Red Devils fall to Screven Co. Sept. 1

The Screven County High School (Ga.) Gamecocks rolled up more than 500 offensive yards during a 48-13 rout of Wade Hampton’s visiting Red Devils in Sylvania on Sept. 1.  2-0 Screven County ranks third in Georgia in Class AA football.

Wade Hampton, now 1-3, got their two touchdowns from the strong running of Davey Sanders. Sanders had a 29-yard TD rush with 1:55 left before halftime and a 68-yard scoring run with 2:28 remaining in the game. Wade Hampton had its first PAT attempt blocked, but was good with the second.

With 262 yards rushing and 249 yards passing, the SCHS Gamecock offense was about as balanced as it is possible.

“We didn’t necessarily go in thinking that,” said SCHS head coach Ron Duncan of the run-pass ratio, “but you always want to be as balanced as you need to be.”

It was big plays that enabled Screven County to take a three-score lead by the midpoint of the second quarter. 

While the Gamecocks built its lead, the Red Devils were successful in moving the ball only to have their offense stall. 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.

With 1:55 left in the half, Wade Hampton’s Sanders would earn his first of two touchdowns.

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

Wade Hampton rushed for a team total of 208 yards and completed its first pass in three games.

“When you play the flexbone, I think the main thing is to make them work for everything they get,” Duncan said of Wade Hampton. “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.” 

According to WHHS Head Coach Jerry Brown, the mistakes made during the matchup are easily correctable; not as easily correctable are the five injured players which left the field early last Friday night.

The Red Devils lost their second position quarterback to an injury against the larger opponents. Stepping into the QB’s position is Quayshon Williams, who is “the best number three quarterback anybody ever had, I tell you that,” says Brown.

“We competed real well until we lost our quarterback, second quarterback, to an ankle problem during the game,” said Brown. “We ran the ball pretty good. We would have scored two or three more times, but again fumbles. We had good drives deep into their territory, I’m talking down to their 20 yard line, and fumbled twice.”

“When we executed, we were a good football team; when we didn’t we weren’t,” he said. “After a while we had some injuries and we ended up having some people on the field that were unprepared for it.”

The coach went on to say that his team operates well when team members perform as they have been taught by coaches.

“We gave up too many big plays…but they can do it. They see big and strong and they think that they can’t compete, but they can if they just do what they are coached to do. And we did. I showed them on video, and they surprised themselves on what they could do. Offensively, we stopped ourselves, until the third quarter…they know the offense works and the defense works.”

The coach went on to say that although the team is making progress and showing they can compete with larger competitors, the special teams unit has yet to step up and deliver for the team.

“We haven’t made any big plays on special teams, so we got to work on special teams really hard,” Brown said. “At first I thought that we got overpowered, but we really didn’t.  We just didn’t do what we were coached to do; it’s fixable.”

“The difference between us and them is the weight room. I can’t make our kids like them, weight room wise, because it takes two or three years. There was an obvious, overwhelming difference in size and strength. But that didn’t translate at times as far as execution…when we executed we out-executed them,” he said.

The coach stated next week’s home matchup against Barnwell will be a good test of the team, with a more even matchup of size and strength. Although both are highly ranked and talented teams, Barnwell tends to play a more “bunched up” style of football compared to Screven County’s wider lineup, Brown noted. The visiting Warhorses are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 117-6.