By Eric Ellison
Beaufort Academy was unable to ride the momentum from last week’s big region win at Hilton Head Prep, falling 47-13 at Thomas Sumter.
The Eagles defense, which has been playing well of late, could not stop the Generals’ passing or rushing attack. TSA jumped out to a 21-0 lead with the help of Eagles turnovers, penalties, and a successful onside kick.
BA looked to be getting back in the game after Braydon Dineen connected with Walker Day for a 29-yard touchdown, then intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive giving his team the ball back with 30 seconds left in the half. Dineen almost put the Eagles on the board again before the break, but his pass fell incomplete.
BA missed the presence of Devonte Green and Cody Dalrymple on both sides of the ball. With that duo out, Dineen and Jaxen Porter had to carry the load in the backfield.
The Eagles were able to move the ball down the field throughout the game, but they could not stay on the field. The Generals offense held the ball for most of the game, wearing down an Eagles defense full of players playing both ways, including Dineen and Porter, and keeping the ball out of the hands of BA’s offense.
When they got touches, they were dangerous. Porter picked up 161 yards on 15 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown. Dineen went 2-for-7 in the air, connecting with Day and Jaxen Porter for 36 yards and a score.
Even though the BA defense had a rough night, there were some bright spots. Dineen led the team with seven tackles and added an interception. Jaxen Porter, Colten Collins, and Jackson Davis each followed up with six tackles.
“This one wasn’t on the kids, it’s on me” Eagles coach Mark Clifford said. “I didn’t have my guys prepared, mentally or physically, this loss is on me as their coach.”
BA is still in prime position to host a playoff game, even with this loss. The Eagles just need to get healthy.
Beaufort Academy (3-2, 2-0) has a region matchup Friday against Orangeburg Prep back home at Merritt Field.