2007-09-05 / Sports

Bears wounded by Warriors in season opener

By Anne Marie Kyzer Staff Writer

Senior quarterback Tyler Hammett fights a swift Warrior defense. STAFF -  ANNE MARIE KYZER Senior quarterback Tyler Hammett fights a swift Warrior defense. STAFF - ANNE MARIE KYZER Burke County's hopes for a big win to open the season were washed away in Jefferson County Friday night.

The Bears (0-1) fell to the Jefferson County High School Warriors 27-17 after battling it out in the rain that poured down most of the game.

But if head coach Eric Parker's confidence in his Bears was shaken, he didn't show it.

"We're going to get better," he said three times after the game. "They just wore us down."

Coach Parker's pre-game predictions about the Warriors' quick defense rang true.

Burke County's offense struggled to gain yardage against a Warrior defense that held its ground like a brick wall.

The Bears only picked up 6 first downs the entire game.

"We just weren't able to line up against a team like that and run the football," Coach Parker said.

Starting quarterback junior Bobby Burum got plenty of punting practice on special teams as the Bears were forced to drop back and make the best of fourth down plays time and again.

Despite a strong effort from the Burke County defense, Jefferson County's talented sophomore quarterback Barry Bostic proved himself with help from running back Lamar Brown.

The Warriors put 7 on the board early after a succession of first downs put them in the end zone and the extra point kick sailed through the goal posts.

The Warriors added another 7 early in the second quarter to make the score 14-0.

Burke County posted a couple of points with just over 4 minutes left in the half when Jefferson County's center snapped the ball into the end zone for a safety.

Two minutes later, the Bears added 6 points when senior Tyler Hammett, who took Burum's place at quarterback, found Cornelius Washington in the end zone with a touchdown pass.

The Bears retired to the locker room with the score 14-8 after the first half.

In the third, Burke County scored another 2 points with an unusual second safety of the game. But the play cost them, too, with an injury to sophomore lineman Te'Varial Cleveland. Cleveland, who is scheduled to undergo surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), will likely sit out the rest of the season.

Halfway through the fourth quarter, the Warriors ran the ball into the end zone for another 6 points and a solid kick bumped their lead to 21-10.

Just over a minute later on the play clock, Bostic threw a touchdown pass for an additional 6 points, but the Warriors failed to add the extra point.

Despite the point deficit, the Bears wouldn't quit.

They posted their final points with 2:14 left on the clock when junior Naigee Lassiter blocked a Jefferson County punt and the Bears recovered the ball in the end zone.

Burke County's defense put up 10 of the Bears' 17 points in the game.

Their defeat marks the Bears' fourth consecutive loss to the Warriors.

WHO'S NEXT?

Next game: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7 in the Bear Den

Opponent: Screven County High School Gamecocks (0-1)

What to expect: Coach Parker is looking to go up against a strong Gamecock defense. He also expects to compete with a heavily-relied upon running game. "We'll have to get them stopped or slow them down at least," he said.

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