There could have been some trepidation Friday night when Beechcroft was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for not being on the field in time for the opening kickoff in its must-win game against Northland. The Cougars already knew they would be without starting quarterback Macyah Fleming because of a concussion. Robbie Williamson eased a lot of fears by returning the kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to get Beechcroft started toward a 49-7 victory.
There could have been some trepidation Friday night when Beechcroft was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for not being on the field in time for the opening kickoff in its must-win game against Northland.
The Cougars already knew they would be without starting quarterback Macyah Fleming because of a concussion.
Robbie Williamson eased a lot of fears by returning the kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to get Beechcroft started toward a 49-7 victory.
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It was double the fund for the Cougars (7-2, 6-0) in that they won the outright City League North championship and secured a spot in the Division III playoffs.
Computer playoff analyst Joe Eitel projects Beechcroft to be a fifth seed in Region 9 when the first-round pairings are announced Sunday.
Running back Rodell Rahmaan knew the team was in the proper mindset shortly after the sun rose.
“We came out focused for this game,’’ he said. “Actually, it started this morning. Everybody was locked in. You could just see it. It was a serious attitude in practice all week long. We cut down on the joking and playing around.’’
Second-year coach Trevor White said the players actually became a lot more serious following a 30-21 loss to Watterson three weeks ago in a non-conference game.
Another loss probably would have eliminated the Cougars from playoff contention.
“We talked about our mental approach after the Watterson loss,’’ White said. “That put us in a playoff situation the last two weeks. I couldn’t be prouder of them.’’
Williamson was so prepared for Northland that he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the ball. He shot through a hole in the middle of the field around the 20-yard line and went untouched on the kickoff return.
The Vikings (6-4, 4-2) had a lot to play for, too. A victory would have given them a share of the division championship and possibly could have landed them in the Division II playoffs for only the third time ever.
“I was just so hyped up,’’ Williamson said. “I had to step up my game. I saw them coming downfield and thought I’d take a dip outside. But then I saw a hole. There was nobody there after that. That’s something I always wanted to do.’’
The extra point attempt failed, and it was 6-0.
Beechcroft made it 14-0 on a 9-yard run by Joe Sullens and two-point conversion pass from Kyle Barrett to Markell Mitchell. A fumble recovery at the 20-yard line by defensive lineman Daiyon Goins made it possible.
The lead grew to 21-0 when Dai-Shau Cottrell ran 6 yards for a touchdown with 6:39 left in the first quarter. A 24-yard run by Williamson preceded the score.
The play that had to deflate the Vikings was a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Mike Powers that made it 28-7 with 10:01 left in the second quarter.
“Dai-Shau Cottrell, No. 11, made a great form tackle on that play,’’ Powers said. “I just scooped it up. We do a lot of scoop and score drills. Tonight, we had a killer instinct. We knew what they bring to the table and we knew we could bring a lot more.’’
The second half was played with a running clock with the Cougars leading by more than 30 points.