The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 11, 2013

Cougars drop finale, 31-20

By JOHN CARSON
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

SCOTLAND NECK — PINETOPS – Taking advantage of a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers, the Beddingfield Bruins scored the game's final 14 points Friday to knock off SouthWest Edgecombe, 31-20, in the regular-season finales for both.

With a playoff spot already secured, the Bruins (7-4, 4-1) kept the Cougars from clinching a spot outright. Finishing the season 5-6 and 2-3 in conference play, SWE had to wait until Saturday to find out if it was in the postseason as a wild card.

"We fought. We fought hard," SouthWest coach Jonathan Cobb said. "We didn't leave anything out there. Things just didn't go our way. The turnovers killed us."

After seeing the Bruins take a 17-13 halftime lead on a 12-yard, Kavajae Ellis-to-Keshai Lindsey scoring pass 1.4 seconds before the break, the Cougars stopped Beddingfield on downs at the SW 20 to open the third quarter.

Nine consecutive runs later – including a 32 yarder on a counter by Devontrell Hyman that had yards added for a face mask call – Hyman went off left tackle from the 5 to cap the 10-play, 80-yard march.

Jarratt Mobley's PAT gave SWE its last lead at 20-17 with 3:40 to play in the third.

Getting another defensive stop on downs at their own 25, the Cougars gave it back three plays later on a Hyman fumble.

Connecting with Hakeem Speight for 28 yards to the SWE 1, Ellis snuck in on the next play to put the Bruins up for good, 24-20, with 9:31 left in the game.

After an exchange of punts, SWE quarterback Tyquavious Wooten had a second-and-10 pass picked off by Bruin LB Matt Webb and returned to the Cougar 22.

Three plays later, Ellis again snuck in from the 1 to provide the final margin with 2:18 remaining.

"Things were going pretty much how we wanted, then the fourth-quarter turnovers turned the tide," Cobb said. "You have to give them credit."

In a defensively dominated game, neither team saw much offensive success.

The Bruins finished with 272 total yards with only 119 coming on the ground. Lindsey finished with a game-high 49 yards on 11 carries

Ellis hit 9-of-16 passes for 153 yards and a TD, while adding 32 rushing yards and two scores.

For most of the night, the Cougars were stymied offensively – finishing with just 154 total yards (97 rushing, 57 passing).

With starter Marcus Williams sidelined much of the second half by an ankle injury, Hyman paced the ground game with 45 yards on eight carries and a TD.

Wooten also carried eight times, gaining 0 yards, and struggled through a 2-for-9 night passing that included a 62-yard, first-half TD toss to Williams and two interceptions.

"Our offensive plan was to pull some tricks, but things didn't work out," Cobb said. "We just needed to break the first level, but we couldn't do it enough.

"We had a complex defensive game plan for them, and we did well. They just made enough plays on offense to win. They took advantage of turnovers; we didn't; and that killed us."

Both teams scored on their opening possessions, but the Cougars trailed 7-6 after a two-point conversion run failed.

The Bruins took advantage of an interception and 44-yard return to take their first lead at 10-6 on a 34-yard, Wes Beamon field goal with 11:54 to go in the half.

The Cougars looked as if they would take a lead and momentum into intermission when Williams pulled in a third-and-11 pass short of the first-down marker, spun away from a tackle, cut back across the field and ran away from defenders to make it 13-10 with 1:48 to go in the second.

The Bruins answered with a 60-yard, five-play – the final four complete passes – drive to take a 17-13 lead at the 1.4-second mark.

Informed Saturday, they had earned a postseason ticket as a wild card, the Cougars will hit the road for Friday's first round to take on High Point Andrews.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.