#5 Bethel QB Caleb Beard and RB Nore Taylor (File Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Creighton Incorminias gets his first win as Bethel’s head coach
by Jim McGrath, recruit757
HAMPTON – A stubborn Bethel High defense rendered the Heritage running game useless and the Bruins held off the Hurricanes 17-7, in a game that marked the first win for new coach Creighton Incorminias.
Against the stout front seven of the Bruins, Heritage was unable to get their running game going, and after an initial five-yard run by Izaiah Bosmond on the Hurricane’s first offensive play, the ground game sputtered mightily, losing 41 yards on their next 17 carries.
“All of them played great,” said Incorminias, whose calling card as an All-American at Bethel, star at UNC, and player with the New England Patriots was as a lineman. Speaking specifically of his defense, he added, “Everybody took a turn making a big play tonight.”
In fact, the game began in a most unusual manner, as Heritage’s first two possessions ended with Bosmond being tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Bethel an early 4-0 lead.
Asked if he had ever seen or been part of a game that started out 4-0, Incorminias could only chuckle a bit and then flatly answer – “No.”
The Bruins added to their slender lead soon after the second free kick, one which gave them possession at the Hurricane 31. Isaiah Smith’s 10-yard run was followed two plays later by Joel Hicks’ nine-yard run for a first down. This set up quarterback Caleb Beard (7-15, 108 yards), who called his own number from the seven-yard line, faking a hand off inside and bursting through the seam for a score.
But Heritage quickly answered, marching 78 yards. They almost made the whole distance in one play; however, the touchdown resulting from a side pass and long run from Brandon Bumpers was called back due to a holding penalty. But since the hold was far downfield and measured backwards from the spot of the infraction, the Canes still gained 43 yards. Later in the drive, Wooten-Ellis found receiver Roderick Webb for a score, closing the gap to 10-7, which held until the intermission.
Bethel’s offense stalled on its last drive of the first half, but Heritage suffered a worse fate, as they dropped a 4th-and-8 pass from the Bruin 33 which would have given them a first down.
Their fate did not get better in the second half. On their second drive, a Wooten-Ellis pass toward the end zone was intercepted by Travis Biggers, who out leaped Givens for the pass. Although the ensuing possession resulted in a missed Bethel field goal, the Bruins were successful on their next drive, with Smith running, 33, seven, and six yards on successive carries, with the last one pushing him into the end zone. Jose Canelas-Cortez’ extra point pushed the hosts lead to 17-7.
Yet, Heritage was finding a good niche in its passing game, with Givens catching all of his eight balls (for 69 yards) in the middle two quarters.
Two quick passes by Wooten-Ellis (15-25, 155 yards) gave the Canes a bit of momentum, but a Jamari Mann sack on 2nd-and-16 ended the drive.
For Heritage, the 0-2 start which happened just after losing head coach George Massenburg may signal the triggers associated with a long losing season. Time will tell, but the passing game, with Givens and Webb, appears to click, and could be bolstered with a strong running game. Defensively, the Canes look solid, which will keep them in close games.
On the other hand, Bethel, looking to rebound from last year’s 3-6 mark, could see their tide begin to turn. Next week, the Bruins will face Menchville, who has seen their own renaissance under new coach Rodney Taylor, solidified with a 21-0 win in their opener against Granby. A mid-season bump, with games against Phoebus and Hampton on successive weeks will reveal the mettle and character of Incorminias’ team.
But on Saturday night, simply enjoying a victory was good enough news.
“Our defensive coaches laid out a good plan,” said Incorminias, who brought his team together in a big circle near midfield following the game. “We want to keep up the momentum, but we want o work on being better in the red zone.”
FINAL: Bethel 17, Heritage 7
– Jim McGrath
HERITAGE – 0, 7, 0, 0 — 7
BETHEL – 10, 0, 7, 0 — 17
1st Downs 7 15
Rush-Yds. 18 – (-36) 44-203
Pass Yds. 155 108
C-A-I 15-25-2 7-15-0
Punts-avg. 4-26 2-36
Pen-yds. 7-52 8-76
Fum.-Lost 0-0 2-1
B – Safety (sack in end zone)
B – Safety (sack in end zone)
B – Caleb Beard 7 run (kick failed)
H – Roderick Webb 27 pass from Jaden Wooten-Ellis (Isaiah Bosman kick)
B – Isaiah Smith 6 run (Jose Canelas-Cortez kick)