By GREG ARIAS
The Beech Buccaneers remained undefeated, improving to 9-0 and capturing the Region 6-5A championship with a 28-2 win over the visiting Gallatin Green Wave.
After the two teams failed to find points on their initial possessions, Beech struck first as running back Aaron Fox capped the scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Buccaneers an early 6-0 lead.
David Johnson connected on the point after for a 7-0 lead with 3:05 left in the opening quarter. Johnson finished the night a perfect four of four on conversion attempts.
The Green Wave then responded with a drive, moving the football to the Beech 35 yard line where running back LaDarius Stewart had his halfback pass intended for Ethan Green intercepted in the end zone by Buccaneers defensive back Ty Dean.
On the ensuing drive the Bucs covered 80 yards in 8 plays, capped by senior running back Chaz Williamson’s 3-yard scoring run.
The Buccaneers used a no-huddle offense, running out of the smokestack formation on the drive, catching Gallatin by surprise.
Gallatin’s offense was unable to produce a sustained drive and the first half closed with Beech driving to the Gallatin 12 as the second quarter expired.
Beech, who won the opening toss and deferred, to the second half kickoff and 7:02 to drive 80 yards for their third score of the night as Ja’Sean Parks found the end zone on a 7-yards scoring run.
The lone negative for Beech came with 1:00 left In the third quarter when a snap sailed over the head of Buccaneer punter Will Johnson and rolled to the Beech two-yard line. Johnson a alertly realized that he could not recover or make a play and kicked the football out of the end zone, giving Gallatin the safety and ultimately their only score of the night.
Senior running back Kameon Dunlap provided the final score of the night with an 8-yard scoring run to give Been a 28-2 advantage.
Dunlap lead the Buccaneers as the senior carried the football 40 times for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Nelson Smith finished just 3 of 5 passing for 56 yards and one interception.
For Gallatin, running back La”Darius Stewart led the Green Wave with 18 carries for 74 yards while quarterback Ander Sloan 9 of 14 passes for 116 yards.
Beech concludes their regular season next Friday night versus Hillwood while Gallatin hosts winless Glencliff to conclude their regular season.
Both team have secured their place in the playoffs that start in two weeks.
Beech will open the playoffs at home as a number one seed from Region 7 5-A while Gallatin will also be at home as the second seed. Their opponents will be determined when Page and Columbia face off next Friday night with the wined visiting Gallatin and the loser facing Beech.