FOOTBALL GAME OF THE WEEK: Improving Bears pitch shutoutBy Stephen Dawkins Published 3:15pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Losing a regular contributor to an injury is never good, especially when the injury happens in the middle of a crucial region contest.
Billingsley found itself in this situation last week while playing Keith, but instead of leading to adversity, several untested players rose to the occasion and helped the Bears to perhaps its most impressive win of the season so far.
Billingsley won, 18-0.
Because of the injury, sophomore safety Mason Friday and senior receiver Telvin Tyus were forced into action.
They responded well, BHS coach Tyson McLean said.
“When it got to be their time, I thought they played well for us,” McLean said.
Friday helped the Bears defense pitch a shutout.
“Anytime you get a shutout, it’s hard to get beat,” McLean joked.
The coach said more defenders pursuing the ballcarrier has helped the unit improve its performance.
Meanwhile, Tyus and junior running back Marquis Kent helped power the Billingsley offense.
Kent, another player growing into a more prominent role on the team, registered a team-high 58 rushing yards on only four carries.
Kent transferred from Wetumpka after the 2012 season. McLean said he continues to progress.
“We’re always looking for somebody to step up,” McLean said.
An ingredient in Billingsley’s recipe for success last week was getting off to a fast start. The Bears defense forced Keith into a three-and-out on its first possession, and then the Billingsley offense took its first possession of the game down the field for a touchdown.
McLean said the good start was important for establishing confidence that lasted through the end of the game.
Seven or eight of Billingsley’s 11 starters on each side of the ball play on both offense and defense. McLean said it can take a few games for two-way players to acclimate to the physical requirements of such a demanding role.
“You try to simulate a game in practice, but you’re never going to get that real game feel until you get out there,” he said.