Sherwood beats up on Bethesda, improves to 2-2

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Eagles can fly with the best of them, but did you know they can run pretty darn good, too?

Sherwood Christian Academy rushed for 338 yards and six touchdowns in a 43-21 victory against Bethesda Day on Friday night in a homecoming game for the Eagles (2-2) that pushed the team back to .500.

"We needed this win," head coach Reggie Mitchell said. "We played a close game last week (a 10-7 loss to Westwood). We wanted to see if we could bounce back and see what character our kids had."

And bounce back they did, mainly behind junior Mack Green (six carries for 127 yards rushing and two touchdowns) and running back Phillip English (15 carries for 142 yards).

"We're very pleased with those guys," Mitchell said. "We feel we have a one-two punch with those guys. They do a good job running the ball real hard. But you have to give credit to the offensive line."

SCA's O-line helped quarterback Terrance Burnette score the first two touchdowns of the game on sneaks. The first one came halfway through the first quarter and the second just minutes into the second.

"We worked hard all week on (using our line to our advantage)," said Burnette, who was one of the senior representatives on the homecoming court. "We couldn't have accomplished anything without our offensive line."

The Eagles' Chris Roberts recovered a fumble following Burnette's second QB sneak, setting up a nine-yard run straight up the gut by Derrick Allen to make the game 22-0 in favor of the Eagles.

That's when the Green show started -- with 4:14 left in the half -- as the speedy back took his first carry 49-yards for a touchdown after he started a run up the middle, then dashed to his left to break away from multiple defenders along the baseline.

"(Again, we) really couldn't do it without the offensive line," said Green, who also had two interceptions. "They took off some big guys."

After T.J. Clay kicked the extra point -- he finished a perfect 5-for-5 -- the Eagles had a 29-0 lead, but they had to stop a four-minute drive during which Bethesda came as close as the 5 yard line with less than a minute left in the half.

"We're proud of defense," Mitchell said. "We gave up some points in the second half, but we saw glimpses of what we're capable of in the first half. We just have to put it all together."

Perhaps that big lead made the Eagles momentarily lapse, but for whatever reason, things didn't start off Sherwood's way in the third quarter.

Bethesda got on the board when Marquis Wilson hit Hakeem Coney for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Then, in a bizarre play after the kickoff, a Sherwood player literally gave the ball away to a Blazers player.

"The whistle hadn't blown yet and he gave it to one of their players, who he thought was the referee," Mitchell said. "So it's just kind of a funny thing. We're gonna have to work on everything, though."

Bethesda scored again on a 55-yard pass from Wilson to Coney with 48 seconds left in the third, then on a 3-yard run by Coney at the start of the fourth. That made the game 29-21 Sherwood, but the Eagles responded to the wake-up call with another QB sneak by Burnette with 9:07 left in the game to put SCA up, 36-21.

"It's good to be attentive," said Burnette, who finished with three rushing yards and three touchdowns. "As our coach always tells us, when the bricks go against us, pull out more steam. We saw it go against us, but we had to step up like men and take care of business."

Green iced the game with 1:42 left on a 45-yard run where he sped to his right and simply outran the competition, making the final score 43-21.