“Defense is a process. They’re getting better; they grew up tonight,” Copeland said. “They fought hard to be young kids. Some of them have never played a varsity game before tonight.”
The frustrated head coach believes it was a team effort that lost the game for BHS Friday night, not one side of the ball or the other.
“We turned the ball over four times, three times inside the red zone and two times inside the five-yard line; that’s 21 points. We drove down early in the third quarter and had two busted plays that cost us the drive,” Copeland said. “So, we came away with about 28 points we should have scored.”
Leading the Braves on offense was Kenavious Thomas with 128 yards rushing and two touchdowns; though, Tajhea Chambers also had an impressive showing with 127 yards on the ground and passing for 141 yards.
Chambers connected with BHS receiver Brandon Goodman eight times on Friday for 92 yards and Jerrel Simmons on six occasions for 31 yards.
“I know we got a real good football team, but we’ve got to hang around. This is a non-region game,” Copeland said. “You know, yes, we want to win it all, but these games are going to build for region-time.”
GMC Prep also struggled in their first game against, as the Bulldogs were worn down by Harlem in the second half.
“The conditioning factor kicked in, our guys are playing both ways and they’re only playing one side,” Steven Simpson, head coach, said. “It’s not an excuse, but a reality.”
The wear-and-tear of the Bulldogs led to mistakes and turnovers that helped give their opponent an edge.
“We had a couple turnovers,” Simpson said. “We had a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, we had a fumble on a punt inside the 10-yard line.”