HOT SPRINGS – It might be time to start putting the Bath County Chargers (6-0) in the conversation as one of the top football programs in 2023.
Coming off of their bye week from the week before, Bath County rolled past the Auburn Eagles following a 47-0 blowout victory.
Just how dominant were the Chargers in their win at Carl F. Williams Field on Friday? The team scored 19 points within the first seven minutes of the game and 33 for just the first quarter.
Talk about being prepared following their bye week. Bath County head coach Jake Phillips and his staff deserve so much credit for having their team ready to go. All too often following a bye week, teams can slip up or look rusty to start the game. Not these Chargers. There was no rust as they scored on all seven of their first half possessions to a total of 47 points.
Out in front leading the way for Bath County was junior standout Wyatt Campbell, who keeps on getting better and more impressive, much like the entire Chargers football team, as the season progresses.
Campbell led the way with six total touchdowns. In the rushing attack, on only five rushing attempts, Campbell ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring runs of 58 and 77-yds. In the air, Campbell completed 5-of-6 attempts for another 111-yds, along with three touchdown passes.
Senior Andrew Turner led the way in receiving for Bath County with two receptions for 56-yds and a touchdown. Meanwhile, senior Bransen Gordon and junior Braiden Mabe each also added a touchdown reception. Sophomore Ethan Bryant added a touchdown run as well.
While the offense was dominant with over 430-yds, the Bath County defense was just as impressive as they delivered their second shutout of the season. The Chargers defense held Auburn to only 136-yds and had four forced turnovers. Junior Dillan Royer, sophomore Asa Altizer, and freshman Walker Randozzo each had fumble recoveries, while junior Cooper Lowry added an interception.
From the opening kickoff it all spiraled for Auburn. The Eagles tried an onside kick attempt that Bath County recovered. Less than four minutes later and only on a couple plays, the Chargers were in the end zone on a 5-yd touchdown run by Bryant.
Things would go from bad to worse for Auburn on the ensuing kickoff as they would fumble the ball at their Owen 30-yd line on the kick return. Needing only two plays, Bath County was back in the end zone following a 30-yd touchdown run by Campbell. It was one of Campbell’s most impressive runs of the season as he avoided the rush and cut back to the middle as he found a gap and was able to break free for the score.
In a desperation attempt, Auburn who found themselves trailing 13-0 less than five minutes into the game, went for it on fourth down on their next offensive drive. The Eagles did not convert the fourth down attempt and turned the ball over on downs at their own 38-yd line.
One play later, Campbell connected with Turner from 38-yds to put Bath County up 19-0 with just over eight minutes still remaining in the first quarter.
Bath County would go on to score two more times in the first period on two touchdown passes from Campbell. A 9-yd pass to Mabe and a 41-yd pass to Gordon.
With a 33-pt lead entering the second quarter, Bath County would reach the end zone two more times in the first half to build the 47-pt advantage.
On the first score of the second quarter, Auburn backed Bath County to their own 15-yd line. However, the Chargers need only three plays to go 85-yds down the field with the end result being a 58-yd touchdown run by Campbell.
As impressive as the first score of the second quarter was for Bath County, the team would top it with their second.
While it was a struggle throughout the game for Auburn to move the ball, the Eagles did get the ball to the Bath County 25-yd line. However, as the drive looked promising for the Eagles, a bad snap would result in the team committing their third turnover of the half.
After back-to-back offensive penalties Bath County would find themselves backed to their 12-yd line. And once again it did not phase the Chargers offense. Needing only two plays Campbell would score his third rushing touchdown of the game, this time from 78-yds out.
With a running clock in the second half, the Chargers offense only took the field twice and turned the ball over on downs both times.
Non-district games are over for Bath County who now head into their final four weeks with opponents from the Pioneer District.
On Friday, the Chargers will head to Elliston to play the Eastern Montgomery Mustangs (2-4, 1-0 Pioneer). The Mustangs were 44-24 winners on the road over Craig County last week. These are the kind of games that can defy a programs’ entire season.
Following last week’s dominating win over Auburn, I think it’s safe to say that Bath County football is back on the map!
Auburn 0 0 0 0 – 0
Bath County 33 14 0 0 – 47
BCHS – E. Bryant 5 run (2pt attempt failed), 11:01
BCHS – W. Campbell 30 run (A. Turner kick), 10:00
BCHS – A. Turner 38 pass from W. Campbell (extra point no good), 8:02
BCHS – B. Mabe 9 pass from W. Campbell (A. Turner kick), 4:35
BCHS – B. Gordon 41 pass from W. Campbell (A. Turner kick), 1:47
BCHS – W. Campbell 58 run (A. Turner kick), 8:34
BCHS – W. Campbell 77 run (A. Turner kick), 2:23
RUSHING: W. Campbell 5-207. L. Turner 7-67, A. St Clair 3-30, H. Waldeck 3-28, C. Lowry 4-7, E. Bryant 2-5. PASSING: W. Campbell 5-6-111. RECEIVING: A. Turner 2-56, B. Gordon 1-41, B. Mabe 1-9, E. Bryant 1-5.
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