BAMBERG -- The Bamberg-Ehrhardt Red Raiders advanced to the third round of the Class 2-A Lower State Football Playoffs Friday night with a convincing 42-7 win over No. 4 seed Latta Vikings at Leon Maxwell Stadium.
With the win, the Red Raiders improved to 11-1 on the season and advance to face the other Class 2A No. 1 Lower State seed Carvers Bay on the road next Friday night near Hemingway.
The Latta Vikings saw their season end with a record of 7-5.
The new-found high scoring B-E offense got on the scoreboard on their second possession of the game with 2:38 seconds left in the first quarter on an eight-yard touchdown by KeSean Brown, making the score 7-0 after a Hunter Bridges-Kinard PAT was good. Less than two minutes later, B-E senior defensive back Jerrald Manigault’s first interception of the night and 30-yard pick- six increased the B-E lead to 14-0 after Bridges-Kinard's second PAT was good making the score 14-0 to end the first quarter.
While pleased with the back-to-back early scores, B-E head football coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby had hoped his team would cash in on its opening possession. “I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to score on our first drive.”
"That was one of goals to come out and score on our first possession each half.”
Crosby said an early penalty set his team back momentarily, but after that, the Red Raiders got on track.
“I thought the guys played well. Defensively we played well again," he said. "We gave up one touchdown down there, but I think we were just trying to work on somethings. For the most part, I think we played well overall.
"We just got to continue this thing and have a good week of practice and get ready for Carvers Bay, it's on the road, so we’ve got to have our fans' support. These young men are playing their hearts out, and I will be glad to see them (fans) come out and support them and see how we can finish this thing up.”
In the second quarter with 5:21 left on the clock, B-E quarterback A.J. Williams' 45-yard touchdown run increased the B-E lead to 21-0 after Bridges-Kinard added another PAT. The first half ended with B-E leading 21-0. On their first possession of the third quarter, the Vikings recovered a B-E fumble on the Red Raiders 39, but on fourth down and 11, a tackle for loss by B-E North-South Selection Nick Hughes ended the Vikings' threat.
At the 7:24 mark of the third quarter, B-E’s Jerrald Manigault’s second interception of the night at the Vikings 23 led to a 23-yard touchdown run by Javalas Folk, making the score 28-0 B-E. The Red Raiders scoring continued with 1:59 left in the third quarter as Williams connected with running back Dahlil Wilkins on a pass play over the middle to make the score 35-0 B-E.The Red Raiders' final points came with 9:51 left in the fourth quarter on a short KeSean Brown touchdown run to put the final score at 42-7 B-E. The Vikings' only points came with 11:22 left in the game on a D.Brewer to K.Moultrie pass play.
In keeping with his effort to keep his players grounded, Crosby said, “ After tonight, I told them just now its (0-0) again. It cleans itself after Friday night. You can go (1-0), then it turns right around and be (0-0) Carvers Bay is (0-0) right now,” Crosby said.