SANFORD – Two strong defensive teams collided Friday night at Stephen A. Cobb Stadium, and sustained drives would be a challenge for both Bonny Eagle and Sanford.
Instead, big breaks made the difference and Bonny Eagle got most of them in the end as the Scots rallied from a 6-0 halftime deficit to beat the Spartans, 19-6.
Quarterback Zach Dubiel’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Ben Malloy with 58 seconds left broke open a close game. The victory keeps Bonny Eagle unbeaten at 3-0. Sanford dropped to 2-1.
Dubiel’s 44-yard run set up the Scots’ first touchdown. The second touchdown came after Sanford’s only lost fumble.
“We were in a physical battle, no doubt,” Spartans Coach Mike Fallon said. “In the second half, we probably made more mistakes than them. They made a few more plays than us.”
Both teams totaled 265 yards on offense. Josh Schroder again played the workhorse role for Sanford with 30 carries for 189 yards and one touchdown.
Bonny Eagle knew Schroder was getting the ball. Bringing him down is another matter.
“That’s a great player right there,” Dubiel said.
Dubiel did alright himself, with 119 yards rushing (107 in the second half) and 44 passing.
“Towards the end of the game, we want to keep it in No. 7’s hands,” Bonny Coach Kevin Cooper said of Dubiel.
Dubiel had a 40-yard run nullified by a penalty in the first quarter. Mistakes continued in the second quarter when the Scots lost a fumble at midfield. Colby Perigo returned it to the Bonny Eagle 35 with 2:21 left in the first half.
Sanford drove to the one and, on fourth down, Schroder walked into the end zone untouched for a 6-0 halftime lead.
On Bonny Eagle’s first possession of the second half, Dubiel’s 44-yard run made it first and goal, just inside the 10. On fourth down, Jon Woods dove over from the one. Bonny Eagle also missed its extra-point kick, for a 6-6 tie.
The Scots lost their second fumble late in the third quarter, but the Spartans fumbled it back two plays later at the Sanford 40.
Dubiel got most of the carries, leading to Woods’ two-yard run and a 12-6 lead with 8:35 left in the game.
Schroder, who lined up at running back and also quarterback in the wildcat formation, moved the Spartans to the Scots 38. But linebacker Brandon Johnson halted the drive with an interception and return to the Spartans’ 44.
That led to Dubiel’s touchdown pass, securing the win.
“At halftime there weren’t any adjustments,” Cooper said. “We had to get physical. We had to make our reads better. We had to play our gaps better.
“Once we did that, we could slow them down. But they’re good and Schroder is a heck of a back.”
Nose tackle Isaiah Reynolds, along with linebacker Robie Martin, Brian Rollins and Dubiel played roles in slowing down the Spartans.
Bonny Eagle is home next Friday night against Scarborough. Sanford plays next Saturday afternoon at Thornton Academy.
Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: