By Zachary Pike
For the Opelika Observer
Beulah put up a gutsy performance against Pike County in a 33-6 loss Friday night.
A tough, grind-it-out first half kept Beulah in the game as they only trailed 12-6 at halftime. However, several key injuries, an inability to stop the Bulldogs strong running game and 4 costly turnovers ultimately prevented the Bobcats from upsetting Pike County.
The Bobcats started fast, as senior Tez Turner opened the game with an electrifying 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to give the Bobcats an early 6-0 lead.
Pike County quickly responded and tied the game up 6-6.
The Bobcats defense made things difficult for the powerful rushing attack of Pike County all night, especially in the first half.
An injury to the throwing arm of starting quarterback Nolan Earle resulted in an interception that swung the game’s momentum in Pike County’s favor. That momentum swing and continuing pile-up of injuries would plague Beulah the rest of the night.
“Nolan goes out and he is a big part of our offense. We are having to rely on a lot of 10th graders right now,” said Beulah head football coach Cody Flournoy. “It’s not a great situation, especially when playing a great football team like Pike County. Pike County is a traditional power and they are for a reason. My guys showed up … we had a shot to hang in there and play and I think that’s all we can ask of our guys right now.”
Earle’s injury, along with several others, proved to be too difficult to overcome in the second half. The Beulah offense only managed 58 yards of total offense, putting a lot of pressure on their defense.
Tez Turner had 10 tackles to lead the Bobcats, and Jackson Blanton added 8 tackles including a sack to anchor the defense. While Pike County totaled nearly 400 yards rushing, the depleted defense maintained a strong effort.
“The fans showed up, (and) we had a lot of energy. Coming off last week’s (loss), we were disappointed in just how our body language was and how we played,” Flournoy said. “We can hold our head up and say we fought. That’s what I challenged them on this week and we saw it this week. We can carry that into next week … we host B.B. Comer for homecoming next week and want to end the season on a strong note.”
This Friday, the 2-6 Bobcats will host the 1-7 B.B. Comer Tigers for homecoming and the final regional game of the season at Bobcat Stadium, which is located at 4848 Lee Road 270. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.