GALLATIN - For the ninth year in a row, Beech has defeated Gallatin High School on the gridiron.
Friday night’s latest installment came later in the evening than previous years, as a two-hour weather delay threatened to postpone the game to Saturday evening.
Wrapping up just shy of midnight was a dominant ground performance by the Buccaneers in the 36-8 victory.
Beech (6-1, 4-0) was led on the ground by senior Adrian Johnson, who racked up 129 yards and three scores on just nine carries, en route to 317 team rushing yards and 416 total yards.
Patrick Hill finished with 75 yards while Xaviere Jones and Tysean Jefferson each attained 45 yards and a score. Junior Darius Johnson concluded the fourth quarter with two carrels for 21 yards.
“Those guys all work extremely hard and stepped in tonight and ran hard,” Beech head coach Anthony Crabtree said. “Extremely proud of those guys tonight.”
Offensively the Bucs moved the ball well, racking up 14 first downs while defensively limiting Gallatin to only 161 total yards and eight first downs.
“Defense stepped up, I thought we had a good game plan coming in, and our guys made the plays,” Crabtree said.
The victory over the Wave pushes Beech one win closer to their fourth consecutive region championship.
"The biggest thing is our health, and we have to make sure mentally we understand the game plan and continue to get better at the small things,” Crabtree said.
For Gallatin (3-6, 3-1), the loss Friday night is their sixth in a row, the most since 1963. Offensively, Gallatin has been outscored 82-8 in their last two games.
Of the 161 yards of total offense against Beech, 73 yards came on a quarterback keeper from Mason Stanley that set up the Wave’s only touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter.
Stanley finished the game as the team’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 10 carries.
Beech drew first blood, capping off an 11-play, 80-yard drive with an Adrian Johnson one-yard plunge for the quick 7-0 advantage in the first frame.
Tysean Jefferson then found the end zone on a 4th-and-two, bouncing to the outside after being bottled up at the line of scrimmage for the 13-0 advantage midway through the second quarter.
With 41 seconds remaining in the half, Johnson found the end zone for his second score, this time from 13 yards out on 4th-and-three.
Leading 20-0 at the break, Johnson opened the third quarter racing 58 yards down the sideline for the 27-0 lead before a safety on the next defensive series pushed the Bucs out in front 29-0.
Xaviere Jones added the Bucs final touchdown of the game to start the fourth quarter from seven yards out on a designed quarterback keeper.
Gallatin finally broke through with 8:13 remaining when Montez Banks scored from four yards out following Stanley’s 73-yard run.
Stanley capped off the scoring drive with a two-point conversion for the game’s final score.
Beech will try and wrap up the region title at home next week against Hillwood, while Gallatin will try to end their six-game losing skid at home against Glencliff. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.