If you go strictly by the numbers, it doesn't add up.
For the season, Bethel is giving up more total yards per game (256) that it produces (240). With a game plan that runs 80 percent of the time, the Bruins are seventh in the Peninsula District in rushing and average a fairly pedestrian 4.2 yards per carry.
Yet here we are, two weeks left in the regular season, and Bethel is 6-2. And, more to the point, in solid position to return to the Eastern Region Division 6 playoffs.
How are the Bruins doing it? One way of explaining it could be that they do nothing extraordinary but everything well. That includes the so-called "little things," like taking care of the ball, not committing killer penalties, and being consistent in the kicking game.
"We try to make it a team game," Bethel coach Bubba Hooker said. "We actually talked to the players last week about how we have no statistical leaders and no individual stars, just good high school football players. They play hard and together and support each other.
"Getting beat 51-0 by Lake Taylor (on Sept. 6), they could have folded their tents. But they said, hey, that's not who we are. We try not to emphasize winning. We emphasize competing and not beating ourselves."
Bethel, which defeated Warwick 20-13 Thursday night, has done that. The Bruins have turned the ball over eight times in eight games. Only Phoebus has fewer with seven.
Bethel also has the most effective kicking game in the district. Jordan Shover is 28-for-30 on extra points this season. Alex Wilson is averaging 38 yards a punt.
Heritage-Kecoughtan: The win and a bonus
For Heritage, getting the win Thursday night was the prime objective. And with a dominant first half and a nice recovery in the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes did that with a 32-17 victory.
But Heritage was able to accomplish something else.
"Coach (Weymouth) Williams and Coach (Rudolph) Foye were telling the defense this week that it would be great to have someone in the Heritage family be the (PD's) rushing leader for the last couple of games," Hurricanes head coach George Massenburg said. "That was big.
"The defense took pride in that, and so did the offensive line. And if you have a stallion, you don't want to keep him in the barn.":
Khalid Abdullah ran like a stallion with 179 yards on 33 carries, which allowed him to overtake Kecoughtan's Trenton Cannon atop the district's rushing leaders. Abdullah now has 1,268 yards after eight games. Cannon, who was held to 72 yards Thursday night, is next with 1,210.
Phoebus' Tony Pittman, who missed two games, has 1,120 yards and is the leader in per-game average at 186.7.
Woodside-Phoebus: The game plan is chucked
On their 18th play from scrimmage Friday night, the Wolverines were already on their fourth quarterback.
"That was a surprise," Woodside coach Danny Dodson said.
True enough, it's not one of those things coaches expect to happen. But one by one, starting with Darius Howell three minutes into the game, they went down. So freshman Devin Gray ended up playing from the 5:20 mark of the second quarter on.
And you know what? The kid did all right. He threw a couple of interceptions, but he also hit on 6-of-11 passes for 139 yards. Seventy-three of that came on a deep ball to Jawaun Leach that couldn't have been thrown any better.
"I thought he was super," Dodson said.
Howell was taken to the hospital with what is believed to be a dislocated left elbow. His status for this week is uncertain.
Hampton-Menchville: Crabbers firing blanks
With Friday night's 64-0 win over Menchville, Hampton has won its last four games by a combined score of 207-0. And in that span, the Crabbers have allowed only 27 first downs and 427 total yards (107 per game).
The last Peninsula District team to post four consecutive shutouts was Phoebus in 2008. That was the defense headed by Dominik Davenport that only gave up an insane 53 points in a 15-game season.
The last time Hampton pitched four straight shutouts was the first four games of the 2000 season.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun