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Gamecocks roll past Glenn Hills 35-0

Allowing fewer than 100 total yards for the third consecutive contest and posting their sixth straight shutout, the Screven County Gamecocks made the most of their first ever trip to The Pit on the campus of Glenn Hills with a 35-0 win over the Spartans on Oct. 27. 

With that win under their belt, the No. 2-ranked (GSWA) Roosters (8-0, 6-0) will now host the sixth-ranked Jefferson County Warriors (9-0, 6-0) in the 4AA title tilt Friday night at Kelly Memorial Stadium. 

In a game marred by an officiating crew seemingly void of the basic knowledge of clock management, penalty enforcement, or the spotting of the ball, the game became almost a comedy of administrative errors in the first half.

The head official who wears the white hat did not arrive until the second half. Employed in the medical field, the official was reportedly assisting with a surgery in during the half of the contest.

Both schools’ frustrated coaches spent more time in discussion with officials than with their own team (especially Spartan mentor Nick Collins).

Still the Gamecocks prevailed, despite better than 100 yards in penalties.

Asked about the officiating situation, Duncan democratically responded, “It was frustrating. I can’t really comment on the officials, but everything was frustrating. I mean they asked if we had any injured players that could hold the chains. I told them nobody in our organization was going to touch the chains and we would sit there all night. We did have a supporter volunteer.”

The Rooster offense wasted no time in establishing their superiority by driving 53 yards in just three plays to score less than two minutes into the game.  

QB Armani Bunbury hit tight end Kashawn Robinson with a 42-yard scoring strike. A 30-yard return of the opening kick by Johnathan Roberts set up the great field position.

Michael Johnston’s PAT, however, was blocked ending a streak of a school record 31 straight successful conversions.

Holding the Spartans to a three-and-out on their first possession, the Rooster offense, hurt by a holding penalty, punted for just the fourth time all season with Teviyon Mingle getting off a 44-yarder. 

The home team responded with its longest drive of the night, seven plays (19 percent of their total plays); two first downs (40 percent of their total first downs); 35 yards (53 percent of their total yards), and their deepest penetration of the night -- the SCHS 47.

Upon reaching that spot, there were back-to-back losses totaling eight yards with Robinson (2), Gary Hawkins (2), and CJ Wright combining for the tackles.

It was another brilliant night for the Dirty Birds.

Again the limited number of plays (37); the running clock; and the free second-half substitution (19 players made tackles) kept the numbers down.

Robinson was in on eight; Algerlon Pettigrew and Gary Hawkins six each; and Kendrick Cox, Keshawn Prescott, Roberts, and Wright in on four each.

“Nobody tries to get more players in the games in these types of situations than this staff,” said Duncan. “It makes it tough when the clock is rolling like it has. There are times when we may only get two possessions on either side of the ball in a half. We played a bunch Friday night and I thought the younger guys went in there and played hard and had fun.”

On the offensive side of the ball, two more first half possessions resulted in a 66-yard, six-play drive and a 26-yard, seven-play drive (that accounted for 49 yards because of penalties). 

Bunbury, from four yards out, and EJ Roberson, from five yards out tallied the scores with Roberson taking it in for a two-pointer after his score.

In the second half, there were but three possessions; two for scores; and the other running out the clock at the end.

Roberson scored again and backup QB Edward Lovett hit Chance Whitman for a 39-yard score on the second play of the final stanza. 

Glenn Hills’ first possession of the second half resulted in a safety for SCHS when the punt snap sailed out of the end zone. Robinson was the closest Rooster to the ball. Johnson added a PAT after the final score. 

“It’s always great for team morale when you can do that and we had a great bus ride home,” commented Duncan. “I mean to see our veteran players celebrate and be happy for Lovett and Whitman after they connected on the TD was great. Shawn Williams goes in there and gets an interception and return. Good stuff.”

As with the defense, the offensive side of the ball had limited opportunities for big numbers as well. 

There were 36 total plays on a mere seven possessions. The five scoring drives averaged only 49 yards each with the longest being 66 yards. Ten different backs carried the ball led by Bunbury (5-77); Kim Hunter (7-75); and Roberson (6-55). 

Bunbury was 2-5 for 48 yards passing and went over the 1,000-yard mark (1,013) for the second time. He is just 27 yards away from breaking assistant coach Chris Pye’s regular-season record of 1,039. 

Duncan said of the night’s performance, “I thought we eliminated a lot of the stupid mistakes and I was proud of our kids keeping their composure.”