With the score tied at 14 at halftime, Bunker Hill needed to make something happen against East Burke.
It did exactly that.
The Bears scored on the opening drive of the second half Friday and forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to seize control of their conference opener. The Bears scored five touchdowns in the second half en route to a 47-14 win at home Friday over the Cavaliers. Its the first time since 1980 the Bears started a season 5-0.
“This community has been so hungry and needed this,” said Bunker Hill coach Travis Conner. “You can tell. You can see it in the stands. Everyone is excited about what is going on at Bunker Hill.”
The Bears’ defense and special teams stepped up their play in the second half. The defense limited the Cavaliers to 73 yards on offense, and it sealed the win with a late turnover. East Burke quarterback Matt Childers was under pressure and threw an interception to Bunker Hill’s Nick Isenhour, who returned it 45 yards for a touchdown and gave Bunker Hill a 41-14 lead.
“I just looked at the end zone and had my eyes on getting there,” Isenhour said. “The defense played with more intensity, played more as a team, and we didn’t make stupid mistakes.”
East Burke fullback Robbie McGee, who had a team-high 112 yards rushing, had only 19 in the second half. Conner said his team moved personnel around on defense to prevent the Cavaliers from running off-tackle with success.
The special teams put Bunker Hill on a roll forcing a fumble at the East Burke 23 on a kickoff return with more than 9 minutes left in the third quarter. That play set up a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Reggie Davis.
“You can’t give a team that talented and that good a short field,” East Burke coach Jim Ruark said. “They are going to capitalize on it and continue to capitalize on it.”
Davis led the Bears’ offense in the second half. The junior scored three straight touchdowns in the third quarter and finished the half with 95 yards rushing on 10 carries. His first touchdown put Bunker Hill up 21-14, his second 28-14, and his third 34-14 after a missed extra point.
Davis had a team-high 139 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns — two runs from 3 yards out and his final score came on a 39-yard run.
The Bears had two players, other than Davis, break the 100-yard barrier. Davontaye Wilson ran for 118 yards on eight carries, and Justin Lynch had 103 yards on 12 carries.
Wilson scored his only touchdown in the first quarter on a 29-yard run up the left side and gave the Bears a 7-0 lead. East Burke countered with a 2-yard touchdown run by Marcus Setzer and trailed 7-6. Will Garrett put Bunker Hill up by eight points with a 1-yard scoring run, and McGee scored the Cavaliers’ final touchdown on a 3-yard run. East Burke’s Childers tied the game with a 2-point conversion.
Childers finished the game 5-of-10 passing for 54 yards and an interception. Bunker Hill quarterback Joe Litton was 1 of 3 for 18 yards.
The Bears play at South Iredell next week, and the Cavaliers play at home against Draughn.