Jimmy Williams, Senior Reporter

The Bearcats defeated Burke County Bears 44-0 on Friday, November 18 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Bearcats proved that they are peaking at the perfect time on a night that saw them play an energizing defense and a nimble offense. On a chilly night at Centennial Field, the Bearcats’ sixth consecutive victory came after their offense scored over 40 points for the sixth time this season and limited their opponents to 0 points for the second time.


Highlights of The Friday Night Game: Bo Smith, the quarterback, made a flawless read on a run-pass option on the team’s opening drive, keeping the ball and eluding the defense for a 39-yard touchdown that gave the Bearcats the early advantage. The Bearcats defense caused a turnover at the opening of the second quarter, and linebacker Dontavious Broadnax recovered it and returned it 33 yards into the end zone to give the Bearcats offense excellent field position. Running back Keenan Phillips increased the Bearcats’ advantage to two possessions after taking a carry for four yards into the end zone three plays later. After a further defensive stop, Bo Smith threw a 55-yard pass to Antavious Murphy for a touchdown, signaling the start of the Bearcats’ offensive. The Bearcats led 23-0 at the break after kicker Nicholas Tyre added a 25-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half. On the first play of the third quarter, running back Keenan Phillips continued where he left off from a week prior by sprinting down the field for a 70-yard touchdown. Later, Phillips scored twice more on the ground as the Bearcats offense rolled to a 44 point, 393 yard performance. The defensive line was effective in the second half, causing two sacks of Burke County quarterback Marshall Flowers by creating penetration and applying pressure.