River and decided to give his hard-working senior another heaping helping of carries. His speed was a factor from the start, picking up chunks of yardage early behind a terrific offensive line. Although the first drive stalled, Fields turned it up on the next series, darting into the red zone for a 42-yard gain before capping it off from the 4-yard-line.
The Bobcats responded with a 30-yard field goal thanks to a hookup with explosive senior wideout Jaylin Linder, but Beaufort’s Samari Bonds was ready to make a play of his own. The sophomore quarterback showed off his improved arm with a dazzling throw downfield, finding Colton Phares down the sideline for a 46-yard touchdown, and a 14-3 Eagle lead. Then it was Kacy time again. After another Bonds connection to Phares for 25 yards, Fields did the rest and scored from two yards out.
Bluffton’s run game was efficient on Friday night, and the Bobcats pulled off their best drive yet to end the first half. Buxton attacked some running lanes and used his power to move the chains before Eitan Golfphin made the most of his second carry of the day for an impressive 27-yard touchdown run, cutting Beaufort’s halftime lead to 21-10.
The Eagles went right back to their main man to start the second half, as Fields led a 10-play drive and found the end zone again for his third rushing score of the night. Bluffton’s gritty offense continued to help the Bobcats hang around, dialing up Linder on a strong throw from Max Vonhohenstraten for 60 yards and cutting the lead to two scores.
But the Eagle offense couldn’t be stopped, as a red-hot Bonds threw a fade into the arms of Phares for the duo’s second connection of the night in the end zone. Beaufort knew it had the chance to land the final punch, and everyone on the Eagle sideline knew who to turn to.
It was time for Kacy Fields’ encore.
In a span of just five minutes, the lightning-quick Fields struck twice more, scoring on two runs over 50 yards to bring the house down and put the game away.
It was the capper to a historic night for Fields, who dominated a strong Bobcat defense with 341 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries while also adding a 14-yard reception. Bonds put together his best game yet under center, completing 10 of 15 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 26 yards on three attempts. Phares led the way in the receiving game, catching five passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Vonhohenstraeten went 16-of-30 for 161 yards with a touchdown and interception, and Linder reeled in five catches for 102 yards and a score. Buxton impressed for the Bobcat rushing attack, recording 89 rushing yards on 20 carries while Golfphin had nine carries for 53 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Trey Hilaman connected with Jahiem Dobson for a 70-yard touchdown to cap the Bobcats’ scoring.
Beaufort High (4-1) begins Region 8-3A play with a home matchup against Philip Simmons, while Bluffton (2-3) travels to Hilton Head High for the Bridge Bowl in its first Region 7-4A clash. Both games are expected to be moved to Wednesday due to the impending threat of inclement weather from Tropical Storm Ian.
By Wes Kerr