By Morgan Bryce
While jogging onto the field after his squad’s thrilling 27-26 upset victory of Montgomery Academy Friday night, Beulah’s Cody Flournoy said he and the rest of the Bobcat faithful had just witnessed a coming together of their football team.
“We were all so excited. I’m so proud of these guys because I’ve been telling them what we could do,” Flournoy said. “I really believe in this group and you can tell they are really starting to believe in themselves too.”
The Eagles scored a late touchdown to cut the Bobcat lead to one. Following an offsides by Beulah, Montgomery Academy’s Gary Nelson chose to pursue a two-point conversion to win the game.
From one yard out, a run play by the Eagles was halted by Beulah defensive lineman Hunter Bryant, preserving the Bobcat’s lead and eventual victory.
Once again, the Bobcats relied on their potent rushing attack to move the football, churning out 303 total yards on 48 running plays. Do-it-all senior Caden Dowdell sliced through the Eagle defense for 144 yards and three touchdowns off 16 attempts. Quay Moreland and Chris Person combined to rush for another 16 carries and 107 yards.
Quarterback Lonzie Portis was effective, completing 13-of-17 passes for 86 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Defensively, the Bobcats were led by Dowdell, who finished with six tackles and a sack. Senior defensive Isaiah Glidewell notched five tackles and another sack, and junior defensive back William Sykes contributed with five tackles and an interception.
Though the Bobcats’ defense yielded 363 yards of total offense, including 243 through the air, Flournoy said he liked their opportunistic play and ability to play well in crucial situations.
“There were some mistakes for sure, but we played well enough to win. At the end when we needed them the most, they stepped and up did what they needed to do,” Flournoy said.
With their 3-0 record to start the 2018-19 schedule, the Bobcats match their total combined wins from last season.
Flournoy attributes the early success in his second season at Beulah to the existing players, staff and fan base who have bought into his philosophy for how the program should be run.
“My whole thing from day one has just been to do things right. And if you do things right, good things will happen to you,” Flournoy said. “We came in with a mindset of changing the culture and doing things right, talking with the kids and telling them to make the right decisions … we’re doing a lot of small things differently, but we’re doing them right. And I think that’s been working for us so far.”
Beulah’s homecoming game against Prattville Christian Academy will be held next Friday night at Bobcat Stadium, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
The Lions enter the contest 1-1, and are coming off a 28-7 loss to Pike Road School Friday night.
For more information, visit https://www.lee.k12.al.us/Domain/11. Beulah High School is located at 4848 Lee Road 270 in Valley.