High School Sports

Beaufort High defense shuts down James Island

Beaufort High running back Josh McPherson breaks free for an 86-yard touchdown run on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage against James Island on Friday night at Beaufort High School.
Beaufort High running back Josh McPherson breaks free for an 86-yard touchdown run on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage against James Island on Friday night at Beaufort High School.

Bo Patterson rolled to his right, flushed out by Beaufort High School's relentless pass rush, but Ruben Francis was waiting there.

So Patterson twisted back to his left and scrambled in search of the eight yards he needed to keep a promising drive alive, but there was Eagles senior Dalvin Broussard, who dragged down James Island's star quarterback for a 3-yard loss.

That was the way it went all night for Patterson and the Trojans, as the Eagles' defense overwhelmed James Island's high-powered offense in a 36-0 victory -- Beaufort High's second consecutive shutout.

The Eagles held Patterson to 101 total yards -- 136 below his season average -- and kept him to 19 yards on 22 carries, in large part because of six sacks.

"We just had to make sure the defensive ends stayed outside and didn't let him scramble, and (we had to) get pressure on the quarterback," junior defensive lineman DeEndre Jefferson-Fields said. "That's pretty much it."

The defense had a big cushion to work with from the start, as the Eagles scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:57 in the first quarter. Josh McPherson scored on an 84-yard run on Beaufort High's first play from scrimmage and Beau Brown added a 29-yard touchdown run and a 38-yard scoring strike to Dymonte' Gwathney for a 20-0 lead.

McPherson finished with 119 yards on 12 carries, and Brown completed 4 of 6 passes for 159 yards and a score.

After crossing midfield only once before halftime, the Trojans put together two strong drives in the second half, but both stalled. Patterson threw four incompletions from the Eagles' 19-yard line to halt one promising drive, and Broussard's sack stopped James Island's last real scoring threat, preserving the shutout against an offense that entered averaging 31.8 points per game.

"We wanted (the shutout) bad," Broussard said. "You've always got to want it more. We work hard every day of the week just to come to Friday, so you work hard for that shutout each week."

The Eagles' defense put on the finishing touches by doing some scoring of its own, as JaClay Mixon pounced on a fumble in the end zone, and Beaufort High added a safety when backup quarterback Bratton Benfield kicked an errant snap through the back of the end zone.

Since a 34-29 loss at Fort Dorchester on Sept. 10, the Eagles have outscored their last three opponents 109-12.

"We thought James Island was a good football team, and we prepared for that," Eagles coach Mark Clifford said. "All year long, every game, you're trying to figure out how good you are and how good the opponent is. I think we're pretty solid all around."

BEAUFORT 36, JAMES ISLAND 0

First quarter

B--Josh McPherson 84 run (Mitchell Stewart kick), 6:15.

B--Beau Brown 29 run (Stewart kick), 3:37.

B--Dymonte' Gwathney (kick failed), 1:18.

Fourth quarter

B--Alex Simmons 1 run (Stewart kick), 7:26.

B--JaClay Mixon fumble recovery in end zone (Stewart kick), 6:34.

B--Safety, ball fumbled through back of end zone, 0:08.

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