ROWESVILLE — The Bethune-Bowman Mohawks rushed their way to a 48-28 victory Friday night over the rival Branchville Yellow Jackets, earning a spot in the Class A playoffs.
The game had playoff implications as the teams knew going in that the winner would get the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 5A. The Mohawks (6-4, 1-3) will advance. The Yellow Jackets end their season at 4-6, 0-4.
Mohawk head coach Ken Tucker knew that getting a win was important. “This is big, this puts us in fourth place in the region and gets us into the playoffs.”
“It’s been one of the things we have been working towards all year, and I’m glad we got in,” Tucker said.
The game featured a lot of action on offense as each team was able to run the ball with ease. The first half belonged completely to the Mohawks, thanks to their dual rushing attack featuring Makiah Simmons and Braxton Wedgeworth.
The Mohawks’ first score came on just the third play from scrimmage as all-state running back Simmons rushed for a 17-yard touchdown. B-B scored two more times in the second half and converted all of their two-point conversions for 22 points.
The Yellow Jackets showed some life on offense as they were able to find the end zone, thanks to a 24-yard pass from quarterback Zach Wiles to Jaquan Hayes in the first quarter. They failed on the 2-point conversion and that would be their only score of the half, making the halftime score 22-6 in favor of the Mohawks.
The second half saw an offensive explosion for both teams. The Mohawks found themselves in the end zone four more times, and the Yellow Jackets scored three more times – all touchdowns coming by way of the run.
The Mohawks were able to maintain their lead thanks to the rushing of Simmons and Wedgeworth. Simmons ended the game with 168 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns. Wedgeworth added 177 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, one coming through the air.
The Yellow Jackets relied heavily on the run with Torrion Stevenson as the main ball carrier.
Stevenson, who was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game as a defensive lineman, scored all of the Yellow Jackets’ points in the second half. He ended the game with 134 yards rushing on 12 carries and three touchdowns.
The Mohawks will be on the road next Friday in the first round of the playoffs. The opponent is to be determined.