Published: Oct 22, 2011 01:43 AM
Modified: Oct 22, 2011 02:15 AM
FUQUAY-VARINA - Fuquay-Varina punctuated its regular season Friday night with a 21-0 win over Apex, and in the process secured at least a share of the Tri-Nine Conference title.
For this group to win two straight conference championships says a lot about the hard work theyve put in, Bengals coach Ryan Habich said. After the way we lost to start the conference season, not a lot of people thought this group was going to be able to win the title this year or even tie for it. Im proud of this group.
To win the title outright, they will need help.
Fuquay (9-1, 7-1 Tri-Nine) and Middle Creek (7-3, 6-1) are tied atop the conference standings, but the Mustangs hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. For the Bengals to take the championship and grab that all-important No. 1 seed in the playoffs, they need Middle Creek to falter in its final game next Friday against the Cougars (1-6-1, 1-6).
But no matter their seed the Bengals are confident headed into the postseason, and they have two weeks to get ready for it.
If we play like we know we can, the skys the limit, senior running Ricky Ferguson said. As far as Im concerned we have the best defense in the Tri-Nine, and when our running games working were tough to beat.
Fuquays defense was pliable in the first half on Friday, but it didnt break. Apex piled up the yards, but timely interceptions ended two long, promising drives, and in turn led to Bengals points.
Junior running back Carlton Bridges put Fuquay out in front midway through the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run right up the middle. His second trip to the end zone with 3:17 left in the second quarter came from seven yards out. The Cougars blocked the extra point and Fuquay led 13-0 at the half.
Apex turned the ball over once more in the third quarter and could never gain traction on the offensive side of the ball, but neither could the Bengals. Both teams failed find the end zone in the quarter.
We did struggle to move the ball at times, Habich said. But youve got to give credit to Apex for the great job they did preparing for us and stopping the run. And our defense was great as well. For them to get a shutout tonight was big.
Late in the fourth, Bridges scored his third touchdown to put the game away. He finished with a game-high 196 yards on 25 carries.