Beechwood extended their winning streak to eight games after thumping Newport Central Catholic on the road, 30-13, Friday night.
The Tigers did allow some second-quarter big plays from New Cath, but otherwise physically handled a Thoroughbred team who had their own winning streak snapped at four.
It was a first half of weird plays that fit nicely on Halloween night. On their first possession, Beechwood was stopped on third down deep in their own territory, but when jack-of-all-trades Brett Slusher rolled out to punt, he saw an opening and ran it 38 yards and into the redzone. A few plays later, running back Ethan Stringer was running untouched outside for an easy touchdown, giving the Tigers an early 7-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
After a New Cath three-and-out and quick Beechwood drive, it was Stringer again, this time to the left side, taking the ball 34 yards for a score after the whole left side had been nicely sealed off from the defense. Beechwood head coach Noel Rash said earlier in week that the battle of the trenches would be important and his team responded well to that emphasis. He also needed to rely on Stringer more since starter Joe Studer has been out with a knee injury.
“We told Ethan that he was going to carry the mail tonight and he did a heck of a job doing it,” Coach Rash said.
On the NCC side, though, there is one interior player that stands out time and again. Junior defensive tackle Maleek Lawrence is hard to run against, as he was constantly pushing himself into the Beechwood backfield again on Friday night. The Tigers ended with solid rushing-yardage totals, but the majority of that came to the outside as ground was hard to gain against Lawrence.