HENDERSONVILLE- After seven weeks, the Beech Buccaneers remain a perfect 7-0 - thanks in large part to an impressive defensive showing against Hillsboro on Friday. Kaemon Dunlap rushed for three touchdowns and the Beech defense did the rest as the Bucs downed the Burros 20-14 at Shackle Island Stadium on homecoming night.
"It was an unbelievable effort by our guys," Beech head coach Anthony Crabtree said. "We made some adjustments and just kept fighting on. Hillsboro's got a heck of a team. Our team just wasn't willing to give in."
Hillsboro proved to be one of the most formidable foes on Beech's schedule thus far. The Burros stifled Beech's offense in the first half and led 14-7 at halftime.
"(Hillsboro) is so athletic," Crabtree said. "It was a tough matchup for us. They made it hard to move the ball."
Dunlap ran for an 18-yard score on the first drive of the game to put the Bucs up 7-0. However, the Hillsboro defense loaded the box and kept Beech's offense in check for the rest of the first half.
Meanwhile, Hillsboro tailback Jacob Frazier went to work on the ground with a 9-yard rushing touchdown. Later in the second quarter, Frazier hauled in a 57-yard bomb from Burro quarterback Darrius Smith to take a 14-7 lead.
Dunlap opened the second half with a 43-yard rushing score to knot the contest at 14. After a Hillsboro punt, the Bucs crafted another scoring drive, as Dunlap found pay dirt from three yards out. That gave the Bucs a 21-7 lead with 3:43 left in the third quarter.
From there, the Beech defense stole the show. Smith was stripped by Beech sophomore Delaney Williams for a the first of three Hillsboro turnovers in the second half. Brady Campbell sacked Smith to force a turnover-on-downs, and on Hillsboro's next possession, Beech senior linebacker Chaz Williamson brought pressure and forced Smith to throw an incompletion on fourth down.
Williamson capped off his incredible defensive effort with a sack in the final minute of play.
"(Williamson) has been awesome all year long," Crabtree said. "He's going 100 miles an hour every time the ball is snapped."
The game ended with a Ty Dean interception to put an exclamation point on a statement win for the Bucs.
"We've got 28 seniors," Crabtree said. "We knew they weren't going to quit. We showed that we wanted it more in the second half."
Dunlap finished with 174 yards on 22 carries, while Frazier had 31 carries and 190 yards for the Burros.
Beech will look to keep its perfect season going when Station Camp (1-6) comes to Shackle Island Stadium on Friday. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.
"I haven't seen much film on them," Crabtree said. "We'll start studying (Station Camp) and also make sure that we are healthy."