Monday, September 10, 2012
They exchanged kickoff returns for scores in the first 27 seconds then went back and forth struggling with a wet ball the rest of the way.
The last two mistakes by Berkeley enabled Cane Bay to wiggle off the hook for a 28-17 victory over the winless Stags on Friday night in a non-region game at CBHS. A pre-game downpour made the field a soggy mess.
Each team finished with four turnovers, including a muffed punt return by the 0-3 Stags with 5:41 left that opened the door for Cane Bay.
Ramonte Frazier’s 11-yard run around the left side eight plays later capped the ensuing 43-yard drive that put Cane Bay on top 21-17 with 1:41 left in the game. (See video of Frazier's touchdown run below story)
“I didn’t know that we could have stopped them at the end,” CBHS coach Russell Zehr said. “I guess if you make enough mistakes, you’re bound to get one of them back every once in a while.”
Cobras linebacker Matt Rudy then stepped in front of a Berkeley pass and returned it 55 yards for the clinching score with 30.2 seconds left. (See video of Rudy's interception and return below story)
The Cobras, who ended with just 162 yards of total offense, improved to 2-1 with the victory over their former coach. Zehr said his team was less motivated by the thought of Jeff Cruce being on the opposing sideline than they were last year when they won 19-15.
“It ain’t about me or coach Cruce,” Zehr said. “Our kids play hard. They play for Cane Bay and they want to win for Cane Bay. It doesn’t matter who the coach is on the other side of the field… I think that group last year had a little something to prove. This is a whole different group.”
Only an overtime loss to Fort Dorchester last week has kept the Cobras from being unbeaten in their first year in Class AAAA. Their other win was one over Summerville 10-3 in Week 1.
“Coming into this and not knowing that much about AAAA football and the level of competition, to be quite honest I didn’t expect this,” Zehr said of the start. “We worked for it and we hoped for it but it’s not exactly what we expected.
The good news to me is we’re still getting better.”
The Cobras played without three starters against the Stags.
One of those was starting quarterback Shon Swett, who runs the option better than backup Devin Kilgore. The Cobras were also missing left tackle Tyrell Davis and a defensive lineman.
“We have two different quarterbacks,” Zehr said. “Swett reads (the option) a little bit better and hits it quicker. Devin throws it better. I think if we had both of them we would have had more options and maybe opened things up a little bit more.”
After the kickoff returns by Berkeley’s Asanti Dantzler and Cane Bay’s Frazier left the score tied 7-7, the Stags’ Josh Sellers got loose for a 39-yard touchdown scamper to give Berkeley a 14-7 lead with 8:32 left in the first quarter.
Cane Bay evened the score 14-14 with 17 seconds left in the opening quarter on a 9-yard run by Alex King, who finished with 74 yards for the Cobras.
The Cobras coughed it up on their first two plays of the third quarter and Berkeley capitalized after the second fumble recovery.
The Stags moved into the red zone and came away with a 34-yard field goal by Vance Bailey to regain the lead, 17-14, with 8:11 remaining in the third quarter.
Berkeley was more effective on offense over the final two quarters but was unable to build on its advantage. Zeke Jenkins had 86 yards and Seller added 77 yards rushing for Berkeley.
The Stags were set to get the ball with under six minutes left after a defensive stop but a punt slipped through the return man’s hands and Cane Bay pounced on it.
It was all Cobras the rest of the way.
“We made a lot of fixable errors tonight and we had seven guys over there on the sidelines that didn’t dress, and three of them were starters,” Zehr said. “We have the opportunity to get better. Whether we will or not depends on those kids and if they’re willing to continue to work hard. I think this group wants to show people they can be successful.”
The Cobras travel to Beaufort next week. Zehr said he’s never been there but is familiar with the Eagles from his days as an assistant with Berkeley.
“When I was at Berkeley, they beat us in the semifinals and beat the mess out of us,” Zehr said. “They’ve got big younguns that can run. That’s what I remember.”
Berkeley hosts Manning on Friday.
B — Asanti Dantzler 82 kickoff return (Vance Bailey kick)
CB — Ramonte Frazier 87 kickoff return (George Anderson kick)
B — Joshua Sellers 36 run (Bailey kick)
CB — Alex King 9 run (Anderson kick)
B — Bailey 34 FG
CB — Frazier 11 run (Anderson kick)
CB — Matt Rudy 55 interception return (Anderson kick)
Rudy's Interception Return for the Clinching Score... Frazier's 11-yard touchdown run with 1:41 left...