By Morgan Bryce
Beauregard could not keep up with Benjamin Russell’s balanced offense Friday night, dropping a 35-20 road contest to the Wildcats.
Benjamin Russell opened the game’s scoring at the nine-minute mark with an 18-yard rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Landon Cotney.
Trailing 7-0, the Hornets and Wildcats exchanged the ball on punts and turnovers until the 6:10 mark of the second quarter, when Quatavious Seroyer hauled in a 3-yard pass to bring Beauregard within a point. The ensuing extra-point attempt was no good.
With fewer than two minutes until halftime, Cotney used his legs again to find the endzone, cashing in from 34 yards away to extend the Wildcat lead to seven.
Beauregard’s defense dominated most of the third quarter, causing and recovering a fumble as well as forcing multiple three-and-outs.
A long pass from Seroyer to wide receiver Isaiah McKissic late in the third quarter set up the Hornets with prime field position. At the 4:47 mark, Kyle Hugley found his way to the endzone, giving Beauregard its first lead of the night.
Seconds later, Cotney hit junior wide receiver Ryan Willis in stride for a 63-yard touchdown pass. With a 19-14 lead, the Wildcats successfully converted a two-point conversion to once again lead by seven.
The Hornets’ final score came on another short scoring from Hugley, with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Exploiting Beauregard’s depleted defense, Cotney delivered a 40-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas McGhee, extending their lead to eight points.
Trailing 28-20 most of the fourth quarter, Beauregard’s offense failed to capitalize, with Benjamin Russell dealing the final blow on a 37-yard Cotney touchdown pass to Xzavia Stowes, giving them a 35-20 lead and eventual victory.
Offensively, the Hornets struggled to run the ball without phenom running back La’damian Webb and bruiser backup Jacob Callaway, finishing with 36 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Seroyer, who also plays wide receiver, showed promise at quarterback, completing 15-of-23 passes for 222 yards. McKissic led all receivers with eight receptions for 109 yards.
Defensively, the Hornets yielded 383 yards of total offense, 154 through the air and 229 on the ground. Keedon Young slashed and dashed for 132 yards on 23 carries, and Willis posted a healthy 29.6 yards-per-catch average.
Falling to 0-1, Beauregard will return home to Hornet Stadium this Friday to host another 6A opponent in Eufaula, who was dominated 28-3 by Early County of Blakely, Georgia last Friday night.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Hornets open region play at Valley Sept. 7.
For more information, visit www.lee.k12.al.us/Domain/9. Because the new Beauregard High School facility is under construction, parking for home games will be available at Beauregard Elementary, located at 300 Lee Road 431.