Keith rolls 37-6

Published 1:06 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

Keith High School’s Charles Johnson crashes into the end zone for the second score of the game. Johnson gave the Bears a 14-0 lead. -- Rick Couch

In a game that felt more like a heavyweight fight, the Keith High School Bears delivered a 37-6 homecoming knockout blow to John Essex to improve to 5-2 on the year.

The Bears struggled early in a physical game that saw big hits by both sides, but in the end, the Hornets could not match them.

Bears head coach Harry Crum said his team prepares for games like this every day.

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“We practice hard and we play physical,” he said. “We play clean, but we play physical.”

The Bears used 314 rushing yards, 154 from Rodney Ellis, to wear down John Essex and build a lead the Hornets could not overcome.

Throughout the first quarter the defenses ruled the day. Appropriately, the Bear defense scored the first points of the game when Martavius Harris stepped in front of a Hornet pass and took it 13 yards for the score. The extra point failed, giving Keith a 6-0 lead with 34 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Keith offense began to move, rolling off a five-play, 33-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Charles Johnson. Terrell Velazquez added the two-point play to make the score 14-0 with 8:15 remaining in the half.

With only 2:50 remaining in the half, Rodney Ellis broke free for a 67-yard run to put the Bears at the Hornet 2-yard-line, setting up a Damarquis Lumpkin 2-yard score.

Again, Velazquez found the end zone on the two-point play to make the score 22-0 at the half.

The Bears did not let up in the second half. On their first possession, they needed only five plays before Johnson found the end zone from 4-yards out to make the score 28-0. Velazquez again converted the two-point conversion to put Keith up 30-0 with 7:55 to go in the quarter. John Essex added a touchdown on a 33-yard pass to make the score 30-6 with 3:37 remaining in the third, but the Bears answered back in the fourth.

Bobby Barnes capped a six-play, 49-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Barnes also added the extra point to make the score 37-6 with 2:26 left in the game.

Once again, Crum said, the Bears were able to build depth on the bench.

“We got to play everybody again and that’s good,” he said.

The Bears will travel to Shades Mountain Christian next Friday.

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