By Morgan Bryce
An inability to stop the run on defense and a rib injury to star running back La’damian Webb cost Beauregard in its season opener at home Friday night, as the Hornets fell to Greenville 34-31.
The loss, the Hornet’s first since Oct. 7 against region rival Central of Clay County, breaks an eight-game win streak and a perfect regular-season home record since November 2012.
BHS head football coach Rob Carter said he has a litany of issues for his team to address as they head into a bye week.
“We played a heck of a team, and there’s no doubt that Greenville has gotten a lot better from last year. Unfortunately, we lost La’damian a little early and he kinda limped through it … I think that would’ve affected us, and special teams had a breakdown or two that really gave them good field position and a touchdown,” Carter said. “Hats off to Greenville, they’re a good football team.”
Greenville’s 1-2 punch in the backfield of quarterback Javion Posey and running back Arrick Bogan gashed the Hornets for a combined 307 rushing yards, and they would set the tone on their opening possession.
A quick three-and-out to start the game by Greenville’s defense gave Posey and his offense prime field position. Despite inconsistent snaps from center, Posey utilized his blazing speed and agility to march the Tigers down the field, finishing the drive with a 6-yard quarterback keeper and completed screen pass for a two-point conversion.
La’damian Webb and the Hornet offense quickly answered, with Webb garnering most of the carries on their second drive, capping it off with a 12-yard scamper for a score.
The Hornets briefly took the lead in the second quarter, as Webb’s senior backup Jacob Callaway bulled his way into the endzone from three yards out and gave his team a 13-8 lead. On that drive, however, Webb took a hard hit, coming away with a minor rib injury which would sideline him until late in the third quarter.
Callaway, who finished the game with 17 carries for 64 yards and three TDs, put the team on his back in the second half, playing offense and defense in helping the Hornets keep pace with Greenville.
“They were just rushing outside, so I just cut it up the middle on them,” Callaway said of his rushing performance. “It felt good. I’ve been waiting on my moment, so I just had to shine and take care of business.”
Heading into the fourth quarter, the reigning 5A state champion Hornets trailed 28-25.
After exchanging punts, Greenville staged a 17-play, 7-minute drive that ended with a 5-yard TD run by Posey, his third score of the night.
Leading 34-25, the score seemingly cemented the Tiger victory. But the Hornets were not finished.
A lightning-fast drive by the Hornets cut the Tiger lead to three, as Beauregard quarterback Jaichis Holmes threw a 17-yard dart to Ja’Carious McKissic, one of his two impact plays in the game.
With only 15 seconds on the clock, Carter sent his hands unit on the field to attempt an onside kick, and give his team one more shot at victory. The ball bounced perfectly into the hands of an aware Hornets player, and gave them excellent field position at their own 43-yard line.
Two wobbly, sideline-bound passes sealed the Hornet’s loss, and the Tiger’s sideline and bleachers erupted into a chaotic jubilee over their upset win.
Holmes said after the game that he and his team needs to find their identity before their next game at Sylacauga.
“We started off very slow, we have got to start knowing our roles on the field, whatever position we play, and we’ve just got to come together and play football like we know how to do,” Holmes said.
The Hornets will travel to Sylacauga Sept. 15 for their next game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.