by RON WEATHERFORD
The ECI Bulldogs traveled to Pembroke Friday to take on Bryan Co. The Redskins dropped back down to single A in 2020 after being in AA for a few years. This was the first meeting between the two since 2008 when ECI and Bryan were in the same region.
The Bulldogs showed up in Pembroke missing 9 players who did not dress for the game. Freshman have had to step up the last couple games to play at key positions like linebacker and defensive back. Five were out on the defensive side and hope to return two of them back to the lineup next Friday for the final game of the season.
The Redskins were not very competitive in AA in recent years. That trend continues in A ball as the Bulldogs easily defeated Bryan Co. 47-12. The only Redskin scores came on a kickoff return and a touchdown with 27 seconds left in the game.
The Bulldogs used 9 different ball carriers to rush for 422 yards in the game with 6 players finding the endzone.
The Bulldogs first score was on a 13 yard run by Jacorey Snelling. Samuel McBride’s EP try was good and ECI led 7-0.
ECI put 14 more points on the board in the second quarter. The first on a two yard run by DJ Jones, set up by a Chase Whitehead to Bryce Kearson 64 yard pass and catch.
Natavus Robertson put the last touchdown on the board in the first half on a 8 yard run with the Bulldogs taking a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
ECI opened up the second half scoring in just 4 plays on a Jones 11 yard run to put the Bulldogs up 27-0 with 10:12 left in the third.
The Redskins got on the board on the ensuing kickoff on a 84 yard touchdown run. Two-point try was no good making the score 27-6.
The Bulldogs found the endzone three times in the fourth quarter. Cordarius Lee scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a ten yard run. Two freshmen ended the scoring for ECI on their next two possessions. KJ Carlyle scored from 7 yards out and Davon Edmond put 6 on the board on a 36 yard run.
Bryan added the last points of the game on a 10 yard run with 27 seconds left in the game to make the final score 47-12.
“I was proud of our kids and how they responded this week at practice and on a slick muddy field tonight,” commented coach Kearson after the game. “Their attitude has been great and although we are extremely beat-up and thin, they show up for work. We ran the ball effectively tonight and ran to the ball on defense like we are accustomed to seeing ECI do.”
Whitehead was 4-7 passing with Kearson catching all the balls for 107 yards.
The Bulldogs had 422 rushing yards with two players going over the century mark. DJ Jones led on the ground carrying the ball 13 times for 171 yards. Freshman Davon Edmond gained 110 yards on 8 carries with 7 other players adding to the yardage.
The Bulldogs host Metter in the final regular season game this Friday. The 9-0 Tigers are currently ranked number one in class A, sporting the number 1 defense allowing just 17 points this season.
The Bulldogs will need to beat the Tigers to keep their eighteenth consecutive playoff streak alive. Claxton will also have to beat Screven Co. Claxton has been the beneficiary of two forfeited region games this year due to covid protocols at Portal and Bryan Co.