BC Warriors keep playoff push going with 28-18 win

Published 9:38 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bennett’s Creek’s junior midget Pop Warner football team advanced into the second round of the Mid-South Regional playoffs on Saturday with a 28-18 win over the North Raleigh Bulldogs in Raleigh, N.C.

The Warriors used their running game for all four touchdowns and excellent halftime adjustments on the defensive side to take care of the Bulldogs and improve to an 8-1 record this season. Next up for the Warriors is another trip to Raleigh this Saturday to play the McAdenville (N.C.) Dolphins.

Charles Coleman rushed for two touchdowns. John Pope ran for a touchdown and quarterback Ryan Hathaway scored on a quarterback sneak. Hathaway’s touchdown and an extra point kick (2 points in Pop Warner) gave the Warriors an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and BC wound up leading the whole way.

“We got the lead and ball control was the big thing for us,” said Bennett’s Creek’s head coach Mike Bowles.

Ball control was key since North Raleigh’s offense was a big concern, especially running back Bryce Love. Love has been featured by ESPN and Sports Illustrated for setting records for his age level in 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter track events.

“We knew the kid was fast. He actually reminded me of Percy Harvin at that age,” said Bowles, who coached against Pop Warner teams Harvin, who’s now starring as a receiver and kick returner for the Minnesota Vikings, was on.

Love scored all three touchdowns for North Raleigh, but BC kept answering and remained in front. The Warriors led 16-12 at halftime.

“We made some adjustments, like in how we were blitzing our linemen and linebackers, and it seemed to work. We were able to bottle him up in the backfield for most of the second half,” said Bowles.

The Warriors, with Pope’s touchdown and Coleman’s second score of the game on a long run, pushed their lead to 28-12.

North Raleigh made it 28-18 in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors put the game away with more running.

“We kept going with our power running and the guys ran the last five minutes out,” said Bowles.

“Our offensive line did a great job. I can’t say enough. They did a great job communicating and getting their assignments,” said Bowles.

“We probably played our best, most complete game of the year,” said Bowles.

As tough of a challenge as North Raleigh was, Bennett’s Creek moves deeper into the playoffs so the task gets tougher. If BC wins on Saturday, next up would be the regional championship in Charlotte over Thanksgiving weekend. If the Warriors win the regional title, they will go to Orlando for the national Pop Warner playoffs.