By Justin Jarrett
Tougher tests are ahead, but Beaufort High was all business in its Class 3A playoff opener Friday night, and the Eagles made quick work of Orangeburg-Wilkinson at home.
Samari Bonds passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another, Colton Phares had another monster game, and Kacy Fields rolled up 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns to complement a dominant defensive effort in a 52-0 rout of the Bruins.
Kicker Jack Troutman even got in on the action — he hasn’t had the opportunity to punt much during the Eagles’ nine-game win streak — booting a 38-yard field goal to open the scoring before the Eagles cracked the seal on the end zone.
It turned out those three points would have been enough for a workmanlike Beaufort defense to lock down a win. The Eagles racked up six tackles for loss and three sacks, with Quion Rivers leading the way with five tackles (one for loss) and a quarterback hurry. Phares and Jamar Knight each picked off passes.
Jack Sumner and Will Codding each had three tackles and a tackle for loss, and Codding, Zach Talbert, and Robbie Winburn each added a sack in what has become a trademark team effort for a deep unit.
The Bruins were determined to bottle up the dynamic Fields in the first half, so Bonds called his own number more often and made them pay. The sophomore rushed three times for 59 yards and completed 7 of 11 passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns in an efficient effort, hitting Phares for a pair of touchdowns and adding a scoring strike to McLeod Reichel. Phares finished with three catches for 78 yards and two scores, rushed twice for 34 yards, and recorded a tackle, a pass breakup, and a pick on defense.
Fields found more running room after Bonds loosened up the defense and was able to grind out 168 yards on 20 carries and reach the end zone twice more, giving the senior an incredible 1,560 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns this season — and he started the season at wide receiver. Fields is averaging 9.2 yards per carry and has averaged 209.6 rushing yards over the past seven games since becoming the Eagles’ primary ball carrier.
Beaufort (9-1) hosts Crestwood in a second-round matchup scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Justin Jarrett is the sports editor of The Island News and the founder of LowcoSports.com. He was the sports editor of the Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette for 6½ years. He has a passion for sports and community journalism and a questionable sense of humor.