Falcons win, but not Bertie
WINDSOR – The Falcons won a football game here last night (Friday).
Unfortunately for the home-standing Bertie Falcons, it wasn't them.
Blaine Kinsley's second field goal of the night proved as the game-winner as his chip shot from 19 yards out with 2:15 left in the contest lifted the visiting South Central High School Falcons to a 19-16 non-conference win over Bertie.
The loss was Bertie's fourth consecutive setback in as many starts.
However, to Bertie's credit, the home Falcons were so close to notching that elusive first win.
Twice in the fourth quarter, Bertie found themselves deep inside South Central territory, driving towards a scoreboard that told of a 16-16 stalemate. Twice, Bertie came-up with nothing to show for their efforts n losing a fumble at the visitors 22 yardline with 10:33 left and seeing another drive end on loss of downs at South Central's 18 yardline with 6:17 remaining on the clock.
Bertie still had a chance when, on South Central's ensuing possession, their defense forced the visitors into a 3rd-and-20 situation. But "lady luck" failed to smile on Bertie on this night when South Central's Tyrell Worthington busted up the middle for a 15-yard gainer on a draw play. Bertie was flagged 15 yards on the play for grabbing Worthington's face mask.
That kept South Central's drive alive. A 33-yard pass from Zack Bleber to Stefen Speight pushed the pigskin to Bertie's 21 yardline. Runs from Worthington and Bleber got the ball to the three where Bertie's defense stood their ground, forcing Kinsley to boot what proved as the game-winning field goal.
Sparked by a 42-yard return by Desmond Williams on the ensuing kickoff, Bertie mounted a last-gasp drive from near midfield, but the home Falcons could only reach the visitors 38 yardline and eventually lost possession on downs at the 44.
All of the scoring came in the second half as neither team could generate much offense over the opening 24 minutes of action (a combined 132 yards).
South Central was the first to strike, finding the endzone on the fourth snap of the second half thanks to Worthington's 40-yard scamper to paydirt. Kinsley tacked on the PAT for a 7-0 advantage for the visitors with the second half less than two minutes old.
Bertie answered almost immediately. On their second snap after the ensuing kickoff, Williams hit Patrick Williams on a quick slant and it was off to the races for the senior tight end as he outran the defense for a 65-yard touchdown. The Williams-to-Williams connection clicked again on the two-point conversion as Bertie grabbed an 8-6 lead at the 9:19 mark of the third quarter.
Back came South Central as they mounted a 10-play drive that ended with Kinsley's 33-yard field goal, putting the visiting Falcons back on top by a 10-8 count with 4:07 left in the third period.
Not to be outdone, Bertie answered with a six-play, 73-yard drive capped by William Howard finding a seam over the right side and darting 50 yards to paydirt. D. Williams ran in the conversion, handing the lead back to Bertie at 16-10 with 32 ticks left on the third quarter clock.
South Central tied the game on the first snap of the fourth quarter when Bleber spotted a wide-open Worthington behind the Bertie secondary and the two connected on a 60-yard TD strike.
P. Williams blocked Kinsley's PAT, leaving the two sets of Falcons locked in a 16-16 stalemate.
Bertie, who will travel to Northern Nash next week, complied 307 yards of total offense. D. Williams led that effort with 147 total yards (78 through the air and 69 rushing). Howard was Bertie's top rusher with 113 yards on 14 carries.
Worthington accounted for 184 of South Central's 288 total yards. He rushed 22 times for 124 yards and caught a 60-yard pass. Bleber finished his night's work 7-of-15 through the air for 131 yards.