It didn’t take the Beaufort High School football team very long to assert itself Friday night at rival Battery Creek. One play was all it took.
After a quick three-and-out from the Beaufort defense, Clayton Ruff hit Rome Wallace in stride with a 75-yard scoring pass and the rout was on. The Eagles bolted out to a 42-0 lead by halftime and coasted home with a 49-0 victory to move to 2-0 on the season.
The bomb to Wallace was the first of three touchdown passes for Ruff, who finished the game 7-for-7 passing for 216 yards — all in the first half. He handed over the reins to the offense before the second quarter was over, giving way to Jeffrey Smyth. Harrison Lane then took over under center after halftime.
Ruff connected with seven different receivers, including a 21-yard touchdown to Michael Smyth and a 62-yard deep ball to Reggie Jones.
The passing game was all part of the plan for coach Mark Clifford. They came into the game hoping to show a balance between the passing and running game, but the huge numbers the Eagles put up through the air made it seem like a lopsided attack.
“We want to be 50-50 offensively,” Clifford said. “We love to run the ball — we might be 60-40 — but that’s where we want to be to keep defenses on edge.”
Jeffrey Smyth had a 21-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Sherpensky late in the second quarter on his only throw of the night, putting the Eagles ahead 42-0. With the final outcome never in doubt, the Eagles went to a run-heavy game plan after halftime, only attempting one pass.
“We worked very hard this week on throwing the football,” Clifford said. “We know we’re going to have to do it. We went into the season wanting to do it. I think we progressed well. We’ve got to look at the protection on film and see where we need to go with that, but I’m happy.”
Kyleik Middleton finished with 128 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries for Beaufort. Logan Adkins added 56 yards on 14 runs, all in the second half.
The Beaufort defense simply dominated the Dolphins. Battery Creek (0-2) only had two plays from scrimmage that went for more than 10 yards — a 13-yard reception by Dallas Higuet in the first half and a 21-yard run by quarterback Malik Jordan Gwyn in the second half. Those accounted for two of the Dolphins’ three first-down plays on the night.
It wasn’t all happy news for Beaufort High, though. According to Eagles head coach Mark Clifford, senior Omar Cummings suffered a dislocated shoulder on Michael Smyth’s fumble recovery for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Smyth scooped up a loose ball on the ground after a backward pass went awry for Battery Creek and sprinted 15 yards on the play to put Beaufort up 14-0.