Top photo: Whale Branch wide receiver Jordan Reeves goes up for the ball as Bluffton High’s Reggie Brown, left, tries to bat it away during the closing minutes of the first half of the game on Sept. 23. Photo by Bob Sofaly.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Bluffton unbeaten; levels Whale Branch
Remaining unbeaten, Bluffton pulled away to beat host Whale Branch 63-6 in a high school football game on Sept. 23.
With the win, Bluffton moved to 6-0. Whale Branch dropped to 2-3 with the loss.
The Bobcats took control early. Bluffton, under the direction of veteran head coach Ken Cribb, led 35-6 at halftime. Versatile Bluffton featured four different players at quarterback in the first half. The Bobcats scored first and never trailed en route to the victory. Through the air, Bluffton was 25-for-37 passing for 412 yards.
Leading Bluffton’s aerial attack, Lee Kirkland completed 9-of-15 passes for 169 yards. Hunter Eldridge finished 9-for-12 for 136 yards and three touchdowns in the Bobcats’ win. Another Bluffton signal-caller, Jermaine Patterson, completed 7-of-9 passes for 107 yards. Defensive lineman Jhabias Johnson also played quarterback for the Bobcats in the triumph. Ashby Cribb led Bluffton in receiving, hauling in 10 receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Following Ashby Cribb in the Bluffton receiving column, Tyrese Sandgren hauled in seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. Another Bluffton receiver, Emauni Thompson, hauled in a touchdown catch. The Bobcats also featured a 100-yard rusher. Pacing Bluffton on the ground, I’kiem Jefferson rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Bluffton won easily despite committing five turnovers, three of which were first half interceptions.
Irvin Mulligan led Whale Branch’s offensive attack, rushing 21 times for 111 yards and the Warriors’ lone touchdown. Mulligan scored for Whale Branch on a 47-yard rush in the second quarter. Defensively for Whale Branch, C.J. Brown delivered an interception and a fumble recovery.
Both Bluffton and Whale Branch are due back in action on Friday, Sept. 30. Bluffton is slated to visit May River while Whale Branch hosts Woodland.
John Paul II falls to Thomas Heyward
John Paul II remained winless following its latest outing on the gridiron.
Thomas Heyward Academy pulled away to shut out John Paul II 48-0 on Sept. 23.
With the loss, John Paul II dropped to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the region. Thomas Heyward Academy improved to 3-2 overall and 3-0 in the region with the win.
The Warriors were forced to play from behind throughout the mid-season matchup as Thomas Heyward took control early. Struggling offensively, homestanding John Paul II was limited to minus 19 yards of total offense in the first half. Thomas Heyward took a commanding 35-0 lead into halftime after amassing 330 yards of total offense in the first half.
Helping to lead the Rebels prior to intermission, quarterbacks Logan Thomas (starter) and Jacob Masters (backup) both completed a scoring pass. Thomas Heyward finished strong, stretching its lead after the break to win even more convincingly.
All John Paul II running backs found themselves held to no yardage or negative yards in the setback. Senior Karl Johnson provided 48 receiving yards for the Warriors, who have dropped additional games to Dorchester Academy, Hilton Head Prep, Palmetto Christian Academy, St. Andrew’s and Hilton Head Christian Academy. The Warriors have regular season games remaining versus Carolina Academy, Christian Academy, Colleton Prep Academy and Calhoun Academy.
John Paul II is scheduled to visit Carolina Academy (2-3 overall, 2-0 in the region) on Friday, Sept. 30. Kickoff for the John Paul II-Carolina Academy football game is set for 7:30 p.m. in Lake City.
HHCA falls to Northwood Academy
Visiting Hilton Head Christian Academy’s bid to knock off Region 1-2A nemesis Northwood Academy fell short as the host team pulled away to win 42-14 in a mid-season high school football region matchup on Sept. 23.
With the loss, Hilton Head Christian Academy dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Region 1-2A. Northwood Academy improved to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the region with the win.
Hilton Head Christian Academy, continuing to look to return to the win column, suffered its fourth straight setback. The Eagles were forced to play from behind in the region game.
Special teams hindered Hilton Head Christian Academy’s progress as the Eagles allowed two punts to be returned for touchdowns. Zach Doe rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles in the short effort. The Eagles struggled to convert offensively throughout the contest. Hilton Head Christian Academy quarterback Dargan Cherry finished 3-of-14 passing. Pacing Hilton Head Christian Academy defensively, Craig Oliver posted six tackles. Directly behind Oliver in the Hilton Head Christian Academy defensive category, Cole Webster and Ben Vlijac contributed four tackles apiece.
Hilton Head Christian Academy has regular season games remaining versus Thomas Heyward Academy, Laurence Manning Academy, St. Andrew’s, Bethesda Academy and Hilton Head Prep.
The Eagles are slated to host Thomas Heyward Academy on Friday, Sept. 30. Kickoff for the Hilton Head Christian Academy-Thomas Heyward Academy football game is slated for 7 p.m.
Hilton Head shuts out Ridgeland-Hardeeville
Hilton Head Island rolled past Ridgeland-Hardeeville 50-0 in a mid-season high school football game on Sept. 23.
The determined Seahawks won without starting quarterback Collin Kaiser. Bryce Singleton took over for an injured Kaiser and led Hilton Head Island to the win. Kaiser was sidelined with an injury to his right foot. The Hilton Head Island starting quarterback suffered the injury on the final play of the game versus Bluffton one week earlier.
With the win, Hilton Head improved to 5-1. Ridgeland-Hardeeville dropped to 2-4 with the loss.
The Seahawks rolled up 405 yards of total offense in the win. Singleton excelled throughout the matchup, passing for 120 yards, rushing for 93 yards and hauling in a 28-yard scoring reception. Aiding Hilton Head on the ground, Tyler Hamilton rushed for 40 yards and one touchdown. Hamilton returned a kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown to start the second half. Taquan Pope added three receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks. Diante Richard, playing out of a reserve role, completed scoring passes to Singleton and Sterling White. P.J. Franklin added a touchdown run as Hilton Head pulled away to win easily.
Leading limited Ridgeland-Hardeeville offensively, Freddie Aiken rushed for 38 yards. As a team, Ridgeland-Hardeeville rushed for 136 yards. The Jaguars didn’t pick up any yards through the air.
Hilton Head returned to the win column after suffering a three-point loss to rival Bluffton one week earlier. The Seahawks have regular season games remaining versus Berkeley, Cane Bay, Colleton County, Stall and Beaufort High.
Hilton Head is scheduled to visit Berkeley on Friday, Sept. 30. Kickoff for the Hilton Head-Berkeley football game is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Moncks Corner.