Bobcats off to best start since 2019

Published 11:52 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

The Bobcats are off to their best start since 2019 as Beulah defeated the Saks Wildcats 38-24 to begin region play. 

It was Beulah’s explosiveness on offense that led them to success. LJ Fitzpatrick, MJ Walton, Wes Grant and Ethyn Prestridgre all made big plays at wideout. 

“I said it at the beginning of the year, we’ve got some guys that can go,” Head Coach Matt Johnson. “We’ve just got to give them a chance. Last game, that was my fault. I didn’t do that.” 

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Johnson called out his offensive line going into the matchup. For the most part, they responded to the challenge. The offensive line was helped by Demarion Foreman’s ability to make plays outside of the pocket. 

Beulah started off the season 2-1 in 2019 — the last season the Bobcats made the playoffs. 

“We’ve got to improve on the offensive line,” Johnson said. “Demarion Foreman played a great game. We’ve just got to get him some more explosive plays.” 

Beulah started off the season 2-1 in 2019 — the last season the Bobcats made the playoffs. 

With a 2-1 start this season, everyone in the Beulah community is thinking about a return to the postseason. 

“I don’t want to say it’s surprising to me because these kids have worked so hard,” Johnson said. “It means a lot to have these guys work and be able to see the fruits of their labor. It’s just light years from where we were. That’s from our fans, our community, our administration. Our strength coach, Rusty Arnett, has done a great job in the weight room.” 

Beulah started off the game hot. On Saks’ first offensive drive, Tamarian Burgess forced a fumble that was recovered by Saks. It was a big stop, and Saks was forced to punt.

Both teams were forced to punt on their next drives, but Beulah finally broke through on their second drive.

Khamoni Lindsey opened the scoring with a 29-yard rushing touchdown to put the Bobcats on the board. The 2-point conversion was converted and Beulah led 8-0 with 5:13 left in the first.

Beulah recovered Saks’ fumble and started off their next drive on their own 46. Demarion Foreman capped off the 54-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to MJ Walton. The Bobcats failed on the 2-point conversion, but they took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter.

Saks’ next drive was unsuccessful and ended with a punt. Beulah’s pass rush had Saks problems early in the first half.

 Foreman connected with Wes Grant on a 70-yard touchdown pass, and the made extra point gave Beulah a 21-0 lead with 7:30 left in the second.Grant had more than 50 yards after the catch on the touchdown. 

Saks finally found the end zone as Saks completed a 4-yard touchdown pass with 12.8 left in the first half. A defensive back for Beulah attempted to jump the route, but he misjudged the ball. The Wildcats converted the 2-point conversion, and Beulah led 21-8 going into halftime.

The Bobcats’ pass rush was dominant in the first half, but Johnson still was not pleased with the late touchdown. 

“I thought we played great until about the last three minutes of the last drive,” Johnson said. “

On the first drive in the second half, Reed Maloof knocked through the 40-yard field goal to give Beulah a 24-8 lead with 8:25 left in the third. Our defensive back had his eyes in the backfield in man coverage, and that’s not good.” 

Johnson’s message to the team going into halftime was for the defense to be more aggressive and to stop catching instead of hitting. 

Both teams punted on their next drive, but Saks muffed Beulah’s punt to set the Bobcats up at the Wildcats’ 35. One play later, Foreman connected with MJ Walton for the 35-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave Beulah a 31-8 lead with 4:48 left in the third quarter. 

The Bobcats struck once more with Foreman’s nine-yard rushing touchdown. Foreman finished with three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. Beulah’s 2-point conversion attempt was successful, and they led 38-8 with 11:19 left in the fourth quarter. 

Saks continued fighting, and the Wildcats scored two touchdowns on drives of 77 and 85 yards. Ultimately, Beulah’s offense did enough as the Wildcats coasted to victory. 

Up next for Beulah is a region matchup against Walter Wellborn on the road.