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Balanced Gamecock attack routs Red Devils 48-13

Rolling up better than 500 yards of offense for the second consecutive contest, the Screven County High School Gamecocks of Coach Ron Duncan rolled past Wade Hampton’s Red Devils 48-13 in the 2017 home opener at Kelly Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1. 

The 2-0 and third-ranked in AA Roosters will travel to Statesboro Friday to face the AAAAA Blue Devils at 7:30 p.m. at Womack Field.

With 262 yards rushing and 249 yards passing, the Gamecock offense was about as balanced as it is possible to be with Wade Hampton able to solve neither version of the attack.

“We didn't necessarily go in thinking that,” remarked Duncan of the offensive breakdown, “but you always want to be as balanced as you need to be.”

It was big plays that enabled the Roosters to take a three-score lead at the midpoint of the second quarter. 

While the home team built its lead, the visitors were successfully moving the ball, just shooting its self in the proverbial foot with mistakes.

After the Gamecocks fumbled away their first possession, the Devils mounted an 11-play drive that ended with a fumbled fourth-and-two attempt on the 26-yard line.

Seven plays later SCHS quarterback Armani Bunbury kept the ball on an option for a 41-yard score. Michael Johnston made the first of six PATs with 2:53 left in the opening stanza.

After a short WHHS punt, Gamecock running back Kim Hunter completed a one-play, 57-yard drive with another long scoring jaunt.

When SCHS defensive end Kendrick Cox caused and recovered a fumble at the Red Devil 37, fullback CJ Wright culminated the drive with a one-yard run with 5:35 before intermission. The visitors got on the scoreboard with 1:55 left in the half.

SCHS went on to score on its first four possessions of the second half to blow the game wide open, stretching its lead to 48-6 with under five minutes remaining.  

Three times Bunbury (18-26-0 for 249 yards) hit Tyquan Johnson (7 receptions for 143 yards) for scores. The TDs covered 67, 28 and 19 yards.

Gary Hawkins picked up the final score.

In addition to Johnson’s reception numbers, Johnathan Roberts snared six for 60 yards; Eli Brodnex caught four for 40 yards, and Roberson one for six yards.

Bunbury’s 18 completions broke the single game record that Don Aaron Jr., now the team’s physician, set against East Laurens in 1991.

Do the 28 total passes (Austin Markovcic also threw twice) represent a hint at a change in the focus of the SCHS offense? 

“I think it might be who we are,” answered Duncan. “These things kind of develop over the course of the season.”

When all was said and done, 10 different backs carried the ball led by Hunter (8-86) and Bunbury (8-75). Beyond the expected carries by Wright, EJ Roberson, and Algerlon Pettigrew, there were also carries that went to Shawn Williams, Gary Hawkins, Xavier Budgett, and Shemar Cheever.

One dimensional Wade Hampton did rush for 208 yards and completed their first pass in three games, but when the Gamecocks began scoring points in bundles the Devils were no match. They just did not have enough firepower to keep up.

Was Duncan surprised that Hampton was able to generate 200-plus yards rushing when the pass was not an ever present threat.

“When you play the flexbone, I think the main thing is to make them work for everything they get,” he explained. “They gave us a lot of trap option in the first half and that was the first time we have seen that from them. We made some adjustments at half and didn't have any trouble with it in the second half.” 

Leading the defensive effort was Kashawn Robinson, in on 13 tackles and Wright and Cox who were in on 10 each. Nick Garvin (7), Treston Jamison (6), and Hunter, Keshawn Prescott, and EJ Roberson were each in on four. There were 22 different Dirty Birds in on tackles.

Friday’s win marked the second in a row that allowed Duncan to play almost everyone on the team. With this Friday’s contest against Statesboro, which is an AAAAA school and totally two platoons, the playing time for some may be crucial as the game progresses.

Said Duncan to that, “There is no question we will be at a numbers disadvantage next week. Playing as many of our young guys and getting them quality reps can only help us down the road. We better grow up quick before next Friday.”