Carvers Bay was nothing if not opportunistic Friday night at Trojans Stadium.
How else do you explain 47 points and just four first downs?
The Bears scored all seven of their touchdowns in a 47-26 win over Green Sea Floyds on or immediately following two blocked punts, a blocked field goal, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
"That's been our M.O.: blown opportunities. So tonight we had to capitalize on those," Bears coach Nate Thompson said. "...Tonight we finished."
The Bears (4-4), who improved to 2-2 in Region VIII-A, were coming off consecutive shutout losses at the hands of Hemingway and Lake View.
"The defense made good plays and special teams stepped up, and that's how we scored our points," said running back Quae'Shawn Brockington, who gained 111 yards on 23 carries and scored four touchdowns. "It was time for us to pull together and redeem ourselves tonight. The word redemption describes the Carvers Bay football team."
The turnovers helped the Bears overcome 208 yards rushing and two scores by speedy Trojans back Lasan Reaves.
Carvers Bay scored two touchdowns in the game's opening minute and a half, as a blocked punt by Chad O'Donald set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Brockington, and a strip of Reaves on the ensuing kickoff by Leshon Morris set up a 28-yard Deshawn Aiken touchdown pass to Edward Anderson.
The Bears had a 14-0 lead after their first two offensive plays. Short scoring runs by Reaves and quarterback Holden Clark pulled the Trojans even at 14, but a 60-yard return of a blocked field goal by Jurmane Reed set up a back-breaking 10-yard touchdown run by Brockington with 5 seconds remaining in the half. The Bears held a 21-14 halftime advantage without gaining a first down in the first half.
The Trojans were within two points midway through the fourth quarter. A 63-yard pass from Devante Dawkins to Damion King following a lateral throw from Clark and 80-yard scoring run by Reaves sandwiched a 6-yard Brockington TD run set up by a blocked punt.
But GSF's final three turnovers in the fourth quarter led to three Bears touchdowns in a span of 1:20 and turned a two-point deficit into a 21-point deficit with 3:54 remaining.
Chad O'Donald intercepted a Holden Clark pass over the middle at midfield to set up a 13-yard Brockington run, a Brad Young sack of Clark caused a fumble that was recovered by Terrence Jenerette in the end zone, and Akeem King intercepted a pass at the goal line for a score.
"All of a sudden we went from a high to a low real quick," Still said. "That's adversity, and we're young and just being able to handle adversity when it hits and forget about the last play and go ahead and play football."
The Bears weren't without their mistakes; they had three lost fumbles and had both a punt and extra point blocked, but the miscues weren't as catastrophic.
"We just make too many mistakes we can't overcome," said Trojans coach Joey Still, whose team fell to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in VIII-A. "That's kind of been our story all year, and I hate it for the kids because we're getting so much better. Every week we're improving and that's frustrating for the kids to come up on the short end. We're not that bad of a football team."