Beulah’s season ends in playoff home-opening 7-0 loss
BEULAH — In what was supposed to be an historic night at Beulah High School Friday night fell just short as the Beulah Bobcats lost to Thomasville 7-0 in the first round of the Alabama Class 3A playoffs.
The playoff jitters were evident for Beulah seeking its first playoff win since 1995 and making its first playoff appearance since 2007. The Bobcats’ first drive ended in a bad punt setting up the Tigers with great field position. However, a bad shotgun snap lost Thomasville about 20 yards killing the drive.
The sloppy play would continue as Thomasville committed three personal foul penalties on Beulah’s next drive, but the Bobcats couldn’t capitalize, ending their drive with a punt.
Just as it looked as Thomasville would pull through with a 70-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jayla Tolar, a holding call negated the play. The Tigers once again moved the ball well with a mix of running and throwing by sophomore quarterback Averian Malone, but senior William Vick missed a 34-yard field goal.
After another three and out by Beulah, Thomasville finally scored one a 1-yard run by Tolar after a 40-yard catch by sophomore wideout Javien Johnson set up the score.
Beulah head coach Cody Flournoy said Thomasville’s front seven made the difference in the game.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “A lot of the credit to them, they are good a football team. The game played into our hands … a 7-0 loss, that’s a battle and that’s what it was all night.”
Flournoy referenced the big catch made by Johnson, calling that the play that made the difference in the game.
In the second half, Beulah’s offense just couldn’t get out of the blocks, however, the defense did everything it could to keep them in the game. Senior defensive back Quindarius Page intercepted Malone near the end of the three quarter and Isaiah Gildwell completed a strip sack recovered by junior Caden Dowbell but the Thomasville defense responded each time.
Thomasville head coach Jack Hankins said it seemed like his defense was on the field all night.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with those guys,” he said. “They were physical, and we did a good job on that side of the ball.”
Hankins said the win wasn’t pretty, but playoff football is all about surviving.
“It doesn’t matter how you get it but you just have to get the W,” he said. “We played a good football team tonight.”
Beluah had one final chance to get in the game with .51 seconds left but had to travel 99 yards to do with no timeouts. Senior quarterback Lonzie Portis drove his team to near midfield when a trick play was stopped and time ran out on the Bobcats’ season.
“I told the guys in the huddle that this is their legacy and we raised the bar around here,” Flournoy said. “The expectations will be high from now on and that’s what they did.”
Standout on defense for Beulah included linebacker Caden Dowdell with nine tackles, a sack, tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. Junior running back Chris Person led the team in rushing with 22 yards on 11 carries and Portis threw for 73 yards on 9-of-23 passing.