Andrews is turning its annual contest with Carvers Bay into more than just an obligatory game between neighboring county schools.
The Class AA Yellow Jackets seem to finally be turning the meeting into a rivalry.
Andrews is just 4-10 against its powerful Class A neighbor, but Friday night’s 18-8 road win at Big Bear Stadium gives Andrews wins in two of the past three contests.
“They controlled the line of scrimmage,” Carvers Bay coach Nate Thompson said. “In essence they outplayed us tonight. They lined up and beat us at the point of impact.
“. . . Those kids are tough, and our kids have to learn they have to get a little bit tougher. We will. It’s a matter of them seeing what it takes to get there, and right now they’re seeing that.”
Andrews senior quarterback Ethan Wright ran for a touchdown and threw for another, and sophomore tailback William Lewis gained 131 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 58-yard run to improve the Yellow Jackets to 2-1 in coach Scott Durham’s first year.
“We made the important plays, and the big plays were game-changers for us,” Wright said. “This is the best line I’ve had in three years that I’ve started with. They did an amazing job.”
Andrews never trailed Friday. It took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on 13 plays to take a 6-0 lead. Wright culminated the scoring drive with an 8-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw, and he helped keep the drive alive with a 16-yard pass to Jaqwon Wright over the middle on fourth-and-10 at the Bears’ 20.
Andrews drove 74 yards for its second score, and gained 124 yards on the possession because of 50 yards in penalties.
The Yellow Jackets appeared to take themselves out of scoring position with 15-yard personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties following a first-down run near midfield with time running down in the second quarter.
But Lewis, who moved Andrews from the shadow of its goal line with a 37-yard run earlier in the drive following a 20-yard intentional grounding penalty, scored on a 58-yard run with 39 seconds remaining. Lewis burst through the middle of the line then broke a couple tackles in the secondary – spinning through one – and raced to the end zone.
He gained 129 yards on 10 carries, including 104 yards in three carries in the scoring drive.
Carvers Bay got on the board with a minute remaining in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by quarterback Israel Davis, who faked an end-around handoff the took the ball up the middle for the score. The run capped a 10-play, 50-yard drive.
Andrews threatened to reestablish a two-possession advantage by reaching the Bears’ 3 early in the fourth quarter, but a big hit in the backfield by Naquez Pringle on fourth-and-goal ended the drive.
Cecil Murphy got the ball back for the Yellow Jackets five plays later when he intercepted a pass at the Bears’ 29. Ethan Wright made the Bears pay for the turnover with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Josh Robinson, who beat double coverage over the middle to put Andrews up 18-8.
Andrews was undisciplined throughout the contest, accumulating 14 penalties for 120 yards.
“I told them, ‘Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly,’” Durham said. “That’s part of the process of becoming a good program is you have to learn to win ugly games. We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds...and we’ve got to get that corrected because you’re not going to beat good teams doing that.”
The Bears struggled to move the ball consistently, and played a somewhat sloppy first quarter, with turnovers on their first two possessions.
A bad snap on a punt attempt on their first possession resulted in a turnover on downs at their own 23. Andrews missed a 32-yard field goal after reaching the 11-yard line on its ensuing possession.
Carvers Bay fumbled at its own 13 on its second possession, as Andrews’ Leon Davis snuffed out an end-around and forced the fumble. The Bears escaped damage when a poor pitch on an option run to the left was recovered by the Bears at their own 12.
A–Ethan Wright 8 run (kick failed)
A–William Lewis 58 run (rush failed)
CB–Israel Davis 3 run (Raheem Dease pass from Davis)
A–Josh Robinson 31 pass from Wright (kick failed)