Beaufort High got the job done on the ground and put together a dominant defensive effort to open the season with a 28-8 home win over Richmond Hill on Friday.
Amariee Morris rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns, Tyler Haley added a rushing touchdown, and Zack Talbert’s strip and 54-yard fumble return for a score capped off an outstanding performance from the two-time defending Region 7-4A champion Eagles.
The Wildcats weren’t at full strength for the border battle, as several key players did not suit up due to COVID-19 protocols, including quarterback Ty Goldrick. The short-handed offense had little success against a strong defensive front for Beaufort led by Eamon Smalls and Alvin Wilson, who controlled the line of scrimmage.
Haley capped off the game’s first scoring drive with a 1-yard plunge for the only scoring of the first quarter, but Morris got rolling in the second. The speedy senior bounced around the left side and went 21 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0, and he added a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 21-6 in the third quarter.
Beaufort’s defense pitched a shutout — the Wildcats’ only scoring came on a kickoff return touchdown and a safety after pinning the Eagles at the 1 — and Talbert provided the punctuation for an impressive outing, stripping the ball and going 54 yards for a score to thwart a promising drive that could have gotten the Wildcats back in it and sealing the win.
Beaufort (1-0) takes on another Georgia foe Friday, traveling to Effingham County.