Host Whale Branch held on to notch its seventh straight win last Friday, Nov. 7, defeating visiting Barnwell 21-12 in the opening round of the Class 2-A Division II Playoffs.
With the win, Whale Branch improved to 7-4 and advanced in the postseason.
The Warriors scored first and never trailed. Whale Branch arrived on the scoreboard in the opening quarter when Stephon Eugene scored on an 11-yard run. Following a successful point-after kick from Ben Wallace, Whale Branch led 7-0.
The Warriors owned the 7-0 lead through halftime.
Answering with its first touchdown, Barnwell got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Shakur Chisolm scored on a 54-yard run. But Barnwell failed to pull even after the Whale Branch defense broke its way through the line and blocked the PAT attempt.
Whale Branch added to its lead later in the third quarter when D.J. David scored on a 10-yard run. Following a successful two-point conversion run from Amagee Stephens, Whale Branch led 14-6.
Familiar foes, Barnwell and Whale Branch swapped touchdowns in the final quarter. Chisolm returned to the endzone on a 55-yard run in the fourth period.
Coming up short on special teams for the second straight time, Barnwell’s kick following the second touchdown failed.
Whale Branch pushed its lead back out when Eugene scored his second touchdown from two yards out later in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors will visit undefeated Timberland for the second round of the Class 2-A Division II Playoffs this Friday, Nov. 14.