By HARRISON HAMLET
(RUSTBURG, Va.) – The opening few possessions of Bassett’s football season saw jitters take their toll on the Bengals. Three turnovers in the first four possessions put head coach Brandon Johnson’s team behind the eight-ball on the road in Rustburg, and they simply couldn’t recover, falling 20-0 to the Devils.
“At the start of the game we fumbled the ball each of our first four possessions and lost three of them on pretty much three consecutive plays,” Johnson said. “They recovered one on the two-yard-line and scored. We couldn’t really get anything going offensively after that…We didn’t play up to our potential on the offensive side of the football.”
Defensively, Johnson said he was proud of how the Bengals played. Bassett went into the half trailing just 6-0 with a chance to take the fight to Rustburg after the break.
The Devils had other ideas, however, taking the opening kickoff of the second half and producing an eight-minute scoring drive that Johnson felt really turned the tide against the Bengals.
“They opened the second half with a long scoring drive and we could never really rebound from it,” Johnson said. “Our defense was on the field a lot and we struggled to recover from that. I feel like the game could’ve turned out differently if they hadn’t had that one drive.”
Rustburg was able to build on their lead behind the strength of their running game, adding one more score in the fourth quarter. On the game, the Devils rushed 48 times for 204 yards, while Bassett was held to under 100 total yards on the night.
“Defensively, we played well. We played assignment football and were able to put pressure on them. We limited their quarterback to just three attempts and he had to throw it away every time,” Johnson said. “The tale of the whole game was really our struggles offensively.”
On September 6, Johnson and his Bengals will try to rebound when they travel to Pulaski County (1-0).
“As a staff, we know how tough Pulaski is going to be. Rustburg was a tough team in the trenches and Pulaski will be similar,” Johnson said. “There were definitely some first game jitters, but I feel like it we can cut out mental mistakes and take care of the football we can compete. I feel like every game we have a chance to compete and it’s my job to get the kids to execute.”
Rustburg 20, Bassett 0
BHS – 0 0 0 0 – 0
RHS – 6 0 8 6 – 20