Beulah routs McKenzie 56-6 in season-finale

Published 11:16 pm Friday, November 1, 2019

BEULAH — Beulah head football coach Matt Johnson gathered his team around in a postgame huddle and told the Bobcats the 56-6 victory over McKenzie was for the seniors.

“I’m just proud of my seniors,” he said. “They’ve been through some ups and downs this year. We worked hard and focused on playing hard this week. Playing a good game, playing it the right way. We accomplished that tonight and I’m just so proud of them.”

Beulah struck first when senior running back Chris Person broke a 34-yard touchdown run on fourth down with 8:02 to go in the first quarter to give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead.

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McKenzie tied the game at the 9:59 mark as McKenzie sophomore Zanderian Cook scooped up a loose ball on a blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown. The visitor’s extra-point attempt was blocked.

Junior Quay Moreland broke a 49-yard touchdown run with 8:54 to go in the second quarter to put the Bobcats back on top 14-6.

A couple of minutes later, Beulah senior Quay Johnson caught a short touchdown reception to push the lead to two touchdowns. A long run from senior athlete Andruw Coxwell set up the shortfield situation for the Bobcats.

Moreland then scored his second touchdown of the night 1:14 to go in the first half. 

With 19 seconds until halftime, Beulah junior quarterback Kaleb Abney threw an interception that was returned to McKenzie’s red zone. The Bobcat defense stepped up again on the drive with senior defensive back Dylan Coleman grabbing an interception in the end zone with nine seconds remaining in the half.

“I’m proud that all of the seniors that are here stuck through,” Coleman said. “Even if they weren’t playing a lot, they still stuck through and hung through the season and when their time came, they shined. Quay [Johnson] has been making plays like that since 10th grade. Andruw is  like my brother, peanut butter and jelly. I’m proud of all of them, Chris Person, I can’t say enough about him … my  performance was alright. I’ve had a lot  of better games before. This one, in my opinion, was solid, but I’m pleased with the way we went out. I wouldn’t have  wanted to go out any other way.”

The second half was a continuation of Beulah’s senior night momentum after senior drum major Hannah Smith led the sound of the Bobcats’ marching band one final time during the intermission.

Senior wide receiver Billy Wayne Sykes caught a touchdown pass with 7:58 remaining in the third quarter. Coleman scooped up a fumble with 2:25 to go in the quarter. 

Moreland scored on a seven-yard touchdown with 20 seconds to go before the final period.

Sykes recovered the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff for Beulah. Sophomore Sondrekius Cooper scored on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 36-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 48-6.

Beulah then gave McKenzie a safety at 7:40 to hit the 50-point plateau. Cooper then closed the night on a running clock when he scored another touchdown with four minutes remaining.

The teams lined up to shake hands and Johnson thanked the seniors for helping him realize a dream this fall.

“I told them that this is my dream job,” Johnson, a first-year head coach, said. “When you can achieve a dream of yours, it’s really important and fulfilling. I told them they were a part of it. I’ll remember for the rest of my life, they were my first senior class. This was all for them.”

After the team broke from the postgame huddle, the seniors went to midfield to spend a few more moments on a place that many of them have adopted as a second home over the years.

“I’m sad that once I get off this field, it’s going to be the last time I get to strap up the pads and get on it again,” Coleman said. “Right there on the 50, I just prayed and thanked God for allowing me to play this game for four years and giving me the opportunities he gave me to start since 10th grade.

“I didn’t cry at all before the game,” Coleman said as tears rolled down the eye-black on his cheeks in 41-degree conditions after Friday’s game. “I told everybody I was going to leave it on the field. I hope that we left our legacy, and we went out as winners.”