Falcons fall to Cougars
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 18, 2006
PINETOPS – In order for the Bertie Falcons to beat the number one seeded Cougars of SouthWest Edgecombe, they would need a superlative effort from all of their players.
Unfortunately for the Falcons they would be forced to play the majority of last night’s (Friday) second round NCHSAA Class 3-A state playoff game without two key players.
Bertie sophomore Travis Bond was not in uniform on Friday and the Falcons lost another key two-way player before they ever started the second half.
Still, the Flacons managed to make it a game until late in the final period.
The Cougars struck first, marching 64 yards on their opening drive capped off by a touchdown from SWE running back James Jenkins.
Bertie was forced to punt on their next possession and the Cougars promptly marched downfield and were poised to score again when Bertie defender Darrius Wesson scooped up a fumble at the Falcons three yard line and returned it 97 yards to pay dirt.
The two point conversion gave the Falcons an 8-6 lead.
SouthWest Edgecombe quarterback Greg Horne scored on their next possession and the Cougars converted the two-point attempt to take a 14-8 lead after one quarter.
A five yard TD run by Bertie quarterback Desmond Williams four minutes into the second period tied the game at 14-14.
With 5:22 left in the half, Wesson injured his knee and was forced to leave the game on a stretcher, further depleting the Falcon secondary and receiving corp.
Missing two key components of their offense, Falcons signal caller Williams again showed why he is so valuable to his team, scrambling to find room to complete a 17 yard pass to Falcons receiver Ryan White. Two plays later, Williams called his own number and scored his second TD of the game. The Falcons missed the conversion try and led 20-14 with 1:48 remaining in the half..
Two long runs by Jenkins put the Cougars into Falcon territory and, with 13 seconds remaining in the half, a hail mary pass from Horne was tipped by a Bertie defender and caught at the three yard line by Linwan Euwell. That set-up a four-yard scamper by Horne to tie the game at 20-20 at halftime.
Bertie’s opening drive was going well until a Williams’ deflected pass attempt was ruled a fumble. The Falcons recovered the fumble, but lost 30 yards on the play.
Bertie punted two plays later and it took SW Edgecombe only seven plays to score again as Cougar running back Jesse Joyner scored on an eight yard run with 5:29 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point gave SW Edgecombe a 27-20 advantage.
Bertie’s Khirye Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by SW Edgecombe. However, the Falcons prevented their hosts from converting a fourth and 13, stopping Horne one yard short of the first down.
The Falcons had possession of the ball at the close of the third quarter, trailing by seven 27-20.
Consecutive possessions by both teams resulted in punts and the Falcons took possession with 10 minutes left in the contest looking for a tie.
An interception by Cougar defensive back Demetius Randolph stalled the Falcons drive and SW Edgecombe took possession with eight minutes remaining in the game with the Falcons needing another defensive stop to make another run at tying the game.
Unfortunately for Bertie head coach Tony Hoggard, his defense could not stop the Cougars from driving down field capped off by a strong 13 yard touchdown run from Jenkins with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Williams threw another pick on Bertie’s next possession and a last gasp effort by the Falcons was stopped on a failed fourth down conversion at the Cougar 12 yard line, effectively ended any hopes of a Bertie comeback.
Score by Quarters
SWE n Jenkins, 15 yard run (1st)
Wesson, 97 yard fumble return (1st)
SWE n Horne, 5 yard run (1st)
BHS n Williams, 5 yard run (2nd)
BHS n Williams, 4 yard run (1:48 2nd)
SWE n Horne, 4 yard run (0:00 3nd)
SWE n Jenkins, 13 yard run