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SCHS routs Islanders 57-6 in 2015 opener
With their first six possession totaling a mere 26 plays, the home-standing Screven County Gamecocks of Ron Duncan nevertheless scored on all six as they ran to a 41-0 halftime lead en route to a 57-6 rout of the visiting St. John’s, S.C., Islanders.
Opening their 2015 season in grand fashion, the Roosters will have this week off as they prepare for the AAA Westside Patriots at The Battlefield in Augusta on Sept. 4.
As the defending Region 3AA champion, the Gamecocks made very short work of South Carolina’s defending Region VI A champion and 10th-ranked Islanders.
Despite a tremendous rain deluge that ended barely an hour before kickoff, a large crowd of Gamecock faithful saw nearly 70 players see action in the victory.
Eleven backs took handoffs from four quarterbacks behind nearly three complete offensive lines.
Defensively, more than 25 players were in on tackles with five different recording turnovers.
“They had some athletes,” said Duncan, “but were just a little outmanned.”
While the Rooster offense -- the starters of who played less than a half -- was accumulating 405 yards of offense, the Islanders totaled just 96.
Included in the St. John’s total were 103 yards in rushing losses. On 14 plays, the visitors went backwards with four of them being greater than 10.
Sophomore quarterback Armani Bunbury, making his first prep start, led the way by accounting for 168 yards with 52 rushing on three carries and 116 passing on three of four attempts.
Bunbury hit fellow sophomore Tyquan Johnson on a 55-yard scoring bomb and senior Ronnie Johnson with a 21-yard scoring strike.
Senior tailback Malik Prescott accounted for 20 points with three TDs and a two-point conversion. Only toting the ball in the first half, Prescott finished with 101 yards on eight carries.
The second half saw junior Dajon Hunter carry seven times for 59 yards and a score, while sophomore Kashawn Robinson had eight carries for 48 yards.
Also scoring six-pointers were juniors Bruce Smith and JaTarri Tanksley. Tanksley’s came on an 85-yard return of the second half kickoff.
Giving the final point total were senior Tyler Owens with three PATs; sophomore CJ Wright with a two-point conversion; and senior Terri Jones with a safety.
Because of the situation, no Dirty Bird defender ran up big individual numbers, but recovering fumbles were senior Xavier Sheppard, junior Richmond Whitfield and Wright.
Interceptions were recorded by seniors Jermany Hawkins and Jalen Jenkins.
Twelve defenders were in on tackles for losses. Eric Hayward was in on 10 tackles; Hawkins eight; and Whitfield seven.
Duncan was not showering his team with accolades following the contest.
“We played very sloppy,” Duncan said. “We had turnovers (three fumbles), blown assignments and too many penalties (11-for-100). Our special teams are a work in progress.
“I think our guys played hard. I think they want to be a good team,” Duncan said. “I just think we have a long way to go. The competition will be better the next few weeks. Hopefully, we can keep getting better.”
In rolling up 57 points, the Gamecocks scored their most points since a 60-7 win over region foe Liberty County on Nov. 16, 2001. In that game, future UGA Bulldog Michael Cooper rushed for the school record 319 yards, all in the first half.
The most points ever scored by a Rooster team is 72 in a victory over Dudley Hughes of Macon on Sept. 24, 1960. That game represented Bill Fulcher’s first win at the helm of the Red and White.