In North Bay Haven’s season-opening 20-12 loss to Rutherford last week, Buccaneers coach Jeff Lee said he thought his team played well enough to win. Actual victories are always greater than moral victories, however, and on Thursday night at Gavlak Stadium the Bucs got to experience the former for the first time in 2017.
NBH overcame a delayed kickoff and a soggy field to grind out a 20-0 win over Franklin County, improving to 1-1 on the season. Franklin County dropped to 0-2.
Ty Boles had a big night for the Buccaneers, rushing 15 times for 116 yards and a touchdown and adding 74 receiving yards on two catches and another score.
Anthony Hill added 71 rushing yards on nine carries for NBH, with Ray Tynan completing 3 of 9 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. However, it was the Bucs’ defense that was most impressive, limiting the Seahawks to just 159 yards of offense while forcing three turnovers.
“It was great. That’s what we needed,” Lee said of the shutout. “We played well (defensively) last week minus some missed tackles and had a chance to win that one. Hanging around like we did last week gave us some encouragement. Tonight, the defense really wanted to get that shutout.”
It was the NBH offense that set the tone early with an eight-play, 73-yard scoring drive, with a 33-yard run by Hill and a 32-yard pass from Tynan to Lionel Ricks setting up a 10-yard touchdown run by Hill. The extra point failed, leaving the Bucs up 6-0 with just over three minutes gone by.
The Bucs had a golden opportunity to add on to the lead after the Seahawks fumbled on their second play from scrimmage at their own 39-yard line, but the NBH drive stalled at the 14-yard line and a 31-yard field goal attempt by Cooper Lovett was blocked by Branden Osburn.
NBH struck again with 3:55 left in the second quarter on 70-yard touchdown pass from Tynan to a wide open Boles, with the two-point conversion by Hill making it 14-0.
Franklin County controlled the ball throughout most of the third quarter, with NBH running just six offensive plays.
But the Seahawks couldn’t capitalize, wasting their best scoring opportunity when a first-and-goal from the 8-yard line turned into a fourth-and-goal from the 18 resulting in an interception in the end zone by Hill.
The Bucs looked to put the game away early in the fourth with a 10-play, 53-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard touchdown run by Boles to make it 20-0 with 6:55 remaining. The next Seahawks series again ended with a turnover, as Camiren Gant picked off an errant pass over the middle by senior quarrerback Landen Abel at the NBH 19-yard line with 5:11 to play.
Boles helped the Bucs run the final 5:11 of game time out on their final series, breaking off runs of 22 and 46 yards to move the ball all the way to the Franklin County 8-yard line. The senior Boles had 95 of his 116 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.