10/11/05 — Undefeated Bruins roll past Falcons

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Undefeated Bruins roll past Falcons

By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on October 11, 2005 2:14 PM

WILSON -- Bennett Johnson threw for four touchdowns and ran for another Monday night as No. 5 state-ranked Wilson Beddingfield cruised to 48-13 triumph over Charles B. Aycock.

The Bruins improved to a perfect 7-0 this season as Aycock fell to 4-3 in each team's Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener.

For the visiting Falcons, Thomas Pilkington threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tim Alston that cut Beddingfield's lead to 14-7 in the second quarter, and tailback Spruce Lee broke off a 73-yard touchdown run late in the game. But four critical Aycock miscues in the kicking game in the first half allowed the Bruins to put points on the board and helped put the game out of reach.

"Those mistakes in the kicking game, those things kill you," C.B. Aycock coach Randy Pinkowski said. "The thing about good football teams is if you make mistakes, they make you pay for them -- and that's what they did to us tonight."

Johnson -- who finished the night 10-of-20 passing for 199 yards -- got Beddingfield on the board first when the senior quarterback hooked up with 6-foot-3, 210-pound wideout Alfred Artis for a 9-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. The extra-point attempt was bobbled, but holder Dustin Murray was able to find the corner and run in the conversion to give the Bruins an 8-0 lead at the 7:30 mark. The scoring drive began at the Aycock 24 when Pilkington fumbled the snap as the Falcons were attempting a fake punt.

Beddingfield took a 14-0 lead when Johnson went deep on the Bruins' next drive, hitting receiver Doug Barron for a 53-yard score. Barron finished with a game-high five receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

"(Johnson) did well," Bruins coach Tom Nelson said. "He executed our game plan well and our kids made some good catches. We're excited about this win and excited about being 7-0."

Pilkington, however, rallied the Golden Falcons in the second quarter as Aycock engineered a six-play, 76-yard scoring drive. The junior quarterback found running back Dontay Taylor for a 29-yard completion, hit Alston for a 17-yard strike on a third-and-10, then hit Alston over the middle for the 28-yard touchdown on the next play.

Pilkington finished his night 7-of-11 passing for 106 yards and a TD, yet was just 1-of-3 in the second half for 15 yards.

But just when it looked like C.B. Aycock had some momentum on its side, the Bruins finished the half with two touchdown drives to take a 28-7 lead at the intermission.

Jerry Atkinson scored on an 11-yard run with 3:07 left in the half and Johnson tip-toed down the Aycock sideline for a 20-yard TD with just 20 seconds to play before halftime.

Both scoring drives were set up by Aycock miscues. A coverage breakdown allowed return man Izel Jenkins to break off a 52-yard return to the Falcon 26. Penalties backed up the Bruins to their own side of the field, but a roughing-the-punter penalty on the Falcons gave the home team an automatic first down and led to Atkinson's score.

Just before halftime, the Falcons were going to run another fake punt, but the ball was snapped to punter Joseph Toler instead of the up man and Toler was nailed for a 5-yard loss as the ball went over on downs at the Aycock 46. That led to Johnson's nifty touchdown run.

"I really don't know what happened there," Pinkowski said. "Everybody knew it was a fake punt except for the snapper. Joseph did the best he could considering he wasn't expecting to get it.

"We'll just go back home, lick our wounds, clean up the mistakes and get ready for our next game against Kinston. (The loss) is not the end of the world, but it's not what we had hoped for."

Johnson tossed his third touchdown of the night in the third quarter when he dumped off a pass to Atkinson, who broke several tackles and weaved his way 56 yards for a score. Johnson ended any Aycock hopes of a comeback when he hooked up with Barron again for a 6-yard score early in the fourth quarter to up Beddingfield's lead to 41-7.

Lee got the Falcons back on the scoreboard with his 73-yard jaunt with 3:21 to play, but the Bruins got that touchdown back when backup running back Rondric Coppedge ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run to round out the scoring with 1:36 left.

Lee ended up with a game-high 113 yards on 12 hauls, but got 88 of those yards on his final three carries of the night.

"It was a great defensive effort," Nelson said. "It was about the best defense we've played this year."