By Rick Lanier
For the Opelika Observer
The Beauregard Hornets (2-3/1-2) were on the road Friday night for a regional showdown against the Volunteers (5-0/3-0) from Central Clay County who proved a little too much for Beauregard who was shutout 35-0.
Beauregard’s loss was never a matter of a lack of effort, hardly ever is; the Hornets played hard, but a lack of execution on both sides of the ball overshadowed the Hornet’s efforts. Beauregard simply missed far too many tackles, committed far too many penalties (again) and made far too many “young” mistakes to realistically expect to win against a quality Volunteer team.
To make matters potentially much worse, freshman Beauregard quarterback Cayden Adkins was injured on a QB keeper early in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Head coach Justin Jones utilized sophomore Trent Moulton and senior Brayden Blackmon for the remainder of the game. At this time, the Observer has no further details surrounding Adkins’ injury.
Offensively, the Hornets were only able to generate 126 total yards on 42 plays. There were some good runs and passes, especially in the very effective screen game which led to a couple of good offensive series. There were a couple of really good drives which produced legitimate scoring opportunities, but the self-inflicted mistakes prevented Beauregard from establishing any offensive continuity on the night.
Unfortunately, things did not get much better on the defensive side of the ball either. The Hornet’s young 3-3 scheme, matched against a seasoned Volunteer front, surrendered 341 rushing and 119 passing yards on the night. Missed tackles and assignments, coupled with untimely penalties, hampered the defensive efforts repeatedly, wearing the Hornets down and putting the game out of reach.
All was not lost on the night, however. The Hornet special teams managed to shine most of the game. Anchored by kicker Zander Baird, the members of the Hornet special teams were highly effective in flipping the field when needed with booming kicks and great coverage.
In his short, but pointed post-game interview, Jones gave credit to Clay County, but had a few things to say about his Hornet team as well.
“They’re (Clay County) a good football team, but let’s be honest, we’ve got to get better; we have to finish drives, we have to make catches and we have to make tackles. We have to get them to a level of playing at a higher level, and we will.”
Beauregard is at home this week as they take on the Russell County Warriors (4-1/2-1) at Richard L. Brown Field Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at 7 p.m. CST. Beauregard High School is located at 7343 Alabama Highway 51 in Opelika.