The Transylvania Times -

Blue Devils Crush Patriots 63-6 In Home Opener

 

September 10, 2018

Times photos by Jeremiah Reed

Blue Devil running back Anthony Fields slices through the Madison secondary on his way to a 56-yard touchdown run in the second half of Friday's game. Fields had 123 yards on nine carries, to go along with one touchdown. Brevard scored 56 unanswered points on the Patriots. The 63-point outburst was the most Brevard has scored in five years.

Brevard Blue Devil fans had to wait four weeks into the season to see their team take the field at home.

At least it was worth the wait. After exploding for 21 points in the second quarter, Brevard dropped 35 in the second half on their way to a 63-6 demolition of the Madison Patriots.

The Blue Devils scored each time they touched the ball in the second half, and tacked on a late defensive TD for the runaway victory. Eight Brevard players got into the end zone.

Not a bad way to open Memorial Stadium in 2018.

"This was an exciting win tonight," said Brevard coach Craig Pritchett after the game. "We were able to spread the ball around on offense. Most of the skill guys were able to score a touchdown and if they didn't get one, they made the most out of their touches. The running back by committee is still working well for us and this was a great way to open up the home season on the turf," Pritchett said.

The offensive explosion ignited the game after what was a fairly lackluster first quarter.

Brevard went three-and-out on their first possession, but took advantage of good starting field position on their next drive and used the ground game to move the ball inside Madison's 10-yard line.

Kane Deshauteurs scored the game's opening TD from two yards out and Cole Carroll's point after gave Brevard an early 7-0 lead.

The Patriots answered on the ensuing drive thanks to three big penalties on the Brevard defense that resulted in automatic first downs.

After moving inside the red zone, Madison got on the board behind a run from quarterback Clark Gray from just inside the 10-yard line. The Blue Devils blocked the PAT to hold a 7-6 lead entering the second quarter.

On the kickoff, Madison botched an onside kick attempt and the Blue Devils took advantage.

A series of carries from Anthony Fields moved the ball to the Patriots' 16 before Lucas Brooks capped off the drive with a TD run on a pitch to the outside, giving Brevard a 14-6 lead.

The Patriots' next drive went nowhere, setting up Brevard near midfield.

After a couple of carries from Isaiah Rathbone got the Blue Devils into Madison territory, Mitchell Johnson found Anjel Whitesides wide open on the sideline and made the completion, getting the ball down to the 2-yard line.

Moments later, Johnson did a good job of buying time in the pocket before hitting Luke Ellenberger in the back of the end zone for a TD completion. The PAT gave Brevard a 21-6 lead with 4:35 to go in the second quarter.

Another Patriot three-and-out gave Brevard the ball at their own 42. This time, the Blue Devils dialed up the deep ball on the first play and Johnson hit Ellenberger perfectly in stride for a 58-yard strike.

The Blue Devils got a late chance to add more points following a fourth-down interception from Baxter Swicegood, but a 32-yard field goal attempt was off target, leaving the score 28-6 at halftime.

Brevard got the ball to start the second half and struck immediately. A handoff to D.K. Deshauteurs went for 38 yards on the first play and the senior took the next handoff the remaining eight yards for a TD to make it 35-6.

It only got worse for Madison, as Brevard's Tripp Harris intercepted a pass deep in Patriot territory and returned it for a score on the ensuing drive.

A penalty during the return wiped out the touchdown, but on the first play after the turnover, Johnson threw a quick pass to Whitesides in the flat and the speedy receiver did the rest, sprinting in from 12 yards out to open up a 42-6 lead just two minutes into the second half.

Madison responded by putting together their best drive of the night, moving the chains on several third-down conversions and getting the ball all the way to Brevard's 19. But a huge sack on third down made it fourth-and-19, and the Blue Devil defense batted down a deep ball in the end zone to take over at their own 29.

Four plays later, Anthony Fields took a handoff 56 yards, making it 49-6 and initiating a running clock the remainder of the game.

Brevard hit another big TD play in the fourth quarter, as Rathbone took a first-down handoff 46 yards for another score to stretch the lead to 56-6.

The final blow came on defense, as the Blue Devils delivered a crushing hit to a Patriot running back and Avery McCall was there to grab the loose ball and rush 25 yards the other way to lock up Brevard's huge win.

Friday's game produced the most points Brevard has scored since a 68-35 win over West Henderson in 2013 and it was their biggest margin of victory since routing North Henderson, 56-0, in 2016.

Despite finishing just 4-of-14 on the night, three of Johnson's completions went for touchdowns and the senior had 120 yards passing.

Ellenberger had two catches, both TDs, for 72 yards. Whitesides had two catches and one score, for 48 yards.

On the ground, Fields led the way with 123 yards on nine carries, with one touchdown. Rathbone had 55 yards on five carries and D.K. Deshauteurs had 42 yards on two carries – both finished with one TD.

Defensively, Brevard came into the game knowing the Patriots would rely heavily on Gray, and while he finished with 119 yards on 18 carries, the Blue Devils did a great job of bottling him up and bringing him down when they had tackle opportunities.

Times photos by Jeremiah Reed

Tripp Harris (No. 6) wrestles Patriot quarterback Clark Gray to the ground, narrowly securing a safety. Harris finished with one interception and several tackles in Brevard's blowout victory.

The Blue Devils (3-1) get back on the road this Friday when they travel to take on Owen (1-2). Brevard used a fourth-quarter surge to defeat the Warhorses, 27-22, last year, but Owen is much-improved from 2017 and kept things close against Hendersonville until the Bearcats pulled away late last Friday.

About the only negative from Friday's win would be the penalties. Pritchett said although he disagreed with a few flags he saw, there were some he agreed with and those mistakes can't happen down the road.

After three straight games without much to critique, Pritchett said he and the coaching staff will continue to pour over game film and looking for little areas where improvement could be the difference between winning and losing.

"There are always things you can look for. We'll never be perfect, but we'll try to be as close as we can. At this point, it's a bit of nitpicking and looking over the little things on film. It's only going to get harder from here and we have to be prepared in order to be the team we want to be," Pritchett said.

 
 

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