Buhach Colony runs over Bethel

August 27, 2011 

ATWATER -- James Kelleher displayed his ability to burst through holes all night.

Stefon Gold showed he's not afraid of contact.

Leon Miles, Jayce Webster and Chandler Jefferson also displayed their skills with the ball in their hand.

One of the biggest questions coming into the season was who was going to carry the ball for Buhach Colony?

Together, the Thunder's young, deep stable of backs answered that question on Friday night.

The Thunder rolled up 325 yards on the ground as they disposed of Bethel 34-13 in their season opener at Falcon Field.

Buhach Colony head coach Kevin Swartwood showed his hand early, using six different rushers on the opening drive that was capped off by a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Nick Datray.

"That's going to be our new look," Swartwood said. "We have five flybacks and four running backs that can run the ball."

The Thunder were rolling early.

Buhach Colony turned two first-half Bethel turnovers into a pair of touchdowns.

Gold scored on runs of 2 and 4 yards to help give the Thunder a 20-0 lead at the half.

Meanwhile, the Buhach Colony defense was just as impressive.

Defensive lineman Aziz Shittu was all over the field, recording eight tackles, including a sack.

On one play, he rushed the quarterback and eventually chased down a receiver 18 yards down field to save a first down.

The Thunder held the Jaguars to just 80 yards of total offense on only 32 plays.

"That felt great," Shittu said. "Defensively we played well, other than early on in that second half. But we turned it up. (Bethel) didn't want to exchange film with us so we just played our hearts out."

If their was a star offensively for BC, it was Kelleher. The sophomore carried the ball 16 times for 141 yards.

"Kevin Kelleher really impressed me tonight," Swartwood said. "He's the type of guy who can grind out four or five yards when you need it. He proved he could do it in a game tonight. He played with no fear."

The game wasn't without tense moments.

The Thunder came out sloppy in the second half. Two fumbles and a bad snap on a punt helped the Jaguars storm back into the game.

Bethel's Demarco Porter returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown to cut BC's lead to 20-7 with 8:44 left in the third quarter.

The Buhach Colony defense held after a Miles fumble turned the ball back over to Bethel on the next Thunder possession.

However, a bad snap sailed over the head of Thunder punter Enrique Covarrubias.

The Jaguars took over on the Thunder 15-yard line and quarterback K'Lan Anderson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run shortly after to pull Bethel within 20-13 with 11:25 left in the game.

The Thunder defense came through again, however, recovering a fumbled snap at the Bethel 15-yard line five minutes later.

Webster scored a 15-yard fly sweep to extend the Thunder lead to 27-13.

An interception by BC's Prince Hallion later set up a 20-yard touchdown run by Jefferson to give the Thunder a 34-13 lead and put the game away.

"We were rolling early," Swartwood said. "Our defense was stopping them. Then we came out and dropped the ball a couple times. We have some stuff to clean up a bit for next week."

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