By Eric Ellison
Beaufort Academy earned a huge opening win on the road at St John’s Christian on Friday, outlasting the Cavaliers in a wild 42-33 shootout in Moncks Corner.
The Eagles’ rushing attack lived up to the hype, as BA ran the ball 35 times for 219 yards with Devonte Green leading the charge with 143 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Braydon Dineen had a good day throwing the ball, connecting with Jaxen Porter on two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles’ defense made some big plays that helped propel BA to the win, including a career day from Ben Lubkin, who intercepted three passes and took two to the house for touchdowns. Dineen helped himself with an interception, as well, setting his offense up in the red zone to score, and Jackson Davis added a 45-yard scoop-and-score touchdown.
Davis also led the team with eight tackles, while Colton Collins and Dineen added six tackles each.
After giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game, BA rattled off 27 straight points that included two Green scores and two defensive scores. The Eagles were up 27-6 with 3:27 to go in the first half before giving up another score right before the end of the period to make it 27-13 at the break. The score stayed that way until a 22-yard touchdown pass from Dineen to Porter put the Eagles up 34-13 with around two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
One thing the Eagles struggled with was breakdowns in coverage. BA gave up an 18-0 run that pulled the Cavs within 34-31 with about six minutes left in the game. A fumbled kickoff plagued the Eagles’ next series with terrible field position, and a botched third-down snap went through the back of the end zone for a safety to bring the Cavs within 34-33.
All the momentum seemed to be in the home team’s corner, and it began to feel eerily similar to last year’s season-opening matchup, as the Eagles could not seem to catch a break in the final minutes and had let a huge lead slip away.
After an Eagles turnover at around the 2:30 mark in the game, the overall sense for BA was not positive. St John’s was in prime position to move down the field and score a game winner.
Lubkin had other plans.
His third pick of the game and his second pick-6 of the night put the Eagles up 40-33 before a 2-point conversion put the game out of reach.
Beaufort Academy (1-0) makes the trek to Savannah on Friday night to take on another SCISA 1A school in Bethesda Academy. BA upset the Blazers last year 36-28 at Merritt Field.