Falcons roll past First Flight

Published 11:57 pm Friday, October 14, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie coach Greg Watford had a pretty good idea what his offense could do on Senior Night.

What may’ve been a welcome, pleasant surprise to him was the play of his defense.

The Falcons closed out their 2011 run at Roy Bond, Jr. Stadium Friday night with a 47-22 rout of Northeastern Coastal Conference foe, First Flight.  Holding the Nighthawks to just two first half first downs.

How potent was the offense?  How about 417 yards rushing at halftime and closing out the night on the turf with 483 yards out of 535 yards of total offense.

Jaquil Hafiz finished with 183 yards rushing, 143 in the first half, and a touchdown.  But the night belonged to senior quarterback Tykevis Bazemore who had two touchdowns rushing and passed for another.

Junior Malcolm Cherry had one rushing touchdown and a pair of “Cherry-Picker” interceptions.  Al-Ameen Sharif and Shykie Mitchell also scored for the Falcons who raised their record to 3-5-1 and picked up their first conference win.

And it was another senior, Devonta Speller with two quarterback sacks.

The defense stepped up and made some really big plays for us,” said Watford, “and Tykevis did a good job of running the option.  It started with a good week of practice.

“Maybe the big key tonight was our line,” he added.  “We’re starting to come off the ball a lot quicker and hit our stride and maybe for these final two games we can keep getting better.”

The Falcons scored on their second possession of the contest, driving 72 yards on five plays with Sharif getting the score by weaving his way thru the Nighthawk defense for the final 32 yards to paydirt and an 8-0 Bertie lead following the two-point conversion.

After a quick four-and-out by the Nighthawks it was the Falcons’ turn again and this time they didn’t waste any.

On the second play from scrimmage, Cherry took a pitch from Bazemore and his wheels did the rest as he juked and then outraced defenders 61 yards to the end zone and with another conversion it was 16-0 after one quarter of play.

On Bertie’s first possession of the second quarter there were more fireworks for the crowd.  Hafiz straight up the middle of the field into the end zone with the pigskin.  This time the Falcons passed for the extra point and upped the tally to 24-0.

On the next possession, First Flight finally crossed midfield, but not only did they come up empty, they coughed up the ball and Lavonta Cofield claimed it to set up Bertie’s next score, driving 62 yards in five plays with Bazemore calling his own number from five yards out .

Cherry ran in the conversion to make it 32-0.

From there both teams exchanged a pair of turnovers but First Flight was able to capitalize off Bertie’s last miscue and finally find the end zone to get the goose-egg off the scoreboard and make it, 32-6.

But there was still time left on the clock and Bertie used every tick of it to their advantage.  Striking for a quick score before the half as Bazemore completed his only touchdown strike of the night in a 34-yard scoring pass to Mitchell that would move it to 40-6 at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter Bertie got their final score of the night when Bazemore waltzed in from two yards out to open the fourth.

The series’ highlight was what appeared to be a “fumble-rooski”, but instead center Kemonti Francis picked up the errant ball off the turf and rumbled and stumbled to the two yard line for Bazemore to finish off the drive.

Bertie gave up two late touchdowns before finally running out the clock and toasting the victory before their gracious fans.  The Falcons now have a bye week before closing out the regular season at Hertford County on the 28.