After an impressive 4-0 start, Friday’s trip to The Citadel to face Oceanside Collegiate seemed like the biggest hurdle between Beaufort High and a perfect regular season. The Landsharks tripped up the Eagles, using six turnovers — including two they returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal a 31-17 win and hand Beaufort its first loss.
The Eagles came out flat on the road, and the defense that has dominated all season couldn’t get off the field early. Oceanside’s Rhett Powell converted on fourth-and-1 to extend an early drive, then punched it in himself for a 7-0 lead. The Landsharks doubled the margin when Colby Shirey tossed a TD pass to Cole Stickler, and Spencer McKinley’s 47-yard field goal put Beaufort in an early 17-0 hole.
But Beaufort came roaring back, scoring 17 straight points to pull even. Tyler Haley hit Zyrin Odom for an 18-yard TD, and Amariee Morris capped off a long drive with an 8-yard TD run before Joe Caprarola pounded a 35-yard field goal to pull the Eagles even.
That’s when the turnovers that have plagued the Eagles the past two weeks came home to roost.
Rico Harrell picked off Haley at the Beaufort 20 and walked into the end zone to put the Landsharks back on top, and — after a lengthy delay when the lights went out at Johnson-Hagood Stadium — another Haley heave ended up in OCA’s arms, and eventually in the end zone to seal it.
Beaufort (4-1) has next week off before opening region play at home against Hilton Head Island High on Oct. 1.
Beaufort’s Zyrin Odom takes a big hit from Oceanside Collegiate Academy’s Roan Shawver and loses the ball during their game Friday night in Mt. Pleasant. The Landsharks handed the visiting Eagles their first lost of the season, 31-17. Photo by Andrea Fabian.