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Hurd "held" to 270 yards, but Bucs hand Bears first loss
Sep 16, 2012 12:00 am
Hopkins gains 150 for Mt. Juliet in 27-20 setback
By JEFF NEAL
MT. JULIET — Mt Juliet running back Caleb Hopkins ran for over 150 yards but it was not enough as visiting Beech took the victory 27-20 Friday night.
Hopkins finished the game with 11 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown.
"Our defense played outstanding. Our defensive front and linebackers played well enough to win but we made too many mistakes offensively," Golden Bear coach Roger Perry said after the game.
The mistakes began with the first snap of the game. The Golden Bears got the opening kickoff and quarterback Nolan Chowbay went back to pass only to throw the ball to a Beech Buccaneer in the secondary giving the Bucs a golden opportunity early.
The Mt. Juliet defense stiffened, however, and on third and five the defensive line poured in and sacked Beech quarterback Lincoln Kenitzer.
This forced a field goal attempt of 31 yards by Christian Peck. He boomed it through and the score was 3-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Later in the first quarter, Beech took over at the Buccaneers' 16 and drove the ball inside the Mt Juliet 20. The scoring drive was nine plays and 65 yards, capped by a 36-yard field goal by Peck and the score was 6-0.
Early in the second quarter. Mt Juliet got on the board with a 9-yard run by Austin Chaplin. Chaplin finished the game with four carries for 56 yards and two scores. With the extra point from Ryan Jenkins, the Golden Bears had their
first lead of the game at 7-6.
After the kickoff, Beech took over at the Bucs' 20 and preceded to drive the ball down the field. The big play in the drive was a 44-yard run bv Jalen Hurd, the junior with nine major-college scholarship offers who finished the game with 36 carries for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
Parker Campbell capped the scoring drive with a 1-yard run.
Mt Juliet got one last crack and drove the ball into field-goal range.
On a third-and-two play, Chowbay went for the end zone, only to find another Beech Buccaneer, this time Alec Meadows in the end zone for the touchback.
In the second half, Mt Juliet took its opening possession and scored in two plays as Hopkins weaved his way through the Beech defense for a 66-yard run to give the Golden Bears the lead again 13-12.
Beech responded with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that lasted over nine minutes. The key play was a conversion on third and 20 putting the ball inside the 15-yard line.
Hurd scored on the next play, an 11-yard run. A two-point pass from Knetizer to Demetris Watson gave the Bucs the lead at 20-13.
It took the Golden Bears five minutes to answer, but they did on an 11-play, 91-yard drive that was capped by another run by Chaplin, this one of 8 yards. With the extra point, the game was tied at 20-20 with 6:22 left on the clock.
The Golden Bears attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by Beech at the Golden Bear 39-yard line.
Hurd did the work on the drive. Beech committed two penalties but it did not matter as Hurd took the ball in from 6 yards out.
"It did not seem like he had that many yards." Beech coach Anthony Crabtree said after the game. "We just told him to keep plugging and plugging and eventually we will get into the end zone,"
Mt Juliet's final possession ended when, on a fourth-and-three play, Hopkins took the handoff but slipped to the turf, giving the ball to Beech where the Bucs ran out the clock and won the ballgame.
"He has good size and speed and is only 16-years old," Kenitzer said of his heralded teammate Hurd who is closing in on 1,500 yards at the season's midway point. "Anytime you have great players it makes everyone else better."
"We need to stay focused, practice hard and hopefully we can get an undefeated season," Hurd said.
Mt Juliet (4-1) (2-1) will be off next week before a trip to Gallatin on Sept. 28. Beech moved to (5-0) (3-0) with the win and are on the top of District 9-AAA, tied with fellow unbeaten Wilson Central.