By Gabriel Jenkins
The Whale Branch Warriors were ready to defend their undefeated record Thursday and did so in dominant fashion, rolling to a 69-0 win over visiting Charleston Math & Science.
Joseph Hicks rushed for a touchdown and returned a fumble for a TD, Jaylen Reeves threw a TD pass and returned a punt for a score, and Keith Chisholm added two TDs to help the Warriors build a 49-0 lead after one quarter before handing things over to the reserves.
The Warriors’ defense set the tone early, forcing a fumble on the opening series to set up a touchdown run from Hicks, who scooped up a fumble and returned it for a score to end the Riptide’s next series. The defense kept flexing by forcing a punt that Reeves returned for a 50-yard TD to make it 21-0 midway through the first quarter.
The total domination continued when Amar Jenkins picked off a pass to set up a 9-yard TD pass from Reeves to Chisholm. Henry Tome took over at quarterback late in the quarter and scored on a sneak, and Jadon Grant broke a 60-yard TD run to make it 42-0 late in the first quarter.
Another takeaway added to the margin when Jaylen Roberts came up with a pick-six for a 49-0 lead after one quarter.
The Riptide were forced to punt on their next series, but a botched snap gave the Warriors the ball at the 4-yard line, setting up Richard Parker’s 2-yard TD run.
The clock ran the rest of the night, but the Warriors opened up the second half with a 73-yard kickoff return to set up Chisolm for a TD run. The Whale Branch defense wouldn’t let the Riptide breathe by forcing consecutive three-and-outs to secure the team’s third shutout in five games, and Jakai Pusha capped the scoring with a 15-yard TD run.
The Warriors (5-0) host Battery Creek for a non-region game Friday.