Saints Dominate Brighton on Senior Night!
It was an emotional night at Briarcrest's Clayton Field for the twenty-one senior football players as they took the field for one last regular season home game. The senior Saints football players as well as the senior cheerleaders, band members and cross country, volleyball, golf and girls' soccer athletes were honored with a pre-game ceremony. The football players enjoyed the events, but their focus ultimately lied on securing one more home win.
The Brighton defense forced the Saints defense into a third down and fifteen on their first drive of the game, but Ben Ellis found DJ Robinson for a twenty-five yard reception to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Hunter Hill caught a thirty-five yard pass, setting the Saints up inside the Brighton twenty yard line. Ben Ellis converted a fourth down and four with a strike to DJ Robinson, and Robby Arthur ran the ball into the end zone two plays later.
The Saints defense pressured the Cardinals inexperienced offensive line, forcing several bad snaps that resulted in a punt on fourth down and thirty-one. The Briarcrest offense couldn’t find the end zone and had to punt. The Saints defense stepped up again, however, as senior Scottie Dill recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to put the Saints up 14-0.
An interception that was returned for a touchdown, but later Ellis threw a fifty-four yard touchdown strike to fellow senior Ryan Avant. The snap was bobbled on the extra point attempt, but Ellis pulled off a Houdini-esque maneuver to score an inadvertent tow-point conversion, making the score 22-7.
Junior Carter Oliver snuffed out a Brighton pass play on fourth down, resulting in a punt. Hunter Hill hauled in another impressive reception for forty-three yards, setting up another touchdown run by senior Robby Arthur to extend the BCHS lead to 28-7. Another Saints senior stepped up to make a play, as Tyler Shamblin intercepted Cardinals quarterback Austin Kelly. Ben Ellis lobbed a thirty-yard touchdown to senior Cole Miller on the proceeding play, in keeping with the theme of seniors stepping up on Senior Night. The Saints took a commanding 35-7 lead into halftime, but the fun wasn’t finished just yet.
Robby Arthur carried the rock eight times, hauled in one reception, and accounted for two fourth down conversions on the first drive of the third quarter, but the Saints could not score any points. As the third quarter came to a close, Hunter Hill picked off Austin Kelly’s pass, all but securing a Saints victory. Backup Trey Harrington led the Saints offense down the field in methodical, capped by a Robby Arthur touchdown run. Malik Matthews reached the end zone for Brighton’s first offensive points of the day, making the score 42-13. The Saints ran out the remaining time on the clock and secured the Saints’ sixth win of the year.
In his last regular season contest at Clayton Field, Senior Ben Ellis completed fifteen passes for 258 yards and found the end zone twice. Another senior, Robby Arthur carried the ball twenty-four times for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Hunter Hill provided a spark for the Saints offense with four catches for 114 yards, and senior Ryan Avant contributed ninety-one yards and caught one touchdown. DJ Robinson accounted for forty-two receiving yards, and senior Cole MIller tallied thirty-two yards and a touchdown through the air. The Saints tallied 430 yards of total offense in this dominant performance. The offensive line was on fire as they dominated the field lead by seniors Heath Rooks and Jude Hydrick.
Senior Tyler Shamblin and his counterpart Hunter Hill each picked off a Cardinals pass in the victory. Senior Carter Oliver led BCHS with five tackles, and his senior teammates Tyler Shamblin, Nick Pope, and Justin Hall recorded three tackles each. Seniors Scottie Dill, Jackson Tupman, and freshman Christian Satterfield tallied 2.5 tackles apiece. Fifteen players recorded a tackle in the game, as an all-around effort by the Saints defense shut down the Cardinals.
After Friday’s commanding victory, the Saints (6-3) now focus their attention on a pivotal match-up with rival MUS. The Saints seniors are eager to get one last crack at the Owls, and every BCHS player understands the magnitude of this game: The winner has a week off during the first round of the playoffs and hosts a second-round game, while the loser plays at home in the first round.