High School Sports

Eagles ride ground attack to win at Ashley Ridge, 42-7

SUMMERVILLE -- Beaufort High coach Mark Clifford thought about calling a timeout and throwing a Hail Mary pass play to end the first half. Instead, Clifford decided to be conservative and hand the ball off to D'Vonta Cohen.

Cohen took care of the rest, racing 63 yards for a touchdown to put an exclamation point on the first half for the Eagles.

Alex Simmons rushed for 137 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Beaufort High past Ashley Ridge, 42-7, Friday night before a homecoming crowd of more than 2,000.

With three games left in the regular season, the Eagles improved to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in Region 8-AAAA. The Swamp Foxes dropped to 5-3 and 1-1.

With a 28-7 lead, the Eagles were content to run out the clock just before halftime. But Cohen burst over the left side, eluded one tackler at midfield and outran the Swamp Foxes' secondary for the score.

"He's good for one of those every game," Clifford said. "D'Vonta is one of those backs that can score from anywhere on the field."

The Swamp Foxes' defense was little more than a speed bump for the Eagles' punishing rushing attack. Beaufort High rolled up 315 rushing yards and more than 370 yards of total offense.

"The offensive line has really come on since spring practice," Clifford said. "I didn't have an offensive line in the spring, but they've worked hard and come together as a unit and you can see the results."

Simmons, Cohen and Josh McPherson were the proverbial three-headed monster for the Eagles, combining for nearly 300 rushing yards.

"We've got three quality backs," Clifford said. "You shut down one and the other two are going to take over. Alex probably gets the most carries. I trust him the most, but D'Vonta and Josh are not too far behind."

The Eagles' defense isn't too bad either. Beaufort has given up the least points in Class 4-A this season. The Swamp Foxes' TD near the end of the half was the only score the Eagles have given up in four games.

Ashley Ridge was limited to 184 yards of total offense, including just 4 rushing yards.

"The defense has played great all season and tonight was no different," Clifford said. "Ashley Ridge had a great passing game, we saw that on film, so we wanted to control the ball and not give them too many possessions. I thought we did a good job of putting pressure on their quarterback."

The Eagles scored on their first five possessions. Simmons had TD runs of 24 and 1 yards. Quarterback Beau Brown added an 8-yard TD run in the first quarter.

The Swamp Foxes made things slightly interesting when Nick Webb made a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone on a 17-yard scoring play with less than a minute left before halftime to cut the gap to 28-7.

But three plays later, the Eagles put the game away on Cohen's 63-yard burst.

Beaufort High 42, Ashley Ridge 7

FIRST QUARTER

B - Alex Simmons 24 run (Mitchell Stewart kick)

B - Beau Brown 8 run (Stewart kick)

SECOND QUARTER

B - Josh McPherson 1 run (Stewart kick)

B - Alex Simmons 4 run (Stewart kick)

AR - Nick Webb 17 pass from Cameron Cox (Dalton Robinson kick)

B - D'Vonta Cohen 63 run (Stewart kick)

FOURTH QUARTER

B - Demeo Holmes 27 run (Stewart kick)

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