Beulah impresses in jamboree

Published 2:20 am Friday, August 18, 2023

BEULAH — The Beulah Bobcats were most impressive in a Thursday evening jamboree before the home folks. They had their way with the Woodland Bobcats, jumping out to a 35-0 lead after just one quarter of play and winning the contest by a score of 55-16. In the first quarter alone they had 327 yards of total offense against an obviously outmatched opponent. If Thursday’s performance is any indication, Beulah looks to be a vastly improved team over what it has been in recent years. A 14-member senior class is no doubt a big factor in that.

“We put a lot of emphasis on our weight program in the off season, and it really showed up tonight,” Head Coach Matt Johnson said. “I think we are a bigger, stronger, faster team.”

Johnson credits strength coach Rusty Arnett for having done great work in developing players to be more physical. “Our team is more athletic than we have been in recent years,” Johnson said.

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It took the Bobcats only two plays to go 76 yards for a score the first time they had the ball. On the team’s first offensive play, sophomore running back Khamoni Lindsey burst off the right side of the line from the Beulah 26 and made it all the way to the Woodland 18 before being brought down. On the next play quarterback Damarion Foreman kept the ball on the left side of the line and ran 18 yards for the first score of the jamboree. Reed Maloof’s extra point made it 7-0 Beulah with 11:17 still showing in the first period.

After holding Woodland to a three-and-out on their first offensive series, Beulah put the ball in play on their 38 following a punt and quickly went 62 yards to make it 14-0. A pass from Foreman to M.J. Walton got the ball past midfield, and a run by Lindsey advanced the ball to the Woodland 32. From there, Foreman passed to Maloof for an apparent score, but the play was called back on a holding penalty.

That made it first-and-20 from the 42, and the Bobcats struck pay dirt on the very next play with Foreman getting loose off the left side of the line and outracing defenders to the south end zone. Maloof’s PAT was good, extending the Beulah lead to 14-0 at the 8:10 mark of the opening period.

On their next possession, Woodland moved the ball past midfield before having to give it up on a punt. The Bobcats put the ball in play on their 16 and quickly drove the ball 84 yards for their third TD of the quarter. The big play of the drive was a long run by R.J. Shealey, who ran off the right side of the line from the 23 to the Woodland one, breaking numerous tackles along the way. Foreman ran it in on the next play. Maloof’s third PAT made the mounting score 21-0 with 4:21 left in the quarter.

Shellshocked Woodland fumbled the ball away on their next possession, giving Beulah the ball on their 27. It took the black-and-gold Bobcats just one play to take a four-TD lead. Foreman passed to M.J. Walton to put more points on the board. Maloof’s fourth PAT made the score 28-0 with 4:02 left to play in the opening period.

Beulah’s defense frustrated Woodland’s next drive, forcing another punt. Beulah put the ball in play on their 25. A holding penalty on first down put it back to the 15, and on first and 20, Foreman fired a short pass to Wes Grant in the left flat. The swift receiver juked a defender and was quickly behind everyone, setting sail down the home sideline toward the end zone. The PAT made it 35-0 with still more time left to play in what had been a totally horrendous opening quarter for the visitors.

Beulah had close to 330 yards of total offense in that quarter, and the rout was on.

“Our guys have worked so hard going into this season,” Johnson said. “I am so pleased they showed what they are capable of. It’s important to have a good group of veteran players to build a team around. We have that this year. We have a lot of good senior leadership. Coach Stan Pepper is coaching our offensive line this year and is doing a great job. He’s my right-hand man on the field.”

Beulah will open the regular season next Friday at Abbeville. It will be a chance for the team to atone for a very disappointing loss they had last year. The big factor was turnovers. The Bobcats had seven of them. “They will be big and fast,” Johnson said. “We will have to be ready to have a chance to win. It’s an opportunity for us. Our goal this year is to flip the script and do things differently from the way they’ve been done in the past. Friday’s game will be a good test for us.”