High School Sports

Unbeaten Bobcats overpower Battery Creek, 63-14

C.J. Frazier's most common sequence Friday was a slow walk to the sideline with eyes downfield.

The Bluffton High School quarterback's pace remained the same each time he saw Eric Boyles reach the end zone. The scene played on repeat for the Bobcats' offense, and the sophomore Frazier, making his first start of the season after returning from injury, maintained the same cool each time.

Frazier and Boyles connected four times for scores -- all in the first half -- as Bluffton rolled, 63-14, at Battery Creek. The Bobcats cemented their Class 3-A playoff berth and set up a showdown for next week, when they play host to Berkeley for a shot at the Region 7-AAA title.

"It's time to go to work," Bluffton coach Ken Cribb told his fired up team following the game. "It's time to go get us a region championship."

The Bobcats pushed their undefeated start to eight games. And, more importantly, Bluffton secured the playoff berth with its third consecutive region victory.

Frazier and Boyles sparked the win Friday, after Bluffton back Zachary Scott opened the game with a pair of touchdown runs.

Boyles scored on catches of 35, 43, 22 and 38 yards. Three times Frazier needed only to dump Boyles the ball just past the line of scrimmage and let his wingback scramble. A "pop" pass, Frazier called it.

Four of Boyles' five catches went for scores. The only grab he failed to score on came on the first play of the game, a 40-yard catch-and-run that set up Scott's 2-yard touchdown run.

"He kept getting open," said Frazier, who had not started since breaking his collarbone during an August scrimmage. "He's just a lot faster than everybody."

Boyles' scores propelled the Bobcats to a 43-6 lead at the half. Despite a running clock the final two quarters, the Bobcats added on after forcing turnovers on each of Battery Creek's first three possessions to start the second half.

Bluffton established control from the beginning, including recovering an onside kick after its first score. And, when Battery Creek's offense showed signs of life, Bluffton forced key turnovers for a second consecutive week.

Battery Creek suffered from a rash of injuries entering the game but still started several players who Dolphins coach Carlos Cave said would be unavailable. Quarterback Leroy Jennette was cleared to play but moved to wide receiver while nursing an injured shoulder. Jennette's backup, receiver Kevin Sanders, was initially thought doubtful with a sore hamstring but started at quarterback.

Sanders threw touchdown passes to Jaylan Briggs and Ryan Halley. But the Bobcats intercepted Sanders four times to help squash any Battery Creek momentum.

Cribb said the Bobcats, who have been stiff against the run, prepared this week for the Dolphins' downfield passing attack. The more difficult task might have been maintaining the players' focus with Berkeley, last year's Class 4-A Division II state champion, looming.

"We didn't look past it," Frazier said. "We'll start Monday."

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