The Ben Lippen Falcons got three passing touchdowns from Dobson Ricks and rushing touchdowns from Bryce Craft and Taevian Copney to defeat the Heathwood Hall Highlanders 34-6 Friday, August 26.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Ben Lippen head coach Bennett Weigle said. “We preached all week about how we needed to come out of the gates quickly, and we did. They put pressure on us during their first drive. They got inside the 30. Our defense bowed their back up. Then the offense went down their first possession and punched it in for us. That was a big tone setter. We talked about setting the tone early all week.”
In football game-changing momentum can shift at any moment. For Ben Lippen, it happened during the first drive of the game.
Heathwood Hall’s possession came at its 24. Runs from Dylan Lesesne and Grayson Hawn netted a yard. Then Patrick Belk connected with Thompson Dubose on third down for a 27-yard gain, getting the ball to the Ben Lippen side of the field. Four plays later, the Highlanders were punting the ball away, but a roughing the kicker penalty against the Falcons gave Heathwood Hall new life and the ball at the Ben Lippen 37. A 21-yard pass from Belk to Gabe Cooper moved the Highlanders to the Falcons’ 17. A run by Lesesne and another Ben Lippen penalty put the ball at the Falcons’ 10. However, a bad snap on third down halted the Heathwood Hall drive, and the Highlanders missed a 40-yard field goal attempt.
“It said a lot about our kids battling adversity, because that was an adverse first series,” Weigle said. “We had them stopped and then got a penalty. We gave up a big pass, and they had all the momentum. Coach (G.A.) Mangus was throwing all kinds of things at us. Our kids did a great job battling every snap.”
The Falcons took advantage of the opportunity when Ricks connected with Copney on third-and-9 for a 21-yard gain to the Ben Lippen 42. Copney then moved the ball to the Heathwood 47. Later in the drive, Ricks found Jake Treiber for a 29-yard gain to the Highlander 16. Craft then carried Ben Lippen the rest of the way with runs of nine and seven yards. The final seven yards were a scamper into the end zone to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead with 1:05 left in the first quarter.
After Ben Lippen forced Heathwood into a three-and-out on its next possession, the Falcons took over at the Highlander 43. On the second play of the drive, the first of the second quarter, Ricks threw a pass to Copney, who outran the Heathwood defense for a 45-yard touchdown. The extra-point was blocked to keep the Falcons’ lead at 13-0 with 11:50 remaining in the quarter.
Ben Lippen’s next possession began at its 28. After a Ricks incomplete pass, Craft raced 19 yards to the Falcons’ 47. Then Ricks kept the ball on a read option and scampered to the Heathwood 2. A pair of Ben Lippen penalties moved the ball back to the 12, but Copney erased the lost yardage with runs of 10 and 2 yards to get the Falcons back into the end zone. Again, the extra point was blocked, but Ben Lippen led 19-0 with 6:34 left before halftime.
Later in the quarter, the Falcons began a drive at their 3. A 7-yard run by Craft and a 14-yard run by Copney put the ball at the Ben Lippen 24. On the next play, Ricks scrambled to his left and found Blake Bost, who outran the Heathwood Hall defense for a 76-yard touchdown. Copney added the two-point conversion to give the Falcons a 27-0 lead at halftime.
The score held until midway through the third quarter when Ben Lippen started a drive at its 22. Craft ran 28 yards to midfield. He also had a 5-yard run, and Copney added a 1-yard run to move the ball to the Heathwood Hall 44. Ricks then launched a pass into Treiber’s waiting arms for a 44-yard touchdown pass. The extra point put the Falcons ahead 34-0 with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
Lesesne got the Highlanders on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good to set the final score at 34-6.
Ben Lippen amassed 445 yards of total offense, Ricks went 6-for-11 for 219 yards and three touchdowns. He also gained 51 yards on one rush. Craft led the Falcons on the ground with 127 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. Treiber had three receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown. Copney had two receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. He also had 24 yards and a touchdown on one rush.
“This was the second week in a row our offense ran the ball well. I think the passing game was better tonight than last week. We opened things up a little bit,” Weigle said. “ We missed on some things. I was hard on them all game long, offense and defense. We have to do the little things better if we want to win big games down the road. We have to clean up some stuff.”
Belk went 12-of-26 for 132 yards for Heathwood Hall. He also rushed for 18 yards on four carries. Lesesne rushed for 85 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. Thompson Dubose had four receptions for 69 yards.
Ben Lippen improves to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in SCISA AAAA. The Falcons will travel to Pinewood Prep Friday, September 2.
“These kids need confidence,” Weigle said. “They need to believe they can do it, and this was a step towards that. Going on the road and playing a region team that is very well coached, they have good players, and to come out with a win the way we did is a big confidence boost. Teams like this they battled all year and they’ve gotten better. It’s time for them to have some success.”
Heathwood Hall drops to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in SCISA AAAA. The Highlanders will travel to Bethlehem Christian on September 2.
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