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Nate Charest scores the winning touchdown as the Bulldogs defeat Richmond County 38-31.
By Tim Long
The Mint Hill Times
Photos by Mark Sward swardpics.com
It looked bleak for the Butler Bulldogs at the beginning of the fourth quarter in Friday’s win over defending state champs Richmond County in Rockingham. The Bulldogs fell behind 31-17 when Quayshawn Dumas caught a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tedarrius Wiley with 11 minutes left in the game. Up to that point, the Raiders had scored on every series of the game except the first, and Butler looked like it might have a long drive back home.
Then came big plays on offense, and the defense which looked like a new team, and Bulldogs pulled out an improbably 38-31 win.
Coach Mike Newsome said he had to pick his team up after the Raiders took the two-touchdown lead.
“We (the coaching staff) had to get on them a little bit about not being ready to play,” Newsome said. “We had to show them that all we needed was one play. And once we scored the touchdown in the fourth quarter, they realized we can make it happen.”
The Bulldogs needed just three plays before Anthony Short caught a 19 yard touchdown pass form Christian LeMay to make it a 31-24 game. The defense then did its part, forcing the Raiders to turn the ball over on downs, and setting up another scoring drive.
“Our defense came out in the second half and shut down a really, really good offense,” Newsome said. “I thought they played tremendously in the second half and allowed us to make the big plays on offense.”
A 42-yard touchdown pass to Short, and and then a 45-year strike to Nate Charest–both passes from LeMay–gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. LeMay looked frustrated in the first half. Said Newsome:
“He was kind of shaky at the beginning of the game, but good quarterbacks just bow their necks when the going gets tough and that’s what he did. He made some great throws right on time and on target and our receivers did a god job catching the ball and getting down field.”
Richmond was unable to convert a key fourth down on the their final possession, leaving a packed house of Raider fans stunned, and keeping the Bulldogs perfect at 3-0 in what Newsome said was one of the biggest wins in Butler school history.
“We got a ton of athletes so if we stick to the game plan then we’ll be a tough team to stop,” Newsome said.
• Richmond running back Walter Ellerbe is the son of Walter “Flip” Ellerbe, the running back who started on all three of the Raiders’ consecutive state championships in the early 1990s.
• The Butler coaching staff should be very happy to have running back/nose guard Jawaun Edwards back after missing the first two games to injury. Edwards played each of Butler’s first series on offense and defense and gave the Bulldogs some hard running at the end of the game. In the open field, Edwards is impossible to bring down by one person.
• Christian LeMay was thoroughly out-played by Raider quarterback Tedarrius Wiley for most of the game. But three touchdowns in the fourth quarter must have impressed the many college scouts who were in attendance.
• Butler is still with out starting running back Markel Moore. When he comes back, the Bulldogs will have an impressive group of play-makers.