High School Football

Andrews beats Carvers Bay for first time since 2004

Andrews hadn't defeated nearby rival Carvers Bay since 2004, and the players didn't have to guess how long it had been entering Friday night's game at Yellow Jackets Stadium.

Andrews coaches made it a point to give their players a history lesson throughout the week.

"They made us good and aware," said junior defensive end Neal Pope.

Next year's players will only have to rely on short-term memory to recall the last victory.

The Yellow Jackets took the lead on a Shaq Williams touchdown and the ensuing extra point just 5 minutes into the game, and staved off a couple Carvers Bay scoring threats in the second half to defeat the Bears 7-6.

"We made it a point to them this week that we had to beat them," said second-year Andrews coach Steve Blanchard. "All week long we challenged them to play every play as if it was their last, and to compete, and to finish each play, and to play with heart, and I feel like we did that tonight. I think the whole team stood the test."

Andrews stopped the Bears at the 5-yard line on fourth down late in the third quarter, intercepted a ball at its own 1 with 5 minutes to play, and forced the Bears to turn the ball over on downs in Andrews territory the final minute.

The Class AA Yellow Jackets dropped Carvers Bay, a finalist in three of the past four Class A state championship games, to 2-2 and improved to 3-1, including a lopsided win. But they were coming off a flat performance in an 8-6 loss to Georgetown last week.

"That's something I'm so proud to see at Andrews that we finally came together, stood the test of it and finished one out," Blanchard said. "It's great to win tonight. It's fantastic to win tonight. In order to build your program you have to have wins like this. You can't go out there and beat somebody 63-15 and be happy."

An extra point by Andrews kicker Jon Wheeler and a blocked extra point by Andrews ended up being the difference in the scoring.

Carvers Bay running back Tevin Richard, who gained 179 yards on 20 carries, scored on a 66-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game, but the extra point was blocked.

Andrews' Shaq Williams picked up a fumble by Yellow Jackets quarterback Ken Funnye, who had a team-high 93 yards on 25 carries in the option, at the 2-yard line and scored for Andrews about 5 minutes into the game, and Wheeler added the extra point.

Pope ended two consecutive Carvers Bay drives in the second half. On a fourth-and-goal at the 5, the Bears eschewed a field goal attempt and loaded the backfield, and Pope met Tevin Richard at the line of scrimmage as he was trying to go over left tackle and dropped him for no gain.

On a third-and-3 on the Andrews 44 on Carvers Bay's next possession, Pope met Richard in the backfield to drop him for a 4-yard loss and force a punt. "It's mental and giving it your all," Pope said. "I did my job."

Bears coach Nate Thompson considered sending kicker Tyrone Brown on the field on fourth down at the 5.

"We thought about the field goal, we really did," Thompson said. "But it really was fourth-and-4 because 5 yards would put us in the end zone. We looked at it as 4 yards, and if you don't get 4 yards you're in trouble anyway, so we went for it. Not to mention we had an [extra point] blocked."

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bears drove 34 yards on three plays to the Andrews' 26, but Richard attempted a halfback option pass and was hit as he threw, and Williams intercepted the short pass on the 1.

"It was a fantastic football game," Blanchard said. "If you like running the football and playing good defense, it was a great game to be at tonight."