Belaire took out some frustrations Thursday night in a 46-8 nondistrict victory against undermanned East Iberville at Olympia Stadium.
Jeremy Barnes rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns, and Phillip Stevens added 149 rushing yards and three TDs for the Bengals (1-4) of District 6-4A. It was the first win for Belaire since 2011.
“It’s great to get a victory,” Belaire coach Keith Woods said. “This coaching staff worked so hard. They deserved a victory. These players deserved a victory. Belaire High deserved a victory.
“We just wanted to make sure we worked on being consistent. I think in the other games that we’ve played, consistency was our problem … I just think tonight we were a little bit more focused, we came out and were able to put together early enough to hold on.”
EIHS quarterback Junius Chong threw for 126 yards and rushed for a TD. Joseph Bailey posted 98 receiving yards and rushed for 90 for the Tigers (0-5) of District 8-1A.
“We’ve got about 25 players, mostly ninth and 10th-graders, (and) they played hard against a 4A football team,” EIHS coach John Young said. “We’re getting better every week. We wanted to play a tougher nondistrict schedule, which we did this year. We’re just trying to get better.”
Belaire piled up 242 rushing yards in the first two quarters and scored on its last five series of the first half.
Stevens’ first score was a 1-yard run that gave the Bengals a 6-0 edge with 3:05 to go in the first quarter.
Barnes added his first score, a 9-yard scamper with 59 seconds to go in the first quarter. Tyler Woods’ pass to Taurus Wilson accounted for the 2-point conversion to put Belaire ahead 14-0 with 59 seconds remaining in the period.
Barnes’ 31-yard run with 6:55 left before halftime gave the Bengals a 20-0 cushion.
Then Stevens added a 2-yard TD run with 4:01 to go before intermission as Belaire claimed a 26-0 advantage.
Barnes rushed for 137 yards in the first half, including a 60-yarder. That long run set up his 2-yard TD with 1:03 to go in the first half to give Belaire a 32-0 lead it took into halftime.
Two turnovers and penalties stunted some promising East Iberville drives. The Tigers got as far as the Belaire 18 on their first drive before a holding penalty knocked EIHS back and eventually forced a turnover-on-downs.
Barnes added his third TD with a 32-yard run in which he moved the pile at 5 and forced his way into the end zone. That effort gave Belaire a 38-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
EIHSnotched its score midway through the fourth quarter. Chong scrambled for a 12-yard run and followed up with a PAT pass to Bailey.
Belaire answered on the first play from scrimmage on Stevens’ 48-yard TD run. Backup quarterback Tim Johnson added the PAT run for the game’s final points.