In a game played as a tribute to the late O'Bryant alumnus Odin Lloyd, O’Bryant (3-0) beat Burke (0-3), 32-16, at the Jack Crump Memorial Field Friday night.
Despite being up, 8-6, at the half, Burke wasn’t able to contain the Tigers for long and gave up 28 second-half points.
“You guys all played tough out there tonight,” O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson told his team. “But we’ve got to continue to get better and prepare for English next week.”
Burke and O’Bryant both struggled to find rhythm early. Each team went three and out on their first series, but O’Bryant started a long second series from the 40-yard line and scored on a 14-yard touchdown run from quarterback Ajani Alfred-McFall midway through the first quarter.
But Burke’s defense forced a key punt early in the second quarter that gave way to a 90-yard touchdown run from the Bulldogs' Brandon Newton. Following a successful 2-point conversion from quarterback Justin Davis, the Bulldogs then took an 8-6 lead into the half.
After a 30-yard touchdown catch by Burke’s Krishna Blake early in the third quarter, it appeared that Burke was in business for its first win of the season. But following their successful two point conversion, 16 points was all the Bulldogs were able to score.
O’Bryant’s Mehki Williams scored his first touchdown on the next drive with a 24-yard scamper. His second of the game came after a Burke fumble, when he ran 10 yards into the end zone, giving O'Bryant the 20-16 midway through the fourth quarter.
“It took a lot of work to get there [the end zone],” Williams said. “I got hit a little bit, but was able to shake them off for the most part. So I have to say thanks to my line for blocking.”
The last O’Bryant touchdowns came off of two similar situations. Both O’Bryant defensive players Preston Powell and Michael McLean each had a fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, which secured the victory.
Following the game, Burke coach Byron Beaman felt the loss hard because of his team’s struggle to finish the game.
“We played soft, that’s why we didn’t win,” he said. “But we’ve got a young team, and they’re learning along the way.”
Ryan M. Butler covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe or @BPSspts.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.