The Upperman Bees’ 2020 football season came to an end in a 41-16 loss against Loudon on Friday night in Baxter in the second round of the playoffs.
The Bees struggled on both sides of the ball against the talented Redskins squad who advanced to the quarterfinal round of the postseason with the win.
“They were better than we were,” said Caine. “I challenged the group coming back and said if you’ve got aspirations of moving in the playoffs, that’s what it looks like. (Loudon)’s very well-coached. They had a good plan. They were better coached. They played better.”
Despite the loss, Caine commended his team’s effort.
“I thought we played hard. I thought we fought,” said Caine. “I just give them credit. I think we maxed ourselves out this year. We just ran into a team that was much better than we were tonight.”
Loudon struck with a touchdown to open the game. They then took a 14-0 lead on a kickoff return for a touchdown to capture the momentum of the game.
The Upperman offense struggled to sustain drives, while Loudon was in rhythm on both sides of the ball as the Redskins took a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Caine said momentum-changing plays like returns and turnovers hurt Upperman.
“That has a lot to do with (Loudon’s players),” said Caine.
The Redskins continued their strong play early in the second half, extending the lead to 41-0 before two late touchdowns by Daniel Metzgar and Terrance Dedmon moved the score to the eventual final of 41-16.
Dedmon rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Thomas Ensor went 6-9 through the air for 57 yards and a touchdown. Metzgar caught five passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.
2020 has been defined by chaos and instability. Caine said keeping a program on track in a year like 2020 was difficult, and teams should be commended.
“The coaching staffs that are holding programs together during this insane year, I tip my hat to,” said Caine. “This was not an easy year. It’s a situation where I think a lot of teams let go of the rope. The thing I’m most proud of with this team is we didn’t quit.”
The Bees finished the season with an 8-4 record and an undefeated 5-0 record in Region 4/3A. They captured their third straight region championship and have not lost a game in the region over that stretch. They also won their fifth playoff game in three years.
It was their final season in Region 4/3A. In 2021, Upperman will move to the 4A classification.
Photos by Lance Little: