By Geoff Neville
BUNN -- The end of Raymond Cobb’s illustrious coaching career marked the beginning of yet another deep postseason run for the Bunn Wildcats.
The legendary Cobb, now at SouthWest Edgecombe after previously guiding North Edgecombe to a pair of state championships, had announced his retirement before the season.
For SWE, the campaign could come to a close Friday as the Cougars were defeated 31-14 by host Bunn in the second round of the 2AA state football playoffs.
Bunn, now 10-2 overall, moves into the third round of the postseason for the third consecutive year. The Wildcats will play next Friday at Northside Jacksonville.
To make it that far, BHS has relied on talented senior back Tarik Cohen, who continued his season-long torrid pace by rushing for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts versus the Cougars.
Cohen has over 1,500 yards for the year, but he isn’t the only Wildcats’ threat on offense. Wide receiver Johnathan Alston, who is being recruited by a slew of Division I schools, reeled in four catches for 79 yards and one touchdown from quarterback Dillon Autrey, who is subbing for injured starter Deshawn High.
“Dillon has stepped in and done a fantastic job,’’ said BHS coach Chris Miller.
Bunn never trailed after Autrey capped Bunn’s first drive of the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Alston.
Following a SouthWest Edgecombe punt, the Wildcats were in the end zone again on Cohen’s 17-yard TD burst, which featured three broken tackles.
Cohen’s 13-yard touchdown up the middle late in the second period was followed by a 42-yard field goal by Freeman Jones on the final play of the half, and Bunn went to intermission in charge at 24-6.
The Wildcats would finish with 368 total yards, compared to 289 for the Cougars.
“Overall, I really liked our level of intensity,’’ Miller said. “We were very disciplined on defense, which is something you have to do (against SWE’s run-oriented offense).’’
Cobb would finish his career with 227 total victories and 11 conference championships.