By CT McDonald
After a close District Two varsity football rivalry game last week at Brookland-Cayce, the Bearcats and Eagles go their separate ways now until they meet again November 1 in the final game of the regular season, which is also the final Region 5-4A game of the year.
With Brookland-Cayce’s 35-32 non-region win against Airport, both teams stand at 1-1 early in the season. The Bearcats will be at home again Friday to play host to the Spring Valley Vikings (0-1, 0-0), who lost their opener last week 49-0 to Dutch Fork, and — also on Friday — the Eagles will play their first home game of the new season when the Swansea Tigers (0-2, 0-0), who have lost their first two games to Lower Richland and Gray Collegiate Academy, visit Airport.
At Brookland-Cayce last week, the Bearcats outscored the Eagles 28-12 in the first half, but the Eagles came back in the third quarter to finish the period just 3 points down (28-25), after holding the Bearcats scoreless at the same time. And it was the 7-7 fourth quarter that held it at a 3-point difference until the buzzer when Brookland-Cayce took the 35-32 victory.
The Bearcats came out strong after taking the initial kick-off when they drove more than 70 yards for their first touchdown (TD) and a 2-point conversion to make it 8-0. Airport answered with a drive that culminated with a nearly 30-yard pass play for a TD, but did not make the 2-point conversion, leaving it at 8-6 more than halfway through the first quarter.
But then Brookland-Cayce came back with another score on the ground, and then made good on the point-after kick (PAT) to take a 15-6 lead to wrap-up the first period. And the Bearcats continued.
Early in the second quarter, Brookland-Cayce intercepted an Airport pass and drove a little more than 50 yards for the third TD plus a successful PAT, making it 22-6, BC, just more than halfway through the period. But the Eagles were not asleep.
Airport responded with a 60-yard drive that ended with a second TD on a short run to the end zone, and then an unsuccessful PAT left it at 22-12, BC. But the Bearcats answered with another score on a long drive capped by consecutive pass plays that got the ball into the end zone again. With a failed PAT the score settled at 28-12 at the half.
Just as the Bearcats dominated the scoring in the first half, the Eagles dominated in the third quarter.
The second half opened with Brookland-Cayce kicking off to Airport, and the Eagles drove all the way to the end zone to score, but failed on the 2-point conversion attempt, leaving it at 28-18, BC, about halfway through the period. Then, a couple of minutes later with the Bearcats inside the Airport 30-yard line, the Eagles intercepted a BC pass setting up their next TD on the ground. With a successful PAT, Airport was within 3 points, at 28-25, Brookland-Cayce.
That is how the third quarter ended and the fourth began. Brookland-Cayce scored first in the final period, making it 35-25, and then it was a back-and-forth game, including an Airport pass intercepted by BC and a Bearcat fumble recovered by the Eagles.
But then — more than halfway through the quarter — Airport took it in on the ground again, followed with a good PAT, and got within 3 points again (35-32), but that’s how it ended, and another Bearcats-Eagles game went on the record.
Friday’s non-region games will present an opportunity for each team to improve to 2-1, or drop to 1-2, still early in the season.