By Heath Walley
After suffering a loss in its Region 5-2A opener to Taylorsville last week, the Bay Springs Bulldogs got back on track in a big way against region foe Clarkdale Friday night. Head coach Dan Brady’s squad pummeled the visiting Bulldogs 40-6 using primarily junior varsity players from the second quarter to the finish of the game.
“We challenged the kids this week not to let anybody hang around and to get after it. The guys came out and played well,” Brady said. “I like our demeanor as a team; we just went out and took care of business. It showed our maturity in a game we were supposed to win.”
The challenge worked well. Bay Springs scored on its first four possessions of the ballgame on only nine offensive plays to take a 26-0 cushion in the first quarter. Senior running back Anson Windham got things going for the Bulldogs with a 42-yard touchdown run. Following a Jacorrio Ducksworth extra point, Bay Springs led 7-0. After forcing a Clarkdale punt on its first possession, the Bulldogs went to the air, and quarterback Adrian Cole connected with Jatron Thigpen on a pretty pass down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown. Ducksworth hit his second PAT, and the Bulldogs led 14-0 with just over two minutes expired from the game clock. Clarkdale was forced to punt again, and Cole went back to the air, connecting with Jacorrio Ducksworth on a 34-yard pass to Clarkdales’ 3-yard line. A play later, Windham scored his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard rush to run the score to 20-0 with 6:41 left in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, Cole hit Ducksworth again, this time for a 35-yard touchdown strike to put Bay Springs ahead 26-0 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
A lot of Bay Springs youth began to see action in the second quarter. Following a Clarkdale fumble, Bay Springs freshman quarterback Tremayne Wheaton tossed the first touchdown of his varsity career to Demarion Jones on a six-yard pitch-and-catch to hand Bay Springs a 32-0 lead. Later in the game, Bay Springs forced a safety for two points, and then eighth-grader Tyrick Jones, who hit the century rushing mark during the game, found his way to the end zone on a 22-yard touchdown run to place Bay Springs’ final points on the scoreboard at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Clarkdale put up its only points of the game with 34 seconds left in the contest.
Bay Springs forced 406 total yards against Clarkdale. Cole was 4-of-5 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Wheaton was 5-of-5 for 49 yards and a touchdown. Tyrick Jones led the Bay Springs rushing group with 100 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Anson Windham ran twice for 45 yards and a touchdown. Jamarius Hosey rushed twice for 29 yards, and Drequan Myers had 18 yards on two carries. Ducksworth led all receivers with 66 yards on two receptions. Thigpen had a catch for 63 yards and a touchdown, and Hosea Singleton pulled in 2 passes for 23 yards.
Bay Springs was defensively led by Dominik Myers (4 tackles), Cornelius Campbell (3 tackles), Jakharus Page (3 tackles), Nick Agee (3 tackles), and Demetrius Roberts (3 tackles).
The Bulldogs (5-1, 1-1) will travel to Newton to take on the Tigers (1-6) in a Thursday night rivalry contest. Newton fell to Philadelphia 40-8 Friday night.
Brady made mention that Newton is Bay Springs’ biggest rival and that his team has to be up to the challenge in the non-region 2A bout.
“Newton is Bay Springs’ biggest rival. A lot of people think it’s Heidelberg, but statistically, it’s Newton. Newton and Bay Springs have played more times than Heidelberg and Bay Springs. The rivalry is actually pretty close. We’ve been fortunate the past three years to win that rivalry, and we hope to stretch it to four,” he said. “They (Newton) are going to play hard. We are going to have to play hard and take care of business.”