Jeff Nelson's halftime speech had to wait. Seven of his players were otherwise occupied as escorts in the homecoming ceremony.
But once they made it back to the locker room, for the few minutes that were left before the second half began, Nelson got into what was going wrong out on the field.
"I just felt we were sluggish coming out for the first two quarters," said Nelson, technically the Bruins' director of football operations until he is cleared to return full-time. "Finally, we had a talk with them, and we got everything going."
Up by a point at the break at Darling Stadium, the Bruins pulled together for 21-6 win over a Heritage team that is rapidly gaining respect around the Peninsula District. The Hurricanes, who broke a 14-game losing streak on Sept. 19, led 6-0 midway through the second quarter after nearly upsetting Woodside six days earlier.
Quarterback Frank Brown passed for 131 of his 154 yards in the second half as the Bruins (5-1, 4-1 PD) got more into their game. Running back Chris Davis finished with 85 yards and two touchdowns, and Bethel's defense limited Heritage to 48 total yards in the second half.
"We just had to settle down," said wideout Willie Davis, who had four catches for 48 yards. "We were rushing it a little bit — excited for Homecoming a bit. But after we settled down, we were good. We got it done."
For the second straight week, the Hurricanes (1-5, 1-4) held a lead against one of the district's elite. Khalid Abdullah (18 carries, 100 yards) scored on a 4-yard run with 5:20 remaining in the first half to give Heritage a 6-0 lead. It capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:05 off the clock.
Though Bethel answered with Chris Davis' 4-yard touchdown run with 1:36 left — Jordan Shover's PAT made it 7-6 — the first half was controlled by Heritage. The Hurricanes had nearly twice as many total yards (122-66). And the time of possession was more than 2-to-1 (16:20 to 7:40).
Bethel needed a big play, and Brown provided it. On second-and-3 from the Heritage 30, he was looking to set up a screen but noticed a Hurricane linebacker had jumped it. He scanned to the middle of the field and saw Willie Davis.
Hit right as he threw, Brown delivered it. Davis made the catch at the 15 and scored to make it 14-6 with 4:09 left in the third.
On the Bruins' first possession of the fourth quarter, Brown hooked up with Rashawn Proctor for 25 yards to set up a first-and-goal from the 8. Chris Davis scored on the next play.
It was another respectable loss for Heritage, which is a pushover no longer.
"I'd rather have the wins right now," first-year coach George Massenburg said. "But I can see a dramatic improvement in these guys' attitudes."
BETHEL 21, HERITAGE 6
Her—Abdullah 4 run (kick blocked), 5:20
Bet—C. Davis 4 run (Shover kick), 1:36.
Bet—W. Davis 30 pass from Brown (Shover kick), 4:09.
Bet—C. Davis 8 run (Shover kick), 8:07.
Fumbles-lost;3-1;1-1Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun