After consecutive lackluster performances, and two losses as a result, Beaufort High School football coach Mark Clifford told his players to prepare for all-out scrimmages this week.
Something needed to be done to spark the Eagles. And letting players get after it early in the week apparently served the purpose.
Beaufort High's defense solved the multiple looks of West Ashley on Friday, defeating the Wildcats 13-0 at Eagle Stadium. The Eagles improved to 3-2 after dropping their previous two games by a combined 11 points.
The Eagles scrimmaged Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the game situations allowing players the chance to unleash on one another and exchange some friendly trash talk.
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"It was fun," linebacker Thyrik Legree said. "We should do that all the time ... It got us fired up."
Clifford said he knew defensive coordinator Jerry Hatcher had his unit ready by the way it dominated his offense early in the week.
Beaufort High's offense struggled to build momentum Friday. Both of its scoring drives started inside the Wildcats' 20-yard line after turnovers.
Running back D'Vonta Cohen, who scored both touchdowns, ripped off a 45-yard run during the fourth quarter to finalize the victory and provide one of few highlights for the offense.
The defense was there to pick them up.
"They were on the field a long time," Clifford said. "I felt we did a good job of staying in there and staying in shape and covering the offense's back."
Legree said the Eagles felt three points would be enough to win. The Wildcats only drove inside the Eagles' 20 once, failing to come away with any points after a missed 22-yard field goal.
"It's always a pretty good game when you come up with a goose egg on the board," Legree said. "They have so many plays and formations to prepare for, but we did a pretty good job of stopping it."
West Ashley senior quarterback Thomas Woodhead held the Eagles' attention during the week. Beaufort High's defense worked to stop multiple looks and multiple quarterbacks. But it was Woodhead who tried to carry the Wildcats late, running out of the gun and keeping the Eagles honest with the option. He finished with 117 yards on 26 carries. He carried eight times of the Wildcats' 15 plays during their final drive, before Beaufort High's Davonte Green intercepted Woodhead to end the only sustained threat.
Eagles linebacker JaClay Mixon, who intercepted a pass during the third quarter, said the defense had worked to improve its tackling since losing to region foe Fort Dorchester in Week 3.
"We were really focused and determined to win this week," Mixon said. "We came out with hard work and determination not to quit during the fourth quarter, but to finish out."