Bonnabel High School cornerback Sonny Tyler was definitely the right man in the right place Saturday at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
Tyler’s second of two interceptions with 8:40 left in the game sealed the Bruins’ 18-7 win over Helen Cox in the regular-season finale. Bonnabel (3-7, 2-3 District 8-5A) rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the fourth quarter by scoring three straight touchdowns.
“I was just reading the quarterback’s eyes and I broke on the ball,” Tyler said. “I knew after my first (interception) I could do it again. I didn’t expect it to be at such a crucial time, but I’ll take it however I can get it. This was a nice way to go out.”
Senior Bruins running back Jarred Ambrose led all ballcarriers with 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Ambrose scored from 7 yards out to put Bonnabel on the board early in the fourth period. After Maurice Britton scored on a 6-yard run to help the Bruins take the lead 12-7, Ambrose scored his second touchdown from 9 yards out to make it 18-7 and put the game out of reach.
While trailing most of the way, the Bruins stayed with their run game and rolled up 222 yards on the ground.
“This was a good win for us and it allows us to have something to build upon,” Bonnabel coach Reggie Rogers said. “We stuck in there to the end and the team turned it to close the game. We stuck to what we do best and we kept pounding the ball. It paid off for us and it feels good to get this win. I owe a lot to my mentor, coach (Willie) Brooks, even though he was on the losing end of this game.”
The Cougars wasted little time on their opening drive by moving the ball 83 yards in 11 plays. Junior running back Deonte’ Sylvien crashed into the end zone for the game’s first score. Cox’s Jason Charles started at quarterback for the second straight week after lining up at wide receiver for majority of the year. Charles completed 11 of 21 passes for 134 yards, but tossed three interceptions.
The Cougars defense held Bonnabel in check for majority of the game and only allowed six first downs through three quarters.
Helen Cox freshman Byron Jenkins ended a promising Bruins drive when he intercepted quarterback Semaj Franklin in the red zone.
The defense ultimately surrendered 229 total yards and Brooks said he liked the way his team competed.
“My kids fought hard out there today, but we couldn’t stay healthy as the game went on,” said Brooks, whose team fell to 1-9, 0-5. “We did a great job of containing them, but we just fell apart in the fourth quarter. I take my hat off to coach Rogers, and I am really proud of the job he has done.
“He kept the team motivated throughout the game. I know the guy really well and I wish him and his team the best.”
Bruins linebacker Dadrine Porter also recorded an interception.