BAMBERG -- What a difference a week makes.
The Class 2A, top-10 Bamberg-Ehrhardt Red Raiders (2-0, 0-0) on Friday night looked like a totally different team than the one that committed numerous turnovers in taking a 7-0 overtime non-region win over Woodland in Week Zero.
In Week 1, the Red Raiders were clicking in all facets of the game, scoring on offense and defense and receiving good play from special teams in a 30-6 non-region win over C.E. Murray (1-1,0-0) at Leon Maxwell Stadium.
B-E head coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby said his team executed much better and improved in the “little things.”
Crosby said: “I thought ball security was a little better this week. That’s one thing we keep harping on (ball security). We just have to keep working and getting better on those things. It’s the little things you have to keep working on. We can’t get away from the fundamentals, we can’t get away from the little things. Effort will not be an issue. We just have to keep putting them in situations that they can be successful and use their athletic ability.”
Midway of the first period, B-E senior James Gainyard’s 30-yard touchdown run made the score 7-0. Hunter Bridges’ PAT was good.
With 6:29 left in the second quarter, B-E junior linebacker KeSean Brown stripped the ball from a C.E. Murray ball carrier and ran 67 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-0 at halftime.
Crosby said the fumble recovery was a big momentum changer.
“I thought that took a little air out of them (C.E. Murray.) We have to do those thing not just one night but every night.”
Crosby said it was hard for his team to simulate C.E. Murray’s speed and athleticism in practice during the week.
“We can only talk about it, but I thought the guys adjusted well,” Crosby said. “They’re a good football team and they’re going to do well in their region.”
In the third quarter, B-E junior Dahlil Wikins’ kickoff return to the C.E. Murray 15-yard line at the 11:04 mark set up a five-yard KeSean Brown touchdown run, making the score 21-0 B-E.
With 7:30 left in the third quarter, B-E sophomore Hunter Bridges’ 32-yard field goal increased the B-E lead to 24-0.
C.E. Murray scored in the third quarter on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Bay to S. Swaringer, making the score 24-6 B-E. The Red Raiders’ last touchdown came with 3:18 left in the game on a short touchdown run by T.J. Inabinet, making the final score 30-6 B-E.
“We’re happy that we came out with the win tonight. Because they have explosive players all over the field and you never know when they might break one,” Crosby said.
C.E. Murray head football coach Chad Wilkes said, “I say we spotted them a couple of points early. Lots of turnovers tonight gave them a short field. And against a team that good, you’re not going to beat a team that good if you spot them those points and that kind of field position.”
Wilkes said his team “did some good things” in moving the ball. Junior quarterback Elijah Bay played “really well.”
Wilkes said breakdowns in the red zone again this week hurt his team’s chances.
“We’ve got to get those thing corrected and sustain drives better. But Bamberg’s a good team and as good as they are, you’re never going to beat them if you make the mistakes we did tonight.”