Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Cane Bay coach Russell Zehr was concerned his team might lose focus on the two-plus hour bus ride to Beaufort on Friday.
Turned out, he was wrong.?Behind what Zehr called the Cobras’ best first half of the season, Cane Bay knocked off the Eagles 28-20 to improve to 3-1 on the season.
“We came out of the gate playing well for the first time,” said Zehr, whose team is probably the top surprise story of the season so far.
The Cobras are playing their first year in Class AAAA football and have already knocked off longtime classification powers Summerville and Beaufort among their three wins.
“Coach (Shane) Todd and the offensive staff are doing a great job on that side of the ball and the defense has fixed some things it was doing wrong,” said Zehr, whose team hosts Ashley Ridge this week.
The Foxes are only 1-3 after Friday’s 56-21 loss to Stratford but began the year inside the Class AAAA Top 10. They hammered Cane Bay 49-7 a year ago and that offense returns intact, led by running back Romelo Doctor.
“We certainly aren’t taking them lightly,” Zehr said. “Their record doesn’t look so good but that’s because they’ve played the three best teams in the Lowcountry: Goose Creek, Stratford and Wando … we couldn’t slow them down last year.”
The two schools, which opened up in 2008, have played six times, with Ashley Ridge leading the series 4-2. They split four regular-season meetings in 2008 and 2009 and Ashley Ridge won 14-0 in 2010 before last season’s blowout.
“They’ve had our number the last two years,” Zehr said.
On Friday, Cane Bay had Beaufort’s number from the outset.
Tracy Gilliard picked off a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown for Cane Bay’s lone score in the first quarter and then Davon Higgins scored on a 6-yard run less than a minute into the second quarter to give the Cobras a 14-0 lead.
Beaufort’s Jaclay Mixon, who finished with over 200 yards rushing, ripped off a 60-yard touchdown romp moments later to cut Cane Bay’s lead in half but the Cobras came right back to score again on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Devin Kilgore to David Welch.
Then Romante Frazier returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown as Cane Bay built a comfortable 28-10 lead. Kicker George Anderson made all four extra points for the Cobras.
Cane Bay finished with 334 total yards. Kilgore was 7 of 10 for 104 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions. Maurice Wesley was the top receiver, hauling in three passes for 70 yards.
Running backs Alex King, Frazier and Welch combined for 193 yards rushing. King led with 79 yards.
“Any win on the road is good,” Zehr said.