Beaufort High School coach Mark Clifford believes in his offensive system, no matter who is in the backfield.
JaClay Mixon is the workhorse, but more carry the load. And when coaches are forced to shuffle players, the system is designed not to miss a beat.
So it went Friday. The Eagles' offensive line did its job, a variety of backs followed it, and the Eagles defeated Groves (Ga.) 37-0 to improve to 2-1 on the season.
"That's what it's all about, everybody stepping in as the season goes on, filling in and rising to the occasion," Clifford said.
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Without running back Josh Roberts, out indefinitely due to a school discipline issue, the senior Mixon rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns. And with Mixon down on the field in the second half, more names stepped in. Kareem Robinson averaged more than 7 yards per carry and scored late in the third quarter. Shifty Deontaye Singleton scored twice, ripping off a 41-yard touchdown run during the second quarter when he cut back at the 20 to find open field.
The Eagles rushed for 333 yards.
"We're a good family," Robinson said. "We stick together through whatever. In times like this, we need a win, that's what we're going to do. We're going to win."
Clifford has never been scared to go deep on the sideline in search of another back. The names are there. Sophomore Javon Dudley also received some carries.
Senior offensive lineman Caleb Gee said his unit doesn't always worry much about who is behind it, only that the linemen do their jobs correctly.
"Always try to beat the guy (across from you)," Gee said. "That's really what we do."
Mixon, once a linebacker who moved to the offensive backfield his junior year, played both ways Friday, turning in a sack on the defensive side.
The Rebels, perhaps inspired by Beaufort High's film from Wando, came out firing. Quarterback Jessie Robbins found Sa'Mard Osborne early for several big gains before the Eagles wised up.
And Groves' run game, including a steady flow of direct snaps to big back Tyre' Robinson, never materialized.
Osborne, who caught seven passes for 96 yards, said the Rebels were wary of the Eagles' tall receivers. He said the defense had prepared to stop Beaufort High's counter rushing attack, but that it was executed better than the Rebels could defend.
Osborne credited Beaufort High tight end Stephen Baggett for helping spur the Eagles' run game with key blocks.
"We just couldn't stop it," Osborne said. "That counter trap, they did that awesome."
Beaufort High, smacked in the mouth by Wando in Week 1, has recovered with victories the past two weeks. Clifford, who has used adversity as a buzz word early in the season, urged his injured players to see an athletic trainer this weekend and do what was needed for recovery.
The Eagles were without defensive back Kimani Carpenter on Friday after the senior sprained an ankle after practice. Dudley was on the trainer's table late in the game and long after players shook hands.
"We need each and every one of you," Clifford told his players. "You're important to this football team. But you're not important if you're hurt."
Beaufort High 37, Groves 0
B-- Brady Cormier 31 FG 5:20
B-- JaClay Mixon 4 run (Cormier kick) 1:53
B-- Deontaye Singleton 41 run (kick failed) 10:48
B-- Mixon 38 run (Cormier kick) 1:52
B-- Kareem Robinson 7 run (Cormier kick) 4:06
B-- Singleton 3 run (Cormier kick) 10:56
Groves Beaufort High
First downs 8 20
Passing yards 96 38
Comp-Att-Int 7-17 2-10-1
Rushing 28-35 42-333
Penalties-yards 6-60 6-65
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0
Punts-avg 4-27 1-33
Rushing: Groves-- Tyre' Robinson 15-24, Thomas Fields 1-17, Chris Brinson 1-2, Jessie Robbins 8- (-2), Sa'Mard Osborne 3- (-6). Beaufort High-- JaClay Mixon 17-114, Kareem Robinson 10-77, Deontaye Singleton 5-59, Javon Dudley 5-41, Eric Blakely 3-16, Ben Vaigneur 2-26.
Passing: Groves-- Robbins 7-17-96. Beaufort High-- Ben Vaigneur 2-10-38-1.
Receiving: Groves-- Osborne 7-96. Beaufort High-- Thomas Parker 2-38.