The Liberty Christian Academy Bulldogs came into their Conference 3D football game Friday at Bassett High School off a dominating win against Magna Vista in Week 1, and they kept that momentum going with a 45-28 win over the Bengals.
But, even with the loss, the Bengals still took away positives in the way the team ran the ball the responded to adversity.
The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff, and the first drive resulted in an early 5-yard touchdown by Caleb Davidson. After a three-and-out by the Bengals, a 31-yard pass from Davis Lane to Dillon Stowers set up a 35-yard touchdown run for Jahvon Lewis.
The two early scores made it seem as if the game was going to turn bad quickly, but the Bengals responded with a seven minute drive capped off early in the second quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ja’Ricous Hairston.
The first three minutes of the second quarter, both offenses were on a roll. Immediately after the Hairston run-in, Lane connected with Stowers for a 31-yard touchdown.
Bassett running back Simeon Walker-Muse recorded his first touchdown of the night off of a 60-yard run with 9:23 left in the second quarter to cut into LCA’s lead, 21-14.
Towards the end of the second quarter, Bassett had a blocked punt recovered by the Bulldogs at the Bassett 45-yard-line, and LCA capitalized with Jaylin Belford scoring a 34-yard touchdown with 33.5 seconds left before halftime.
On the following kickoff, the Bulldogs recovered an onside kick at the Bengals 34, and Belford again played hero, getting his team within 10 yards of the endzone for what would eventually end in a field goal.
The Bulldogs went into halftime with a 31-14 lead.
The Bengals came out of the half with a quick Walker-Muse 9-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs led the Bengals by 10 with 11:21 to play in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of these guys for not giving up in the face of adversity. Our guys kept playing and battling,” said Bassett coach Brandon Johnson following the loss.
The Bengals backfield was able to seemingly score at will for the second straight week, with all four TDs Friday coming on the ground. Bassett scored six touchdowns, five on the ground, last week in a win at Franklin County.
“You know their hard work is paying off. They battled,” Johnson said of Walker-Muse and Hairston. “They are here everyday in the weight room and they are here as leaders on our team.”
A late third quarter turnover by the Bengals in their own territory gave the Bulldogs excellent field position. Davidson punched in a 1-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 38-21 with 2:05 left in the third.
The next drive the Bengals gambled on fake punt at midfield to try and keep their drive going, but it ended with an interception by LCA. Two plays later, Davidson punched in his third touchdown of the game on a 41-yard run.
The Bulldogs led the Bengals 45-21 with 11:15 left in the fourth quarter.
In the final minutes, though, the Bengals didn’t give up as they traveled down the field for most of the fourth quarter. The drive ended with a Hairston 6-yard touchdown on the ground.
“I am proud of the way my guys kept battling when their backs were against the wall,” Johnson said when asked about his team not giving up in the fourth quarter. “I’ve preached since Day 1 when I got to Bassett that we have to have a mentality that we can play with anybody.”
Bassett (1-1) will go on the road next week to Dan River (0-2) for a 7 p.m. contest.
Liberty Christian Academy 45, Bassett 28
LCA 14 17 7 7—45
BHS 0 14 7 7—28
PASSING: Davis Lane 5/11 119 yards 1 TD
RUSHING: Caleb Davidson 10 for 108 yards, 3 TD; Jahvon Lewis 15 for 110 yards, TD; Jaylin Belford 5 for 110 yards, TD; Davis Lane 4 for 19 yards
RECEIVING: Dillon Stowers 2 for 62 yards, TD; Jaylin Belford 3 for 59 yards; Camden Clinton 1 for -2 yards
PASSING: Ja’Ricous Hairston 2 for 9, 21 yards; Elijah Stokes 1 for 3, 16 yards, INT
RUSHING: Simeon Walker-Muse 22 for 168 yards, 2 TD; Ja’Ricous Hairston 13 for 73 yards, 2 TD; Tyheim Cline 5 for 11 yards; Elijah Stokes 1 for 5 yard: Jamari Johnson 1 for 4 yards; Branson Leduc-Mattox 2 for 33 yards; Elijah Stokes 1 for 0 yards