Warriors race past Bulldogs
Buckeye Trail faithful, say hello to C.J. Beaver.
Warriors’ coach Dale Broomhall has been waiting for his senior to have that one game that kickstarts the rest of his season.
Unfortunately for visiting Bridgeport, that game for Beaver happened to come under its watch.
Beaver caught four passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns, returned a punt 63 yards for six and intercepted a Bailey McGrath pass and took it to the house from 76 yards as the Warriors (3-2) rolled 47-7.
“We’ve been waiting for Beaver to have that breakout game and I think he had it,” Broomhall said.
He wasn’t the only one.
Junior quarterback Morgan Dougherty displayed the versatility that made the Trail coaching staff bump him from the No. 2 quarterback to the starting role after the first game of the season.
Dougherty was 7 of 8 through the air for 122 yards and three touchdowns, tacking on a 14-yard hookup with Brett Shipman to go with tossing Beaver two of his three.
On the ground, the 6-foot, 170-pounder worked the designed sweeps and rollouts to perfection, pacing the Warriors with 70 yards on 12 carries.
Former starter and current tight end Jeffrey Simmons came on to throw the final touchdown pass.
It’s a switch that’s been beneficial for all involved.
“Morgan has some speed and it’s not a knock on Jeff because Jeff has played well at tight end also,” Broomhall said. “But Morgan is a little more versatile and he’s coming along as a passer.”
Trail could do no wrong offensively, setting the tone early with a 16-play, 90-yard drive that took nearly 7 minutes before resulting in a touchdown form Tyler Starr from 5-yards out.
Bridgeport’s first series? Three plays, negative-4 yards of offense and a punt.
The Warriors set off again on a 10-play drive that stretched into the second quarter, with Dougherty and Beaver hooking up from 15 yards out.
In more than 12 minutes of football, Bridgeport ran a total of four plays. Not exactly what coach Rudy Vavrock was looking for as his team struggled to find an offensive identity Friday.
“They kept putting together long drives and we couldn’t stop them,” Vavrock said. “Then we geared up to stop the run and they hit some big passes. They played very physical.”
The ‘Dogs finally got on the board when Dallas Fields ripped off a 62-yard run that saw the senior break numerous tackles en route to the visitors’ lone score.
After trimming the deficit to seven, the Warriors reeled off 20 unanswered to end the half, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Trail has two winnable games coming up in meetings with Shenandoah (0-5) and Fort Frye (3-2) before hitting the road for a huge challenge at Shadyside.
One thing is for certain. This team doesn’t have the same mindset, or physical makeup of the ones that finished a combined 3-27 the last three seasons.
“This is not last year’s team,” Broomhall said. “They have a different attitude. They’ve hit the weights. We think we’re a physical football team.”
Fields was the lone bright spot for Bridgeport, totalling 135 yards on 16 carries.
Bridgeport had only seven first downs to Buckeye Trail’s 24.